April 19, 2016

50 Ways to Sell Your Writing — #1 (Traditional Book Deal)

50 Ways to Sell Your Writing — #1 (Traditional Book Deal)

Traditional Book Deal (Agented)

Part one of multi-blog series by Jason Brick on how many ways there are for writers of all stripes to make a living doing what they love.  Check out #3 over at brickcommajason.com

This is what most people think of when they think “published writer.” You write a book. Then you find an agent to represent your book. Then the agent finds a publisher to print and distribute the book. A couple years later, you have a book out.

Most books you buy at Barnes and Noble were published this way. Most names you know as published authors got their work out this way. It’s the most familiar model, and the one served by most writers’ conferences.

The market for this is huge, and well-serviced. But it’s a competitive field growing more competitive each year. Most published authors never get to quit their day jobs, but many can write full-time and one in a million get stupid rich.


  • Has cachet as “really being published”
  • You get the support and expertise of a publishing company
  • Potential for Stephen King or J.K. Rowling level of distribution


  • Very low chance of getting this deal
  • Royalties are a fraction (usually 10%) of what other publishing models pay
  • Slow process from acceptance to publication

Find Agents At

Pro Tip

The more you can build a legitimate platform of blog subscribers and social media followers (preferably in the high four to five figures) the more attractive you will be to an agent. Traditional publishing isn’t a substitute for doing your own publicity. It’s a way of leveraging publicity you’ve already done.


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