1. BradleyS
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    BradleyS New Member

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    Am I right or wrong?

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by BradleyS, Dec 26, 2011.

    Okay, if anybody here has being through the process of trying to get a novel published seriously then a word of advice on what I say and whether it is true or not would be greatly appreciated.

    When the novel is finished, spell checked and reviewed a billion times over...What exactly do I do with it?

    It is called a manuscript, am I right?

    Basically, will I need to print off the manuscript on good quality paper etc a couple of hundred times, copyright it maybe to ensure they don't steal it? (But I believe publishers do that themselves anyway, don't they?)

    All I'm saying is...the point of it all when done is print, print and print the manuscript and then send it out to every publisher known to man until the responses start coming back.

    Is this true? Or am I completely wrong?
     
  2. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    it depends on where you live, I guess. Where I live it's common practise to send the ms directly to the publishers, but I understand that in the U.K and the U.S the normal procedure is finding and querying the agents first, not sending it to the publishers, the agent will take care of that once you've found one that is willing to take on your work. As far as I understand once you've sold your manuscript to the publisher they take care of the copyright (please correct me if I'm wrong, someone), or rather the registration of it, it's automatically copyrighted "when it exist in a tangible form". I have to pass the question to somebody else on how to approach the agents, and what you send first and then, I'm not familiar with it, unfortunately as here we have a different way of doing it.
     
  3. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    My understanding, at least in the US, is that most publishers work through agents - they will not accept unsolicited ms otherwise. But check their submission guidelines - and follow them religiously. If they do require agent submissions, you have to write a query and send that to appropriate agents with a sample of the work (and follow their guidelines religiously). There are many, many sites/forums online which will help you write and critique your query (always good to get feedback from others on this). Please note also that many agents do *not* want a hardcopy - so hold off printing anything until you know you have to. It's also a good idea not to send it (query) out to more than a handful of agents at a time - even though you'll have to be prepared for rejections, you sometimes get useful feedback that will help improve the query for the next batch (ie, don't burn all your bridges at once).

    Your story is copyrighted as soon as you write it. Google 'copyright USA' and you'll find more information than you will ever need on that.

    Basically, if your story is now complete, take the time to learn as much about the submission process as possible - guaranteed it involves more than can be answered by this one discussion.
     
  4. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    I agree with what Tesoro and Shadowwalker are saying, above.

    If you happen to have a science fiction or fantasy manuscript, I do think Baen still takes un-agented work.
     
  5. iabanon
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    iabanon Member

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    look at publishers websites first. they will state if they accept unsolicited manuscripts or not. do not send out at the same time. you send one at a time and wait for response. it is slow and unfair, but that's what you do. they get annoyed if they go through the whole process of deciding they want to know you only to find out you've taken a contract with someone else. once you've written something it is automatically copyrighted.
    what you need to do is try to get an agent. that is nigh on impossible, but it's the adversity we writers have to deal with.
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ...yes, which we refer to as 'ms' [plural: mss]...

    ...decent quality, to stand up to being handled and handed around, but not necessarily the most expensive 'good'...

    ...not unless you hate trees and love wasting money... copy only as much as is requested, should you be lucky enough to have your queries generate requests for either sample chapters/pages, or a full ms...

    ...if you want to be a professional/published writer, you to learn the business side of the art... your work is automatically copyrighted as soon as you finish it... all that's done after that is to 'register' the already existing copyright... and only amateurs do that before submitting novels or short stories [it's different for screenplays and songs, which are generally registered/archived with wga]... study the ins and outs of copyright here: www.copyright.gov

    ...wrong... first you must send out query letters... and only when/if agents/publishers you query ask to see sample chapters/pages or the complete ms would you print and send any of the ms... plus, you should query/submit only to agents and publishers who handle the kind of work you have to offer...

    ...also, for fiction, it's best to try to snag an agent first, as they'll send out the ms to publishers for you...
     
  7. BradleyS
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    BradleyS New Member

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    Thank you all for the responses, this really has cleared up any confusion I had before about the process. I suppose what I will need to do now is have a very good research into which publishers and agents certain books which I enjoy the most and are similar to mine in a way, an try my luck with them first.

    Thank you everyone.
     
  8. L a u r a
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    L a u r a Senior Member

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    Just in case you didn't see this sticky, I thought I'd post it for you: http://www.writingforums.org/showthread.php?t=3602

    It lists an awesome website for finding an agent and how to write a query letter. Good luck with the rest of the publishing process--and congrats on finishing your ms. :)
     
  9. darkhaloangel
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    darkhaloangel Active Member

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    If you are worried about copy writing your work - it is technically yours - but to prove in a court of law that your wrote it, you go down to a lawyers office and they store a copy in their office. There's a nominal fee, but I doubt that it's much. Plus if you do have people infringing your copy right you'll need the lawyers later.

    Usually you email, or post the first three chapters of the novel, with a cv, head shot, and cover letter, and a summary of the novel to an agent. They will then approach a publisher.

    Although people have made their millions self publishing ebooks on the kindle - who get 70% royalities, and later get publishing deals for print publishing.
     
  10. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Um - yeah, not that many have made millions... or even hundreds... or gotten commercial publishing deals because of it :rolleyes: (Just a little reality check)
     
  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    for info on copyright laws in the us [which are similar to the same in all countries that are signatory to the berne convention]: www.copyright.gov
     
  12. darkhaloangel
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    darkhaloangel Active Member

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    Nothing I have said is erroneous - and I am not in the US. Deal with it. You seem particularly pugnacious. Although, I will concede 'filing with a court baliff' is how it is termed on the internet.

    There is no set was of quering with publisher - it's individual. I listed some of the things you may need. None of which are wrong.

    Writers have made millions on kindle publishing - I neither said it was likely nor advisable merely that it has been done? I don't understand why you would challenege this, although you have blatently not done your research.

    You strike me as someone who as learned the word erroneous and seem determined to use it!
     
  13. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    rude retorts and personal putdowns are not allowed here... fyi, i learned the word 'erroneous' probably well before your parents were born, young lady... i also learned good manners and did not insult you in any way, as you have done... i specifically noted that my comments were in re the process in the us, so i owe you no apology, though you certainly owe me one... but i won't hold my breath waiting for it...
     

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