2. Choosing the Route to Publication

I’ve already mentioned that my first book was published by an American publishing house. I’ll always be grateful to Rainstorm Press for picking up my debut and giving it a chance. However, apart from the copies that I brought over and supplied to local stores myself, it was only distributed in the UK via Amazon which restricted the number of local events I could do. So, in order to improve distribution with my second, I had to examine my options.

Option One – The Agent

The benefits of a good literary agent are well known. They will have a sound knowledge of the market place and connect your work with the most appropriate publishers, negotiate your literary contract and ensure royalties are paid timeously. In short, you’ll benefit from their wealth of experience in dealing with publishers.

I contacted a few agents when I finished my second book, but the consensus of opinion was that because it was a sequel, it was not such an attractive prospect. Apparently most agents and large publishers like to see a series through from the beginning. I expect if I was J K Rowling or E L James, the response may have been different, but for little old me there it was.

Option Two – Self Publishing

Publishing my own work would allow me to keep control. All I needed to do was to find a good editor, proofer, organise cover art and format it. The only problem is that I have a day job and a family, not to mention a very demanding black Labrador. Any spare time I have is currently channelled into writing my novels. When I weighed up the costs and time I would have to dedicate to this process, not to mention what I could do to Amazon’s ‘self-formatting’, I put it on the back burner. I’m not saying I wouldn’t consider self-publishing in future, but right now I just don’t think I would be able to supply the time and money required to give the book the start it deserves.

Option Three – The Independents

Independent publishers may not have the big publicity machine behind them, but they do invest the initial costs and guide you through the publication process.

This seemed like the best option for me at this time, so I plunged myself back into the submissions process, waited the arduous long weeks it takes to get your work read, and was finally thrilled to receive two offers, the best of which came from London-based Legend Press.

The publishing world has transformed dramatically over the past few years into an industry that offers many different options. You just need to pick the best route for you.

Next up, deciphering that all important book contract.


Jane Isaac is author of An Unfamiliar Murder and The Truth Will Out. With a day job, a family and a very demanding black Labrador, she squeezes her writing into every spare moment she gets. You can catch up with her at www.janeisaac.co.uk

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  • Marcus Case
    Posted on July 15, 2014 at 8:46 pm

    Jane, thanks so much for this series of posts. Very interesting, and most generous of you. I can’t wait to hear what you’ve got to say about contracts!

  • JaneIsaac
    Posted on July 15, 2014 at 11:53 pm

    Hi Marcus, Lovely of you to join me here. Glad you are finding the posts helpful. All best, Jane

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