What do you want from the publishing experience?

Many of you out there have written a book. (At least I’m assuming so if you are reading this blog…) But, have you all thought about what you truly want out of the publishing experience?

If you’re querying agents I hope you want to be traditionally published and be able to work in a collaborative partnership. However, some of you might get an agent and think: “Is this what I really wanted?”

Those of you with entrepreneurial spirits might feel resentful if you don’t get a deal right away, knowing you could self publish.

Those of you with trust issues might not be ready to pass off the baton to get to the finish line.

Those of you with friends in the business might feel jealousy creep up over your shoulder when it feels like everyone around you is getting book deals before you.

Steady and affirm your intentions in this process.

Answer these Qs:
  1. What do I want my publishing experience to look like?
  2. Are my goals realistic for what I’ve set out to accomplish?
  3. Am I ready to share the ups and downs of my career with other people? (Family, friends, agents, editors, assistants, publicists etc.)
  4. Do I really want to be traditionally published or does self-publishing suit me?
  5. How much time am I willing to give myself to get 1) an agent 2) a book deal?

This is your experience and you’re in charge of how it works out and how you let it into your life–and how you let it lift you up or bring you down.

Published by Carly Watters

Carly Watters is a SVP, senior literary agent and director of literary branding with the P.S. Literary Agency. She is a hands-on agent that develops proposals and manuscripts with attention to detail and the relevant markets. PSLA’s mission is to manage authors’ literary brands for their entire career. Never without a book on hand she reads across categories which is reflected in the genres she represents and is actively seeking new authors in including women’s fiction, commercial and upmarket fiction, select literary fiction, platform-driven non fiction and select memoir. She occasionally represents children's book projects. Carly is drawn to emotional, well-paced narratives, with a great voice and characters that readers can get invested in.

6 thoughts on “What do you want from the publishing experience?

  1. There have been a lot of ups and downs already. Yes, we like it, can we see some more. The terrible thud as something lands on the doormat and even from the bedroom you know it is your m/s.
    I have considered the idea of self publishing very seriously and have not dismissed it (never say never) but I have wanted to be published as an author from a little girl. And it still feels – I hate to say this, I really do – a little like cheating. I will put in the work so that should I end up self-publishing, there might be a tiny prospect of my tome being noticed out there, but I want the traditional route.
    I want to hold my book in my hands and know that I did it the right way. I know that it is no sure-fire route to success, but for me it is the right route.


  2. Well, I’m about to turn 40 and have decided I have until my 50th to go the traditional route. After that, new gameplan. Besides, who knows what publishing will look like in another decade? I’ve just started querying, and it has been both frustrating and exciting so far, but I’m not giving up. Period.


  3. Great post, Carly, and one of those that can make many of us stop and think.

    I especially like your point about collaboration. Some might see an agent and editor as simply a means to an end… but, as you put it, it’s only the beginning of a collaboration to make the project successful.

    So another question might be, are you ready to collaborate?



    1. Very true. It’s a big collaboration project from start to finish. You are letting everyone into the project that, to start with, only you saw. Now your agent is involved, your editor collaborates, your publicist needs you to step out etc.


What do you think? I love hearing from you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: