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How Indie Authors Can Work With Trade Publishers

Jackie Collins Independent Author

Jackie Collins now successfully combining self-publishing and trade-publishing

Today, in the fifth and final part of our ‘Which Distributor’ series, Orna Ross explains how independent authors can successfully work with trade publishers to distribute some of their books.

At a writers conference, an agent and writer are putting out tentative feelers towards each other. The agent is from a venerable company, with a long list of illustrious clients. The writer is an independent author, who has earned her indie spurs by successfully self-publishing two ebook thriller titles (with more on the way) and building a vibrant and growing fanbase, both for her books and her writing advice website.

The agent wants to sign this author, who is young, hardworking, full of ideas, with many books ahead of her. The author is actively seeking a trade publisher, because she wants a third party to handle print.  For her, print takes too long and requires the sort of activities that don't interest her. It's the one thing trade publishing can do better than she can do for herself, she believes.

The two talk, they seem to understand each other. Back home, the agent sends over an  Author Representation Agreement but before she's read too far, the writer is concerned. A clause states that the agent will

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