by Randy Peyser

Question: What’s the quickest way to get literary agents to roll their eyes in frustration? Answer: Tell them the book you are pitching to them has already been self-published.

If you think it’s easy to sell your self-published book to a publisher, please read on:

Many people approach me in the hopes of having me pitch their self-published books to literary agents or traditional publishers. Whenever I’ve pitched a self-published book to a literary agent, here is what I experience:  Rolled eyeballs, a pleading look, and the same question: “Why? Why did they do that? They just killed the sale.”

When a book has been self-published, every literary agent will ask me: “When did it come out, and how many copies have sold? Now, here’s the catch. If your book has sold a small amount of copies in the time period in which it’s been out, then your book is seen as a bad investment by a publisher. On the other hand, if your book has sold very well, then they will ask, “Well, who does the author have left to sell it to?” It’s a double-edged sword.


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