1. Lmc71775
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    Lmc71775 Active Member

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    Traditional Big Publishers Accepting Unagented YA Submissions

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Lmc71775, Sep 16, 2013.

    I compiled another list of YA Publishers accepting unagented submissions and that also pay advances. These are the bigger publishers including Harper Collins, Hachette and Simon & Schuster.

    http://writingsbylisamcronkhite.blog...gented-ya.html

    Hope this helps. If you have any questions or have suggestions to add to the list, I'd love to hear from you.
     
  2. Roxie
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    Roxie Active Member

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    Cool info. Thanks for sharing!
     
  3. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Seems to be happening more and more often. At some point, you have to wonder about the value of an agent versus just hiring a lawyer to review/negotiate a contract on an hourly basis. It looks like the main advantage agents provide are their personal contacts within the industry.
     
  4. Lmc71775
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    Lmc71775 Active Member

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    There are advantages and disadvantages in having agents, just like there's pros and cons to many things. A good agent will do more than just have special contacts and negotiate contracts. They could help you in the editing process as well, while other agents won't touch it. You have some who also help you with marketing and publicity. There are many other things good agents do. But the keyword here is "good" agent. Then there are agents that suck. I had two different agents for two different novels and while one was okay, she was slow and only sent to a handle full of places, then cut me loose. Then I had my second agent that did absolutely nothing but slow me down completely and totally wasted my time. That agent still to this day hasn't represented a book by a major publisher yet. She's got a lot of smaller independent publishers, but authors can submit directly and it would be a total waste if not even a problem in the end that the money flows to the agent first, then you. That's just nuts. To me, agents like that should be wiped out and shouldn't be agenting if you can not get your author into the major or even mid-size publishers (like Sourcebooks, or Soho Crime/Soho Teen) that are giving good advances. What's the point when you can do it yourself? Or even self-publish?

    If you have an agent and she or he sent it to only a handful of top publishers, then dropped her pitching to smaller pubs, you're in trouble. The agent, whoever it is should work their ass off to get you in the biggest and best publisher they could find. More and more people are self-publishing and doing better than an author with an agent and a small pub. This by no means that agents aren't better and worse. All I'm saying here is that there's an alternative route to getting published and STILL getting the publisher and the advance you desire.

    But there are small publishers out there that don't pay advances, and are doing good too. It all comes down learning how to search for the right publisher and not settling for less, not until you worked your way down.
     
    Thornesque and TessaT like this.
  5. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I imagine that most agents will negotiate with the publisher for more money because more money for the author means more money for the agent. As far as I know, a lawyer who looks over the contract won't negotiate with the publisher. So that's another good thing about getting an agent.
     
  6. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    A lawyer will negotiate the contract if that's what you hire them to do. I've done a bit of that myself, both for books and screenplays. On the other hand, if a client just wants a review with my comments, I'll do that. But what I don't have, and what good agents should have, are a lot of personal contracts until editors and other in the industry so that I can help clients get a contract in the first place. My job comes when the two parties have already agreed they want to do business together.
     
  7. Lmc71775
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    Lmc71775 Active Member

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    And in doing so, you pay the flat fee for that one time thing. If you get an agent involved, they will want 15% of the advance and all the royalties there after. And the book money flows to the agency first, then to you. Again, that may cause problems.

    Unfortunately, there's not enough good agents to go around. And there's way too many small publishers that wind up being nothing but shit and go bankrupt and take their authors with them. And a good agent won't want to suck off of authors that are only getting mediocre contacts from small publishers. If their marketing and distribution isn't good, you won't make many sales...and could you see that with an agent taking an additional 15%? Not. It's either all or nothing when it comes to an agent. Having a bad agent is worse then not having an agent at all.
     
  8. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Interesting. A couple of questions come to mind. First, is this recent phenomenon only within the realm of YA fiction? If so, why YA in particular? Seems to me the issues noted above are not genre-specific. Also, I noticed that the first three publishers on the list were in Australia. Is this something that is more common in Australia than elsewhere?
     
  9. Lmc71775
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    Lmc71775 Active Member

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    There's several publishers open to adult submissions also. But the YA imprints are popping up everywhere since it's becoming such a lucrative business with avid readers. Studies proved that not only the intended age group of 12-18 year old readers, are buying the books but in fact over 55% are over 18, with 28% of that being people between the ages of 30 to 44. And of those adults 78% of them were buying for themselves.

    Here's an article on Publisher's Weekly: http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/childrens/childrens-industry-news/article/53937-new-study-55-of-ya-books-bought-by-adults.html

    As for Australia being more open to unagented submissions, my guess is U.S. is larger and then creates more slush piles for publishers, closing the doors to amateurs and only accepting better quality agented submissions so they don't have to experience an endless workload. But not all agents know if your book is going to be a best seller. And having an agent doesn't necessarily guarantee you a publisher either. If you were savvy enough, you could search on your own, publish directly and not have to cut a 15% commission deal with an agent.
     
  10. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    And therefore, I would think, much less chance of a major house accepting unagented submissions. In a heavier market, the agent-as-gatekeeper is probably that much more highly prized, especially since the fee is paid by the writer.

    True. In the US, it has often been said that it may actually be easier to land a publisher than an agent. Up to this point, I've not been convinced that's true, but times do change. Once I have finished my current project, I intend to search carefully before I begin to query, but it's always good to see how the industry is emerging.
     
  11. Lmc71775
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    Lmc71775 Active Member

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    Getting published by a major publisher that isn't accepting unsolicited manuscripts is near impossible, but not completely unheard of. It can happen too, believe it or not. It's slim and risky (emailing to editors directly like that and still looking for an agent closes those places the agent could have originally have sent it to if you had the agent from the beginning.)

    BUT, if you were trying hard enough, and submitted it to an editor of a place that doesn't accept unagented submissions, that doesn't completely mean that editor will in fact never respond to you. Unless the publishing company has a strict policy, and if the editor has some wiggle room to make those decisions for the company, they will respond and ask for more if they're interested. It's happened to me with places like Candlewick and Delacorte (although runs a contest each year for unagented subs) doesn't normally take unagented sub all year around.

    Basically anything can happen. But you bring up a good point. Researching carefully will help tremendously. Authors should be fully aware of what they're getting into when signing with an agent and or publisher. I could suggest recommended places as to where you can find out if a publisher or agent is reputable, but I'm not sure if I can do that here.
     
  12. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    I think what most novice writers are looking for is a reliable list of agents/publishers for the kind of work they are looking to sell. Editors and Predators is one site, but probably more useful once one is looking at a specific agent or publisher.
     
  13. Lmc71775
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    Lmc71775 Active Member

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    Yeah, the P&E doesn't have much info, just if a publisher is recommended or not. But it is a great resource. Another one is the Bewares and Background Checks on publishers and agents on Absolute Write, in the forums. Publisher's Marketplace, Querytracker and Aqentquery are some more.
     
  14. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Thanks you.
     
  15. Smitty91
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    Smitty91 Member

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    This is awesome! Thanks for posting! :) I'm looking to get an agent, but I think this will help me greatly in the meantime.
     
  16. Lmc71775
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    Lmc71775 Active Member

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    Sure thing Smitty. Just remember, aim high when you first submit and do try agents first. This is just for the next step down. There's a lot of authors that stop if they don't connect with an agent, and I'm just trying to show here that it can still be done without one.

    The reason to try to get an agent first is so that if you connect with the agent, they will have a clean slate as to where to send. Don't start submitting to both at the same time. There are several agents out there that go through the editing process with you before it's ready for submission, which will help boost the rate of acceptance. But not every agent does this.

    Once you do start submitting, make sure the agent is reputable first. As I've said before, a bad agent is worse than no agent at all. (Example, the agent holds you back by not submitting. And once you sign, unless you have an agreement, you can't send yourself during your duration of contract. Or the agent is submitting to less than favorable places, or the agent has poor communication. Or worse, the agent doesn't respond at all. Then you have to track that agent down for your submission list so you know where it's been. I've seen this on many writing boards all too often. This can all be erased if you didn't have an agent and were working solely on your own behalf. You would be in control then, and it's so much easier if that's the case. This is less likely to happen if you had a good, reputable agent on your side. So that's most important when querying for agents.)

    Good luck to you once you get there!
     

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