I'm not entirely sure this is going to go over how I hope, but I want to take a moment and discuss the common practice of #querying agents and submitting to micro-presses simultaneously.
Many writers do this. I'm going to take a quick moment to explain why I wish you wouldn't.
The disclaimer: Many micro-presses are fabulous and treat their authors wonderfully, and pay standard royalty rates and offer advances. Many micro-presses do not. If you're a writer & you haven't seen their contract & don't know how to read one, this can be an issue if they offer
Many writers get an offer & realize they have no idea how to read a publishing contract/what standard royalty rates are. Some reach out to agents in hopes one will take them on & deal with this contract, but sadly, many of these micro-presses are non-negotiable & agents know this
Some micro-presses have negotiable contracts, mind you, but not all.
Anyway, it's these authors whom I feel sorry for the most, as they have now jumped the gun, so to speak, and many feel like they're missing the chance of a lifetime if they reject the deal.
In some cases, they may be, in other cases, they're dodging a bullet.
Not all micro-presses are created equal and not all agents are even familiar with them all.
So this is why finding an agent AFTER you've rec'd an offer from a micro-press can be hard.
Most agents will have wanted to do edits before shopping the book, and I'd say ALL agents will have wanted to shop the manuscript to other/bigger presses before accepting a micro-press deal. And taking on a client for a micro-press usually means a micro-deal.
For most agents, signing this client is not only for these contract negotiations, but means chasing edits, making sure the contract is followed by the press, tracking royalty payments, and adopting all the client's backlist and future works. It's a HUGE commitment.
A huge commitment for a micro deal. So, unless the agent absolutely LOVES the writer and the writer's work, they're most likely not going to be eager to sign them off this type of publishing deal.
SOME agents will! Some agents seem to specialize in micro-press deals, and those agents to me, feel a bit sketchy b/c as I mentioned, not all those contracts are negotiable. So they're taking 15% of your earnings for a deal you got for yourself on a contract they can't alter.
So, what DO I recommend?
Query first. Query wide. Query until you literally can't query any more. And if you still feel, at that point, that a micro-press is better than writing another book and querying that, THEN - RESEARCH PUBLISHING ROYALTY RATES AND RESEARCH MICRO-PRESSES.
Talk to other authors who have worked with them.
Check friend whisper networks, Absolute Write, and Writer Beware to make your sub list.
Look for royalty rates information on writer organization sites like SCBWI and SFWA. Take classes. Familiarize yourself on standard practices.
Then and only then do I recommend you submit to micro-presses.
I know there have been exceptions to this rule, and that some writers found their dream agent off a micro-press deal and their second book sold great. Wtf do I know, really?
But generally speaking, by submitting to micro-presses and agents at the same time, you're putting the cart before the horse.
And if you're doing it specifically to get a deal, thinking that's the "best" way to land an agent - I'm here to tell you that's not at all true.
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