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Writer's Room => Chapter Books, Easy Readers, and Middle Grade (MG) => Topic started by: robert-gillespie on August 24, 2021, 03:38 PM

Title: Vanity published
Post by: robert-gillespie on August 24, 2021, 03:38 PM
I've written two MG chapter books (fiction) that have been published by a vanity house, and appear on Amazon, etc.  Do I need to do a rewrite in order to submit a query to a potential agent?
Title: Re: Vanity published
Post by: JulieM on August 24, 2021, 04:35 PM
Agents are not interested in seeing published work. You can query new work to agents though.
Title: Re: Vanity published
Post by: robert-gillespie on August 24, 2021, 04:40 PM
That's what I thought. Thanks for connecting!
Title: Re: Vanity published
Post by: JulieM on August 24, 2021, 10:18 PM
Not a problem, Robert. Happy writing!
Title: Re: Vanity published
Post by: Debbie Vilardi on August 27, 2021, 09:24 PM
I'm afraid that even a rewrite won't be picked up by an agent. Unless your books have sold in the tens of thousands, close that door and open new ones.
Title: Re: Vanity published
Post by: robert-gillespie on August 28, 2021, 07:41 AM
Can you tell me what you base that on? Is this something that you have experienced?
Title: Re: Vanity published
Post by: mrh on August 28, 2021, 08:32 AM
Robert, you might find the newer agent profiles on Literary Rambles helpful. http://www.literaryrambles.com/

The more recent ones are done interview-style, and she always poses the question "Do you accept queries from self-published authors?"

Over and over, the answer is always some version of, "Of course, but only if they are querying me with brand-new, never-before-published  work."

Move on to brand-new work. That's the mindset we need to sustain a career anyway -- always producing new and better work. Don't SP or vanity anything you even think you might want to traditionally publish. SP is a separate path, not a stepping stone to traditional.
Title: Re: Vanity published
Post by: Debbie Vilardi on August 28, 2021, 06:02 PM
Can you tell me what you base that on? Is this something that you have experienced?

Years of reading agent interviews and listening to them talk at conferences and workshops. Some self-published books do get picked up by agents, but those books are like Elf on the Shelf (which was self pubbed to start). They have sales that tell a publisher they will make money on the deal.

Remember, publishing is a business. If your books didn't sell well when you self published, there is no reason for an agent or editor to believe they'll sell any better once traditionally published. And from their perspective a vanity press is worse than self publishing because of the nature of how vanities run. Here's an article on the topic: https://www.janefriedman.com/land-agent-self-published-book/. I'm sure you could find others.