Do Publishing Scouts Consider Self-Published Books?

If you self-publish a novel, what are the chances an agent or publisher will stumble upon it and make you an offer?

This was a question from Quora that I answered. If you’d like to follow me on Quora, head over here to keep up to date with my literary journey.


Hi! My name is Christopher Sergi. I’m a novelist and a blogger going through the same journey you are: being a writer! Feel free to comment your thoughts below on the topics that come up in this tutorial, for not only do I want you to be a better writer, but I do too! We can learn and have fun together. Want to know more about me? Click here to read my bio, or follow me on Instagram to join me on my adventures. 😉


Easy BurritosAs a self published author myself, I always had this inkling in the back of my head that one day, just perhaps, I’d write the most incredible novel, put nothing into the marketing of it since I’m so broke, and out of the blue, but sheer luck, an agent or publisher may just email me with an offer to traditional publish.

But let’s face it, the chances of this happening are pretty slim. Not impossible, but slim.

Self published authors are on the rise thanks to platforms such as Amazon. This does also mean there is a potential for work to be found or scouted, but it can also result in market over-saturation, and when a market is over-saturated, it can be tough to stand out from the crowd.

Whilst this is not impossible, it’s highly unlikely. You may be wondering about novels such as Fifty Shades of Grey, where E.L James was in a sense scouted for her adult fan fiction of the Twilight novels. This is a rare exception, but it was scouted nonetheless for its timing in a market that was ready for an genre based off an already successful concept.

The surest way for any self published novel or novelist to be scouted is if they are ranking high on search engines including Amazon, where sales and reviews speak volumes, they have a strong social media presence, or they have invested into their marketing strategy before launch. It’s unlikely a scout will take interest if a self published novel is not performing.

So if you’re interested in being scouted, the best thing to do is have a complete polished novel that you have marketed correctly and is seeing a good return of your investment. It won’t hurt either to have a good position in various online communities where your image as an author is visible. After all, any scout from any agency or publisher must be confident they can make money by working with you. It’s all about business at the end of the day.


AUTOMOTIVEI really hope this has helped in your journey as a writer. I know there is a lot of misinformation out there, and like any business, self-publishing must be viewed as such. If you’re interested in hearing about my own journey as a writer and literary student, sign up to my newsletter! I’d love to have you along for the journey!

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