The Latest on The Brotherhood
Updated: Oct 22, 2022
A couple of months ago I found a few publishers that would accept submissions without having an agent - those are rare, BTW. Finding a publisher of Thrillers with that limitation even more so. I think there were initially five, but one turned out to be a subsidy publisher. They want money, and they’ll publish the book. I’m not at a point where I’d do that.
Sure, that publisher has a great package. Their reach into social media is massive, they have audiences in the hundreds of thousands (if not millions), and they could have been a great asset. Or would they?
Their client list includes a lot of big name authors. Those books would sell millions of copies based on the author’s name alone. That publisher broadcasts Another Book by Big Author, and a million copies sell in the first month. That’s certainly worth a five thousand dollar investment.
If they broadcast Unknown Title by Author U. Nvr. Heardof, would a $2,000 investment ever pay off? Probably not. Even without doing complex math we can see that. Cover price of $15 might mean a $5 profit margin, so to break even means 400 copies selling.
When was the last time you’ve bought a book written by an author you’ve never heard of before? An author might (MIGHT) do that, but the average reader probably wouldn’t. Maybe one in a half-million might, so if two million people see something about a new book, that would be four copies sold.
Let’s not belabor that point, though. There were four other publishers who received submission packages, and the listed reply times are winding down. I figure if I don’t hear anything by March I’ll assume a “no.” That is, unfortunately, the standard these days. “If you don’t hear from us in X number of weeks (or months), assume we couldn’t care less about your project. In fact, we care so little we can’t even be bothered to send a TBNT (Thanks, But No Thanks) email that would literally take five seconds.”
To be honest, I understand that policy. With pretty much everyone thinking they’re good enough to write a novel, publishers have been buried in submissions. If you get a hundred submissions every day, even one full time employee couldn’t send that many TBNTs in a day. I joke that it takes five seconds, but it might take ten minutes to find the email submission. Then click “reply,” write “TBNT” or paste the standard rejection message, and a hundred replies takes more hours than are in a workday.
Anyway, with the reply time expiring it’s time to hunt for agents. They’ve been getting hammered, too. I may have mentioned I’ve identified twelve agents who might accept a project like The Brotherhood. I’ve decided to submit to a pair of them each week starting on March 1st. That means my last pair of submissions will be on April 5th.
That’s all predicated on not hearing anything back from agents or publishers. If I get a nibble on any of those submissions I’ll send the rest of them out that day or the next. I’ll update the email packages I send out to include information about the possible good news, and inform the agents who already received my submission about the development.
So, a flurry of submissions will be going out soon. I’m confident in the quality of the book produced, though professional editors will no doubt push it to a higher level before the book gets printed.
“But Mark, what happens if nobody picks it up?”
We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it. I have a lot of hope it will get picked up by someone, and probably this year.
But keep this in mind: it usually takes a couple of years for a book to go from “acceptance” to “available for purchase.”
Publishing takes time.