1. kingzilla
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    kingzilla Senior Member

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    Canada-US Agents

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by kingzilla, May 15, 2012.

    So, in case you didn't know, Vancouver BC Canada where I live, has like two agencies. None actually would represent me, even if I did try to send a query, because they either won't accept YA books or fantasy books. So now I am in a predicament.
    I am wondering if US agents, say in Washington State, would accept a writer who lives in Vancouver (Just a half an hour drive from Seattle to the border)?


    Thanks in advance, Kingzilla
     
  2. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Have you considered agents elsewhere in Canada? I don't think that your agent needs to be geographically close to you.
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    The primary consideration is the market the publisher sells to. If you deal with a US publisher, they will most likely expect it to be written in US English. There are spelling differences between Canadian and US English.

    Some may have submissions editors who can evaluate Canadian English, though.
     
  4. MissRis
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    MissRis Contributing Member

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    This is a really good question - I live in Quebec.

    I hadn't even considered the possibility that an agent would represent me simply because I'm Canadian. I assumed it wouldn't matter - a MS is a MS.
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    facts:
    most canadian agents prefer to rep canadian authors, as the work they have to offer is most often aimed at canadian publishers and readers/bookbuyers...

    however, if your book will sell just as well below the border, then by all means query both canadian and us agents... the few spelling differences won't matter till the book gets to the publishing stage and it's easy enough to change them then... us agents won't turn down a marketable ms just because it has some extraeous 'u's in it and 's'es where we'd put 'z's...

    there are far fewer agents and publishers 'up there' than 'down below' and it doesn't matter where you live... most published authors do not live in the same city, much less the same state/province as their agents...

    as a matter of fact, i had a canadian agent in my old life, when i lived in the us and wrote for the us market... he was way the hell and gone in edmonton, alberta and i was on the east coast in connecticut... didn't make a bit of difference...
     
  6. MissRis
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    MissRis Contributing Member

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    Mammamia - great advice as always! Thanks :)
     
  7. kingzilla
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    kingzilla Senior Member

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    I usually write in US English, we are taught to write that way (kind of). If I can contact US agents, that makes my lif a lot easier.
     
  8. MissRis
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    MissRis Contributing Member

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    I hate writing in American English -- it just looks weird. I like "u's" in my colours and neighbours. LOL
     
  9. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    The suuperfluuous U ;)
     
  10. kingzilla
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    kingzilla Senior Member

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    Color or colour, humor or humour? To be honest, I really don't care what I use, but I have always used US english until recently in school so I use it in my novels.
     
  11. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Seriously, you should use the dialect of English you know best, and plan on that defining your publishing market. If you want to target a different market, you will need to become proficient in that dialect.

    Some readers won't care, but many are bothered reading an English dialect other than their own.
     
  12. kingzilla
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    kingzilla Senior Member

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    I want to get published in the states hopefully. I wrote my book in US English.
     
  13. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    And be aware that dialect doesn't just mean including a "u" here and there, or other differences in spelling. When I first moved from Canada to the USA, I went to a restaurant and asked the waitress for some extra serviettes. She had no idea what I was talking about. "Napkins," I explained.

    Also, a Canadian will say "Where's Billy?" An American will say "Where's Billy at?" I've lived in the USA for over fifteen years and that unnecessary "at" still grates on my nerves.

    :)
     
  14. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    That is regional. It is NOT universal among Americans.
     
  15. MissRis
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    MissRis Contributing Member

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    It's the ubiquitous argument between "soda" (American) versus "pop" (Canadian). I'm writing in Canadian English because as Cogito suggested, it's what I know. If and when I get an agent/publisher I'll do whatever they recommend. Think of JK Rowling -- I own Harry Potter in UK English -- and I once read an article when the US English edition was released -- frankly, I thought it altered the narrative. They're British and they should say things like "pudding," "chips," and "crisps" not "dessert," "fries," and "chips."

    Minstrel - Yeah, the "at" and "y'all" are really strange. My cousin is marrying a girl from Colarado and I asked her in jest, "You don't really use y'all do you?" Assuming it's like Americans making fun of Canadians for saying "Eh" and "Aboot." But she admitted to using it fairly regularly, which baffled me. I can't think of a time that I've ever needed to say, "You all" enough to use a contraction like "Y'all."
     
  16. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Again, regional. In various areas of the US, such a beverage is called pop, tonic, soda, or even a coke ("Hey, gimme a coke." "Okay, what kind?").

    Likewise, a sandwich on an elongated split loaf can be a sub, a torpedo, a hoagie, a grinder, or a po'boy. It's not enough to speak American. Sometimes you have to speak South Carolina or Maine, or even South LA or East LA.
     
  17. kingzilla
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    kingzilla Senior Member

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    From what I have seen, it is a lot about the culture you're in. The big things - the almighty 'U' - and such are the universal changes in the two different version of the language, but really, in the end, along as your careful, it's all english in the end.
    Now when you start popping in french references, then your pushing it. :p
     

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