Every day I receive queries for self-published books, in 3 varieties:
- I self-published, but my book isn’t getting the notice I expected. I want a publisher so I have access to their corporate marketing resources. I know my book could be big with help.
- I believe my book is doing well and I would like you to represent me! In other words: my book isn’t selling as well as I thought, so I’d like access to…etc.
- I am not actually going to tell you the book is self-published. I either don’t know how the industry works, or I do know and I’m hoping you’ll never know it was self-pubbed.
We don’t represent self-pub books. Publishers aren’t interested. A handful of exceptions exist. They sold thousands of copies before a publisher picked them up.
Very few self-pub books ever sell even one thousand copies.
Your lack of sales may stem from a lack of marketing. Or maybe readers aren’t interested in this type of book. Or maybe it’s not a good book. We don’t know.
Buying the rights to a previously published book is a huge hassle. The Big 5 won’t buy unless it’s worth their while. They’re here to make money so they can pay authors and make more books.
I have to reject.
Note: if you self-publish, do not use a POD (print on demand) company to get physical copies. POD sales go into Nielson BookScan: publishers can see how many copies sold. If they see you only sold 20 copies, publishers may avoid any books by you. And remember: the average book sells less than 100 copies.