Author Puts Novel Online For Free... And Gets A Book Deal

from the but-free-never-works dept

alex was the first of a few of you to send over the story of how author Marta Acosta posted her "young adult vampire novel" online for free at Scribd, where it became a top download with tons of great reviews... and that helped her get a book deal with Tor, who will be publishing the book in hardcover shortly. Once again, another example of how "obscurity" is a bigger problem than "piracy" for most content creators.

Filed Under: books, free, marta acosta
Companies: tor

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  1. identicon
    Marta Acosta, 14 Jul 2010 @ 11:38am

    OMG, I'm on a tech site!

    Hello, gentledudes, one of my geekish pals alerted me that you were yammering about my book deal so I thought I'd comment.

    Actually, I went the very traditional (arduous, time consuming)route to first publication, which included getting a degree in lit/writing, being a freelancer for major newspapers, and writing for non-profits.

    You don't need to have a book deal to get an agent. You need a great query letter and a manuscript that is marketable. This is not the same thing as a manuscript that is brilliant. You can have a wretched book that is really hot and get an agent, or a great book that has no audience and be rejected. You can land a plane in the Hudson and get a book deal.

    You should never ever pay an agent. Legitimate agents may occasionally charge for copying fees, but they never charge to represent you. Your agent should be a member of AAR.

    It is counterintuitive to give away something for free if you want to sell it, but it can work for publicity. I posted my book out of pure frustration. At that point, I wanted my young adult gothic to be read more than I wanted it to be sold because I knew it was as good as the comedies-of-manners that I'd had published. (Yes, they have vampires, because I was spoofing the cliches, but that's another story.)

    I don't know that I'd recommend this route to someone who is unpublished.

    As for rights, I've retained the copyright and will pull it from Scribd soon. The manuscript will be rewritten after I've gotten notes from my editor. It will be polished, copyedited, proofed, etc. In my experience, a final book can be markedly different from the first version.

    Now can one of you guys tell me why my videos won't load properly? I get these weird flashes on my screen and the little clock ticks away and it all confuses and terrifies me.

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