1. Jeeven Hugh
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    Jeeven Hugh New Member

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    Book done. What now?

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Jeeven Hugh, Oct 30, 2012.

    I finished my book and would like to publish it. Should I email queries to find an agent? Any suggestions on which agent I should email. My book is a young adult novel about a dragon.

    Thanks.
     
  2. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    1 - set the book aside for a couple of weeks or more. Then go back and look at it.
    2 - if possible, have some neutral parties critique it.
    3 - Read it out loud. Edit and polish.

    While you're letting it simmer, getting it critiqued, and polishing it, check out websites that give advice on writing query letters. Start doing your homework re: agents - make sure you're going to submit to agents who handle your type of story, are accepting queries, and have a decent reputation (there are websites like Editors and Predators that can steer you away from scam artists and other dubious outfits). Check out independent publishers as well - but again, do your homework.

    You've worked hard on your book - don't let impatience or lack of knowledge about publishing throw that away.
     
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  3. steve119
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    steve119 Senior Member

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    As Shadowwalker said step away from it for a while then come back and read it with fresh eye's to double check it and triple check it and make sure it is a polished as it can be. then start looking for agents when you are absolutely sure it is finnished.
     
  4. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    Time to do like a piece of meat you've cooked-let it rest. Then the hard work of editing it begins. "Novels are never written on the first draft, but by editing. It can be discouraging when you've edited it six times and it's still not right."-Michael Chrichton.

    That's when you really write your book is during editing.
     
  5. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Wouldn't be too excited yet lol. In my own naivety I thought I was "nearly finished" when I printed my MS out for a "final polish". This "final polish" is now my 2 edit and I'm on page 30...... and I know there're a few more such "final polishes" to come yet, and I still have to send it out to my betas after that, and haven't even written a synopsis.

    All in all, well done, but hold your horses because you've got a loooong way to go still :( My advice is print it out and start hacking it to pieces.
     
  6. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    After it's given a chance to get out the system. If not, then nothing seems worthy of being cut out. That's why I wrote my second novel while PR rested. By the time you do your first rewrite, then copy edit, you're mentally ready to hit the hard copy edit-where the real fun starts. Good rule of thumb: second draft=first draft-10%.

    After that, it becomes polishing, reorganizing, and getting things into the right order along with any characterization you need to add. Then...you guessed it, another hard copy edit.
     
  7. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Sooo glad I do all that along the way! :D
     
  8. Fivvle
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    Fivvle Contributing Member

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    You got that straight from Stephen King! It's not wonder he churns out so many doorstops.
     
  9. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    Oh, I've chopped more then 10% to be honest. I'm taking anything from 12-26% of words per chapter, depends on how long the chapter. As for King's doorstops, if you write 300k of words, then you'll get a doorstop. ;)

    He reminds me of David Weber...writes words just to write words. As for us, 10% is a good start. If one cuts about 5-10% of words per draft, you'll have a tight manuscript after your third edit.

    How? Sit down with Word, get the word count on each paragraph, go through and edit it-and then recheck your word count. Anytime it goes down, you're more the likely doing a good job of tightening. Sometimes I will go up, but even if one cut two words per paragraph, it generally breaks into the 12-15% range. That's 30 words per page, on average, and in a 80k novel (at 250 words per page) you have 320 pages. That 30 words per page equals 9.6k words..which is 12%.

    And the amounts go up depending on the paragraphs. So, in a nutshell, there is some truth behind that statement.
     
  10. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Seems that some of us work the other way. My first drafts are short and pretty sketchy. I treat them almost like long outlines - they're there to tell me what my story's about. I happily rip big chunks out of them (10k words at a time, sometimes, on a novel-length piece, and I'm only one my second one of those) and write new material to bridge gaps. My second drafts are always longer than my first ones, and I've yet to crack 100k words in length.
     
  11. Thumpalumpacus
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    Thumpalumpacus Contributing Member

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    I heard that from my English comp prof way back in the last century. That's good advice for writing lean and tight.
     
  12. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    That sounds too mathematical for me. But then I revise as I go, so maybe I cut 10%, or maybe I add 30%, who knows... I don't worry about it, I guess.
     
  13. Jeeven Hugh
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    Jeeven Hugh New Member

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    I actually finished my novel in July and have been editing it since. I am on my third rewrite and should be done by the end of November.

    This is how I did it. How does my process sound

    1st write: Grammar and spelling and flow (Added 2 chapters because word count was too low and characters needed development; shortened many chapters)

    2nd write: Story line and grammar and flow and dialogue (Shortened chapters; read dialogue out loud)

    3rd write: Story line final polishes on flow and dialogue


    I read up on queries and tried to write them, but they just do not sound good enough for all the work I put into my book. Thanks for any advice.
     
  14. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    write a good query* and send it to all the legit agents who rep YA novels...

    *single page single-spaced in tnr 12pt

    business letter style, addressed to each named agent

    3 paragraphs:
    first for why you're querying this agent, plus title, word count, genre, market;

    second is compellingly written summary of your novel;

    third consists of any relevant paid writing credits you may have and/or expertise relevant to main subject/setting of the book, plus offer to send sample chapters or full ms on request and thanks for considering your work
     
  15. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    Depends on writing style. I'm very wordy at times, and concise at others, so I end up rewriting each chapter, making the story flow, get better description, then cut. It's always easier to cut when you have what you need in there. My novels are never more then 90-95k in length anyway, but there's always extra words, repetitive phrases, etc that can be cut. You'll find, once it's fully fleshed out, and then cut to remove the fat, that a good chunk of words disappear. That's where you can add various items to make your characters come to life. I'm running about 15k worlds less then my original draft. What am I using them for? You guessed it. Dialogue and ways to humanize characters and make them more compelling. There's always a way to make things work.
     
  16. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    Unfortunately, there's no way to run from math in this world. I suck at it, but nothing we do doesn't involve it in some way shape or another. :(
     

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