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A Look at Traditional Publishing

There was a time when Traditional Publishing was the only game in town. Self-Publishing and Indie Publishing were not even on the horizon. It was during those times when the great publishing houses were founded and grew.

And they had the power.

Traditional Publishing is still a powerhouse. Yes, they have credible competition from both self-publishers and indie publishers. But the big publishing houses still wield a lot of power. They still attract the big name authors.


Because they have the power to influence markets; they have the power to get the author’s message out; and they have the power to connect with Hollywood and the television industry. In other words, they can make things happen.

But that power also makes them arbiters of what is good content and what is not good content. They can reject a perfectly good manuscript out of hand. They can insist on changes that the author may not want. In other words, their power can be pervasive.

Want to get a traditional publisher anyhow? First you need an agent. Hardly any traditional publisher will accept unsolicited manuscripts. A great many insist you have an agent. But getting an agent is difficult.

How do you get an agent?

You, the author, need to do some digging and answer hard questions For instance, what is the genre you’re writing in? Agents are generally genre specific. They may handle more than one genre but rarely all. They specialize in certain genres. Then, like the traditional publishers, they wield great power. They know the publishers of their genres. So they know what those publishers want in content and quality. So they only accept manuscripts they feel are marketable to the publishers.

It can take months or years to find the right agent. An agent that not only you want, but wants you. And then it may take months or years for the agent to get the right publisher for you. In other words, it is possible that unless you are already a big name it could take years to get published. And don’t count on getting strong royalties unless you are a big name.

Are you against traditional publishers?

No, but I am not interested in going after any for myself. There are too many negatives or at least what I consider negatives. But if you want to go after one, then be prepared. You need to do your homework, get a good agent, and be prepared to wait. It is possible that the agent and the publishing house may read your manuscript, love it, and really push it. If that happens, you’ll be the happiest man/woman on the planet.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship to the Stars I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

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R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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