The bad news is that, with the turmoil in the traditional publishing and the advent of BookSkan, it’s nearly impossible for a mid-career author whose last two books weren’t bestsellers to re-launch his career via the “right agent” and “right publisher” scenario that some of us still remember.
The good news is that the Internet is the wild-west-and-gold-rush-combined of opportunity for authors, and if this is your status you should proceed immediately to ePublishing.
Think about it this way: if you got extremely lucky and found an agent to go up stream for you, and that agent succeeded in getting you a modest advance (one under $150,000), you’re next likely experience would be hoping against hope that the new publisher would market your book. Most likely, they would not do anything extraordinary, and would look to you to market it for yourself and them. If you succeed in selling 10,000 copies of your hardcover or 50,000 of your paperback, they MIGHT then jump on board—if the ship hasn’t sailed by then.
That means your re-launch success will depend almost entirely on marketing.
In today’s world, where print and media marketing (with the exception of radio, which is still a bargain and something you can do yourself), are prohibitive for most writers, that means internet marketing is your best hope.
Internet marketing means hiring a publicist—and there are some great and economical ones out there like Jeff Rivera—who specializes in the internet.
If you’re going to do this, why not ePublish yourself, and earn 70% instead of 10%?
The logic seems pretty inarguable. If you sell a bunch of copies this way, guess what: the traditional publishers will pursue you instead of the other way around, and we can cross that bridge when you come to it.