1. Gonissa
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    Gonissa Contributing Member

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    Chicken Soup for the Unpublished

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Gonissa, Mar 23, 2012.

    So yeah. I'm feeling kind of discouraged right now. I don't really know anything about getting published, and even though I work in a bookstore, all the books I read don't really seem to talk much about the publishing process. So, who here has been published? Share the story of how you got your book in print.
     
  2. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's not in print yet. (could've had it epubbed twice). My children's stories were printed in a magazine from a contact on an internet forum. In all successful cases so far they have contacted me based on work they had seen on the internet.

    My own feeble attempts have brought comments and not much else (those actually being a good sign as these days you are lucky to even get a rejecting letter). In the UK it is a case of buying the Writers and Artists Yearbook and working through it, in the US have you tried Querytracker or Duotropes (for short stories?) both are websites. Have got a synopsis? (those beggars can be tough to write some published authors refer to them as sucknopsis for a reason).
     
  3. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Not in print yet - still working on my first novel haha. But I hired myself an experience editor who, as part of the package, will basically push my MS out to agents he knows and recommend me. So I feel hopeful. Fingers crossed it'll actually happen!
     
  4. Gonissa
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    Gonissa Contributing Member

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    Sounds like more than one of us need some "chicken soup".

    So Elga, tell me in a little more detail. What sort of legal stuff did you have to deal with? Forms to sign or anything?
     
  5. Mario
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    Mario New Member

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    As stupid as this sounds, I think publishing should be a secondary objective! Continue writing if it's something that you love, constantly improve, and most importantly, make good decisions! I think you are bound to get discovered if you meet that criteria, no? Something about the world wouldn't seem right otherwise! Good luck, my friend.
     
  6. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    I was offered a deal a couple of years ago, on an unfinished novella in a language other than English, which I was posting on my blog. Basically, the publisher (well known in their country) wrote to me, gave me their details and we communicated via skype and email about the details and if I was happy, I would have gone and meet with them, get a solicitor to look over the deal and then look for an agent etc. I was offered a standard deal for advance and royalties (it wasn't a particularly lucrative deal but it could have been if the book sold well).

    The reason why I didn't go with it was that the writing was just practice. It wasn't, in my opinion, good enough, it wasn't something I wanted to make my "debut" with. Also, the editor was immediately trying to put a "spin" on my story, a logical spin but, I'll be a cliche here, contrary to my artistic vision. I envisaged for it to have a feminist message and his spin would have demeaned it into a bit of a titillating monstrosity. Ok, I'm exaggerating, I could have negotiated a nice compromise, but in the end that whole experience served me as encouragement that if I put more effort into it, I can write a publishable story I'll be happy with.
    So, that's been my experience with publishers so far.

    I am about third of the way into my novel now, it looks like it might be a serial (I'm still working things out as I go), so I plan to perfect the manuscript to the best of my ability first, then write a cover letter and start sending synopsis and chapter samples to various publishers in the UK and maybe US. They are easy enough to find, there are all sorts of websites and publications listing them and main genres they deal with as well as famous clients etc, depending what country you are in.
     
  7. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    With the children's stories yes there were forms - I have to be a bit cloak and dagger about them because of where they are released. My wages work out at around £15 a story, but in the countries it is based that is a reasonable wage and the magazine has a very, very large circulation. The main reason for being cagey is my gay detectives and my innuendo would not be compatible with the places the magazines circulate. It only takes me about five hours to write the children's stories these days so it is £3 an hour lol.

    I received the contracts for the other two. One I turned down because I felt the author/publisher percentages weren't good enough, but I was tempted because they were going to illustrate it. I'd love to see Mayhem (YA Fantasy) with illustrations.

    The other I was too ill (I have fibromylagia) to deal with and couldn't face the idea of doing edits and having to write a second book etc and a small part of me was disappointed it wouldn't be print. It was a good deal though.

    My next challenge is to get it ready for Strange Chemistry (The YA imprint of Angry Robot which is the fantasy/sci-fi/paranormal/horror imprint of Harper Collins) they are having an open door in April (16th-30th) and are a publisher I think maybe open minded enough to accept my story. It is the only chance an author can submit straight to them. Penguin also did a similar thing last year.

    There is also a book to get ready for the Pratchett Award which brings a financial prize and publishing contract (I think - have to check this years)

    Another post on a forum got me some interest from a senior editor in Australia, that I am hoping to use, he loved my opening paragraph for Fresh Cream (my detectives).

    These are not standard ways of going about it. My attempts with the standard synopsis, covering letter, agent route have gained me comments like ''great commercial potential'', ''fantastic characters'' but ''why do your characters in an offworld fantasy wear jeans and use mobile phones'' or ''I think publishers will be wary about a non medieval story of this kind''
     

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