I was wading through my Submissions folder last week and came across an interesting submission that I’d received the end of January. I began reading it and thought this would be perfect for us. I went back to the email query the agent had sent to get more details. She had included the author’s website, so I mosied on over. Wha’? There, at the top of her page, was the proud announcement that her book – the one I was reading – was now available on Kindle via their CreateSpace thingy.
If I may offer a bit of advice – I would strongly recommend NOT doing this. We editors are touchy, black-hearted folks and we hate nothing more that feeling like we’ve been scooped. And putting a book out on Kindle is a scoop of sorts because you’re basically opening up your hand for anyone to see and exposing what cards you’re holding.
If you really want to be published, get a good agent. If you already have an agent, then get out of their way and let them do what they do best. Jumping the gun like this is doesn’t make sense. Furthermore, dare I say it, it’s unprofessional. This is akin to the writers who vanity publish their books because they think it’ll give them more exposure to hungry editors. In reality, it acts as a repellent.
Yes, I see why they do it. They’ve heard the Cinderella stories about getting picked up for a multi-gazillion dollar, 50-book deal. But for every ONE of those deals, there are thousands whose books have a one-way ticket to obscurity.
If you’re serious about being published by a mainstream publisher, then I strongly recommend not jumping the gun and scooping possible editors by publishing your book, either via vanity or e-book. For starters, many of us won’t touch something that’s already out there. Do I want to hassle having two versions of your book out there and risking your unedited book being confused for my thoroughly edited book?
Nope. It’s simply not worth it.
Exposure comes in all sizes and shapes, and the best exposure is your platform. The bigger it is, the more excited an editor will be to fight for your book. But a Kindle version is simply that. It takes time to develop a readership, and the longer you leave that book up, the less likely an editor will be touch it.
Instead, relax. Let your agent work for you. Start writing that next book, take a walk, drink a pitcher of margaritas…anything…but don’t jump the gun.