Using a Print-On-Demand Novel to Attract Literary Agents

Q: I’ve just published a Print-On-Demand novel, “Moral Vengeance” (Author House). I’ve been a broadcast journalist for 25 years and have covered military matters extensively. But unfortunately, neither my background or the fact that I’ve completed the novel has helped me find an agent to promote my work. Will publishing “Moral Vengeance” as a POD help? Should I send the published book to prospective agents or just repeat the q-letter process? -Rod


A:
I would never recommend that a writer publish a novel with a print-on-demand service when you haven’t been able to get an agent or regular publisher for it in the first place. Unless you can show substantial POD sales, in the hundreds at least, you’ll have a very tough time interesting an agent or publisher in reprint sales, as they will see the novel as an already published book that sold poorly.

But since it’s a done deal, be sure to let whoever you query know the book is in print. And just query, with perhaps a sample chapter to show your writing ability; don’t send the book unless they ask to see it.

Nina Graybill
Literary Lawyer and Former Literary Agent