1. homerjoe
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    homerjoe New Member

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    Confused

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by homerjoe, Apr 21, 2010.

    Have a well-known musician on board to co-write his biography. Want to write the book. Have a proposal together and assembled with chapter organizations, market research and marketing plan. And I have what I think is a nice query letter. But, I'm getting so many mixed signals. Some ranging from, write the book and then get back to me, to just standard rejections. I understand the rejections are part of the process, but it seems completely illogical for me to write an entire book, taking a lot of time of someone who is busy making music for a living and for me, someone with a full-time journalism job. Time is valuable. Why go through all of this, just for the whim of what seems to be lazy agents. Is it just me? Plus, why would I start writing this book with no direction from an editor, publisher or agent as far as chapter organization, voice and numerous other issues? That seems illogical. Please, any advice for me would be appreciated as I'm close to calling off this project because it's just so darn frustrating and confusing.
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    You don't send out queries until you have a manuscript. Publishers won't commit even tentatively to sunbeams and promises. They want to see that you have done the work, and they want to see the writing you are trying to sell them, to see if it's something they can sell.

    You're an unknown quantity to them. I'm afraid that all tje risk will be on your part. Write the biography, knowing fill well that will be the easy part.
     
  3. homerjoe
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    homerjoe New Member

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    What about voice? Chapter arrangement? And any issues about my writing (nobody's perfect)? I need/seek guidance about this and I'm sorry, it seems like that would be why I pay an agent a percentage (BEFORE) I waste all this time. If this is what is expected of non-fiction (I know that's the way it is with fiction), I'm probably out. I don't have the time, money or patience to work backward like this AND I don't want to put my subject (who's very busy) through this either.
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    An agent represents you to publishers when you have something to sell. He or she has the relationships with publishers and the knowledge of the industry to represent you to publishers, and because of that, you have a much better chance of getting your manuscript seen by a publisher that will be open to publishing it. The agent will also negotiate for the best contract on your behalf, so even your "cut" from the financials is likely to be better.

    However, agents want to see finished manuscripts as well. They are busy professionals, and they expect tat you have done your due diligence in researching the content and layout for your book. The agent will advise you if your book is promising but needs some reorganizing to make it marketable - if your book is good enough in its present form to justify the time. That would be the agent's time in making the recommendations, and your time to actually make the necessary changes.

    It is not worth the agent's time to walk you through it if you don't even have a manuscript. No reputable agent takes money up front. Agents only get paid when your book is sold to a publisher. It is a poor investment for an agent to take on a writer based solely on a proposal.
     
  5. homerjoe
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    homerjoe New Member

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    Thanks for the honesty man. I appreciate it. Guess I'm scrapping it then. This whole process has been so disheartening and backward to me and most of the people are so not nice people. I've become more tainted and jaded from this. This is why I only worked for 6 months in the publishing industry before leaving it. Just not for me. I can write and love to do so and will continue. Perhaps, I'll revisit this at a later date.
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    before you give up completely, joe, you might want to drop me a line... i do provide the kind of guidance you were hoping to get from an agent and will be happy to see what i can do to help you get the project off the ground... and it's free!...

    love and hugs, maia
    maia3maia@hotmail.com
     

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