Writing Forums

Writing Forums is a privately-owned, community managed writing environment. We provide an unlimited opportunity for writers and poets of all abilities, to share their work and communicate with other writers and creative artists. We offer an experience that is safe, welcoming and friendly, regardless of your level of participation, knowledge or skill. There are several opportunities for writers to exchange tips, engage in discussions about techniques, and grow in your craft. You can also participate in forum competitions that are exciting and helpful in building your skill level. There's so much more for you to explore!

Salvaging a Flop (1 Viewer)

Spinners

Member
If you Self-Published and failed, can a manuscript be salvaged (and doctored) to try again to submit to agents, or is it a lost cause? Other than a total rewrite, is there some middle ground here to avoid throwing out the baby with the bath water? Please tell me there's hope!
 

VRanger

Staff member
Administrator
I can't speak to the prospects of flipping a self-pub to an agent/publisher, but a selfpub sales flop is the normal result no matter the quality of the material. Did you get terrible reviews, or just get ignored? Most selfpubs just don't get that much attention. The spectacular selfpub success is even more rare than the spectacular tradpub success. To get even moderate sales, it takes some marketing and some social media/viral luck.
 
Last edited:
A different option you might like to consider is hiring a good ghostwriter to fix/rewrite your story, then try self-pubbing again, having learned from the first time around. Maybe under a different title? I can't speak to submitting the final work to a trad publisher, but from what I understand, most (though not all) trad publishers don't usually accept manuscripts that have been previously published. But it can vary from publisher to publisher.
 

Cephus

Senior Member
Generally, agents and publishers want books that have never been available to the public. They're looking for the right of first publication. Now if you change your book significantly, it might fly, you'd have to ask, they just don't want something that's been out there in a different form.
 

Jan

Senior Member
I would say it's a lost cause if your intent is to publish through an agency, however I fail to see why you couldn't try to republish it yourself. If I were you I would try to publish it on a different website or medium. If that doesn't work, one last try would be to rewrite it under a new title. If that doesn't work either, I'd resign the book and move on to a new project.

Best of luck!
 

Ralph Rotten

Staff member
Media Manager
If you Self-Published and failed, can a manuscript be salvaged (and doctored) to try again to submit to agents, or is it a lost cause? Other than a total rewrite, is there some middle ground here to avoid throwing out the baby with the bath water? Please tell me there's hope!

If that book failed, don;t waste any more time on it. Write something new and better.
Turds get flushed, don't try to polish them. Move on and write new stuff.
That story will still suck in the morning, even with editing.
 
Top