1. arpooch
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    arpooch New Member

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    How do you know if your book is good enough to send to a literary agent?

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by arpooch, Nov 27, 2010.

    Hello Everyone,

    I have a quick question. I've been thinking about sending my book into a literary agent. But the only problem is that I'm not so sure if it is good enough. How do you know if your book is good enough to send in? Even if it might not be, is it worth a try?

    If I send it in once and they reject it can I try again later?

    I appreciate your responses,

    -Arpooch
     
  2. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Once you feel that further revisions would not make it any better. Also, you could ask a few people to look it over and give you feedback. However, if you do this, make sure you ask someone who knows what he/she is talking about. Don't ask just anyone for feedback.

    If you feel like your manuscript isn't good enough, then don't submit. Make it as good as it can be and then submit.

    I wouldn't send to the same agent again. But you are more than welcome to submit to other agents.
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ...if you're a seasoned writer, you'll know when you've polished it to a faretheewell and it's ready to be seen... if you're a beginner, you could ask someone who's knowledgeable to give it a look and let you know if it is... that's one of the things i do for writers every day...

    no!... if it's not in good enough shape to be submitted yet, you'll be burning your bridges, shooting yourself in the foot, and assorted other self-destructive ways of saying 'committing career suicide'...

    of course you can, but you shouldn't... and it won't do you any good, unless the person who rejected it told you to fix it up and resubmit... doing so otherwise is a major no-no, as it annoys agents more than impressing 'em...
     
  4. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I know my first novel is at the stage I do not have the skills or ability to improve it any further. So I am sending it off to agents - see if it is good enough.

    I think if you can't do anymore - put it aside for a couple of months then come back to it and read it, it helps making the synopsis etc to read it with fresh eyes. At least I did. I looked at it and I am torn - I can now write it better my skills have improved. However the story is great. A couple of readers have pointed out I may lose things with a rewrite. If it doesn't sell I can get one of the others ready to send.
     
  5. arpooch
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    arpooch New Member

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    Thanks so much. YOu guys helped me a lot.
     
  6. Newfable
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    Newfable Senior Member

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    Find yourself a good editor, and let them have a good look at it. They'll know more about the industry, and may even know of some publishers that specialize in the kind of story you'd like to publish.

    Don't send the same manuscript to the same publisher twice. That's a good way of shooting yourself in the foot. They get hundreds if not thousands of manuscripts on a frequent basis, and the last thing they need or want is someone sending them two of the same thing. Of course, there's nothing wrong with sending various manuscripts to the same publisher.

    If, however, you're looking to judge yourself on your own work and when it's "good enough", there's no clear answer that anyone here can give you. Some authors say it's after a certain number of edits and drafts, some say that it's until they get it "just right" (whatever that means), some say it's after a certain amount of time spent working on it. There's no such thing as a perfect document, but you can get pretty darn close. Just reach your own catharsis, and you're good to go.
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    they may, but 'good' editors don't come cheap... their time is very costly and for new writers to spend good money on work that has little chance of being purchased [and no chance of making back the amount of outlay] doesn't make good economic sense, imo...
     
  8. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    There are quite a number of agents out there. Why not send it out to one of them and see what response you get? But prepare yourself for what ever may follow, you may not get an answer. Could you handle that?
     
  9. Vince524
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    Vince524 Member

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    The only problem with that is that most of them just give nice, form rejections. You really can't read too much into it. Agents get so many queries they may reject you because they didn't love your premise, or they thought the market was saturated, or it's too similar ot another book they're trying to sell or they just think it stinks. With a form rejection, there's no way to tell what they were thinking.
     

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