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Submitting novels to agents.

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knikkki



Joined: 13 Jun 2005
Posts: 3145
Location: Davis, CA
Submitting novels to agents.  Reply with quote  

With the thousands of literary agencies out there, how does one even know where to start sending out self-addressed-stamped rejection letter envelopes?

If somebody already asked and answered this question, (12 times) I apologize, but there's so many posts below I thought I'd just toss the question out there and see what sticks.

P.S. It's fiction, it's parody, it's autobiographical, it uses the "F" word on occasion, it's creative, and I find it quite funny ... but then, it is my own humor.
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Post Mon Jun 13, 2005 1:50 pm   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Lauren



Joined: 07 Mar 2004
Posts: 1582
Location: Massachusetts
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Hiya knikkki,

A caveat - I'm not published (yet!), so CM and some of our other authors around here can give you much better advice from the point of view of someone who's been there, done that, but I've been in the industry for a while on the publishing side, so I hope this is helpful. Go refill your coffee mug. It gets long.

First bit of advice you'll get - pick up a copy of The Writers' Market. It breaks things down by genre and lets you know who is accepting submissions - plus how to submit them.

Something very, very important - follow the guidelines. Whether you're submitting to an agent or directly to a publisher, if you don't do as you're asked, your manuscript may very well be returned unread. Usually it's just a matter of a self-addressed, stamped envelope and certain formatting, and those will be outlined on the publisher or agent's website.

Now, for some links:

Teresa Nielsen Hayden is an editor at Tor. She has immensely useful info for writers on her blog (I can hear the board people groaning now. I recommend her a lot. But hey, she gives good advice.) A few entries to check out: On the Getting of Agents and Slushkiller.

Also, if you have an agent in mind and want to make sure they're for real, see if they're listed at Preditors and Editors - or ask about the person you're thinking of signing with over on the Bewares and Background Checks board at Absolute Write. The people at AW look out for new writers and will answer your questions honestly. There are many authors on there who will tell it to you straight - Ann Crispin and Victoria Strauss are two of the authors on the board, and they run a site called Writer Beware that is also a great resource.

And there's a whole forum over there at AW called Ask the Agent in which an honest-to-god agent will answer questions.

Another very important rule, that you'll see a lot: Money flows toward the author (phrase originally coined by James D. MacDonald, I believe, another regular over at AW. Uncle Jim is awesome). Agent's fees should come out of selling your book to a publisher. If they're asking you to pay up front for mailing things out, or if they want you to fork over $500 to have someone edit your book, that's a huge red flag. You shouldn't pay a single cent to have your book published (unless you're self-publishing, but I don't think that was your question) - the agents' fees should be a percentage of the sale of the book to a publisher; not something out of your pocket before anyone has made an offer or even reviewed the manuscript.

Also, a lot of publishers say "No unsolicited manuscripts" - but (as long as it doesn't say "no unagented manuscripts") that just means send a query letter first. If they like the query, they may request a manuscript - which boom, just like that, means your manuscript is now solicited. Smile

I hope that helps a little. Sorry it got so long.
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Post Tue Jun 14, 2005 7:27 am   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website AIM Address ICQ Number
Dr. Schadenfreude



Joined: 07 Jun 2005
Posts: 9
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Wow, thanks for those links. Absolute Write is great. Lots of good advice and just friendly chatter about writing there.

Post Tue Jun 14, 2005 9:02 am   View user's profile Send private message MSN Messenger
knikkki



Joined: 13 Jun 2005
Posts: 3145
Location: Davis, CA
$500.00 for editing? I'd pay twice that!  Reply with quote  

I have a huge tense problem in my book that I'm not looking forward to fixing. Seriously, THANKS!!!! That was a great bunch of information, love the Slushkiller article it's hilarious. Appreciate the time you took to put that info out there.

Nicole
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Post Tue Jun 14, 2005 9:29 am   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
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