1. L-D

    L-D New Member

    Jul 14, 2008
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    Agent/publisher questions

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by L-D, Jul 14, 2008.

    Hi, I'm new here & have a number of questions I haven't yet found proper answers to. If anyone has any advice I'd be very appreciative!

    I've self-published a novel which won an award. It attracted the interest of some publishers in Europe when showcased at the Bologna Book Fair. I'm wondering what kind of letter to send them, or if there's a template out there like the ones for query letters. There seems to be a lack of information on how to deal with manuscript requests. Also, should I be perusing an agent while I wait to hear back, or should I wait to see what happens first? Finally, am I limited to working with agents in my own country, or can I contact ones in the US also?

  2. TWErvin2

    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

    Nov 30, 2006
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    Ohio, USA

    I do not believe that there is a query letter template for your particular circumstance out there--at least that I've come across. If I'm incorrect, then someone here will be certainly correct me.

    If some publishers were interested at the Bologna Book Fair, you would want to contact/mail those editors at those particular publishers directly (address the letter to those that requested your manuscript), reminding them of your book and their interest in it and where this interest took place (the specific book festival and date) and that they requested you to send them ___________ (whatever they requested...be it a copy of the book, a hard copy of the manuscript, a synopsis and first three chapter proposal, or whatever--if they requested anything).

    If your self-published book won an award, that may have some impact or drive interest, depending on the award--it depends on the weight or prestige the award carries, if any. If it does, mentioning it won't hurt.

    I think that with a self-published book, what will most interest traditional publishers and agents would be sales. If you sold 5000 books, they would be very interested, especially if over a short period (year or less). If you sold a small fraction of that, probably not, but who knows for sure.

    Of course, there are so many variables out there...such as the type of novel, any niche markets, your platform (if you have one), etc., it is difficult to for me say with any certainty. It could be your personality and the editors' view that you're a good salesman for your book that caught their attention, in addition to the perceived quality of your novel.

    Good luck.

  3. ParanormalWriter

    ParanormalWriter Contributing Member

    Jul 11, 2008
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    The above advice is right on. All I would add is that if your material was specifically requested, be sure and mark your package "Requested Materials" so it doesn't wind up in the dreaded slush pile.

    As to agents, you'll probably want to start out looking for an agent close to home, but if you can't find one, or for other reasons think it would be beneficial to look farther abroad, I know there are plenty of U.S. agents who take on clients from other countries.

    When to contact an agent is up to you, but there's no harm in building a list of possibilities while you wait to hear back from this publisher. I would tend not to start querying agencies yet on this project until you hear more, however.

    One more thing, even if the publisher's answer is unfavorable in the end, be sure and mention their interest in the future when querying agents. They will be interested to know if your book has already attracted some attention. :)
  4. mammamaia

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Nov 21, 2006
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    Coquille, Oregon
    what award did it win?.. as the bologna fair is for children's books, i'm assuming yours is one... if so, and if you have only that one book to offer, i doubt most agents would be interested, as they can't make money on a single children's picture book...

    if it's not a picture book, but a novel for the YA market, that may not apply, but i still think you'd do best approaching the publishers who showed interest and see if any of them want to see the ms and/or offer you a contract...

    once you have more tangible interest, such as a request to publish it, you could then approach agents, telling them you have 'serious' interest and that may snag one, who would then be able to secure you a better deal than you can get on your own...

    this all depends on what you mean by 'attracted interest'... did their reps seek you out and speak to you about buying reprint rights?... or what?...

    i'd ditto the advice above, as well...

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