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12

Smart Self-Publishing

An Author’s Guide to Producing a Marketable Book

rather than a fee contingent upon the sale

of your book, a practice that may well re-

duce the incentive to sell your book. Some

agents handle only certain types of books,

such as action and adventure, while others

specialize in selling subsidiary rights for any

already-published author to magazines,

other publishers, large-print editions, or for-

eign rights.

Agents who are successful in selling ma-

terials must maintain their reputation.

They will only represent books that they feel

they have a reasonable chance of selling, and

that means one that is edited and without

glaring errors. Unscrupulous ones will live

off the client fees regardless of sales.

Vanity and subsidy presses

When our book was first published, the van-

ity and subsidy presses were more obvious

by their names and contracts and through

the years often gave self-publishing a nega-

tive image. Vanity press implies that

authors are self-publishing for egotistical

reasons—out of vanity—and maybe some-

times they are. That is not necessarily bad,

if the project is done well.