Friday, February 15, 2019

Answers to Some of the Questions Authors Ask—I'm Ready for the Big Time!

by Traci Tyne Hilton @TraciTyneHilton

#5 in a series where I answer questions I suspect you are asking

Indie Author:How do I get a traditional publisher to buy the book I indie published? It’s awesome and I could really use the bookshelf space I’d get from going trad. Also, how much money should I ask for when they offer me the deal?

First, congratulations on publishing your book! That’s wonderful! I will assume you published it yourself because this was something you were excited to try. If so, then don’t throw in the towel by giving it to some publisher. Especially not if all you really want is a little help selling it in bookstores.

Of course, the main reason not to go selling it to a trad publisher is because they don’t want it. Not unless it has sales so great you’d be crazy to sell it.

Has it sold a million copies for you? If so, you’ve made like two-million dollars. :D If it has made you two-million dollars, walk into any bookstore and ask to speak to the manager. They’ll get your book on their shelves, I promise.

You haven’t made a million dollars? But it is a brilliant book? Honestly, I believe you. It’s just not taking off, despite following all of the advice in my other posts, and you are sure that a trad deal would really change things.

Maybe you are right, but the sad thing is, traditional publishers don’t want books that are already published. It’s not a wise financial move for them.

But that doesn’t mean bookstores are closed to you.

Create a one sheet for your book that has the cover, the blurb, an endorsement and contact information. Stick your business card in a copy of your book. Now take a stack of those and go visit every single small, independently owned bookstore that you can. Drive as far as you need to for as long as you need to. Be friendly, professional, and polite. Try and talk to the owner. Be ready to explain why your book is a good fit with their store. Someone will find shelf space for your books.

I know you wanted to be in Barnes and Noble, but you know what? Not even all of the traditionally published books get to be in Barnes and Noble. So, try this and see what happens. I think, if you stick to it with the passion it took to write the book in the first place you will find bookshelf space for your title.

But…a publisher has already contacted me! What do I do? How much do I ask for?

You know what? This has happened three times to me. Three times I’ve been approached by publishers—and one of those times was for a book that had already been published. I didn’t take the offers for a variety of reasons. If you want to take the offer, don’t negotiate it yourself. Spend an afternoon googling literary agents. Find the one who represents what you write. Find their contact information. Send them an email explaining that you already have a contract offer and you need help with it. Tell them everything you can about the offer, 

including who is offering it. If this deal is worth pursuing, I promise you will hear back from the agent.

Answers to Some of the Questions Authors Ask - I'm Ready for the Big Time! @TraciTyneHilton on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

What comes next for Indie Authors? @TraciTyneHilton shares good news on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

Other Posts in This Series
Answers to Some of the Questions Authors Ask—What If I Can't Do It? (Part 1)
Answers to Some of the Questions Authors Ask—Aren’t All Indie Books Bad? (Part 2)
Answers to Some of the Questions Authors Ask—But Everyone Else is Cheating, Why Can’t I? (Part 3) 

Traci Tyne Hilton is the author of The Plain Jane Mysteries, The Mitzy Neuhaus Mysteries and the Tillgiven RomanticMysteries. Traci has a degree in history from Portland State University and still lives in the rainiest part of the Pacific Northwest with her husband the mandolin playing funeral director, two busy kids, and their dogs, Dr. Watson and Archie Goodwin.

More of Traci’s work can be found at


  1. This is timely, Traci! I was turned down at B&N even though I am being traditionally published. These are great ideas. 😊

  2. I'm sorry about being turned down, but boy, that's more common than not! Enjoy the process of getting to know the independent book stores! I bet you find shelf space and make new friends! :D