1. Alya
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    Alya New Member

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    How much does living out of the US or UK put me at a disadvantage?

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Alya, Oct 18, 2015.

    So, I'm a writer from Pakistan and we don't have any concept of literary agents here or publishers in the English language. I was wondering if that would make my chances in getting an agent (who are USUALLY from America) slim? I mean, the agent might have communication problems with me and obviously there can never be a face-to-face agent/editor-writer relation. Is it too much of a far fetched goal if I'm a million miles away and still hoping to get published by a US publishing company?
     
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  2. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Good question. I'm looking forward to the answer, if it comes from somebody in the know. We do have lots of people on this forum who don't live in either the USA or the UK ...maybe they'll weigh in.

    I live in the UK, but I'm an American, and feel that since I write as an American, and my story is set there, that I am at a disadvantage for the same reason you are. I won't ever be face to face with my natural market. I'm intending to self-publish, so that won't be too big of an obstacle for me. But if I had intended to go the traditional publishing route, I'd be smack up against the same issue that concerns you. I hope you get a good answer to this one.
     
  3. psychotick
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    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi,

    I don't know the situation in Pakistan or with agents there, but I would imagine that you can still submit to overseas agents in America and the UK. Whether your location could be an issue I don't know. It could be a disadvantage because you can't get to writer's cons etc or do promotional events. But it could also be an advantage because it lends you a new and interesting viewpoint and something else to talk about. It's all inhow you sell it I suppose. My advice would be to work hard on your blogging, pushing your location as something people want to read about.

    One thing I do know is that they charge higher commissions for overseas writers which may be an issue.

    What will be most important is the quality of your work - writing and story and whether it fits with what they think they can sell. Also luck.

    Cheers, Greg.
     
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  4. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I live in Canada. My agent and publishers are in the US. It's not an issue at all.

    I guess it wouldn't be as difficult for me to fly down for a meeting as it would be for you to fly over, but I've never done it and never felt the need.

    So, from the business side of things, no problem at all.

    From the writing side? Where do you plan to set your books? Setting them in Pakistan could give your work some interesting flavour, but sometimes Americans don't really like interesting flavours and would prefer what they're used to. So it might be a bit harder to find readers for books set in Pakistan. (or it might not - hard to be sure, really). Alternatively, do you know the US way of life well enough to write a book set in the US?
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2015
  5. Tim3232
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    Tim3232 Active Member

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    I've seen a few UK sites that say they don't want US submissions. I've taken that to suggest preference for submissions from people living in the UK.
    However, I have occasionally seen agents who are looking for something 'different' and suggest an area of the world - usually going on to say from someone who has experience of the area. (Don't have any notes of who as not applicable to me!)

    I suspect some agencies would definitely not be interested but then others positively would be interested if the story was good enough to appeal internationally. (e.g. Kite Runner set mainly in Afghanistan, though i assume the author lives in the US.)

    So, maybe you might have less agencies to try to begin with but if the story is good enough there will be chances.
    I've certainly seen agencies specifically asking for submissions of international appeal.
    Here's one that takes submissions from international authors - http://www.jaw-litagent.com/home/how-to-submit/ (A German agency as it happens)
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2015
  6. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    I do some slush reading for a SF/Fantasy online magazine...submissions come from all over the world. Admittedly, most from the UK & US.
     
  7. Alya
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    Alya New Member

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    My novel is Science Fiction that is set neither in the US or in Pakistan. It's on an airship that hovers over an island on the Atlantic (long story) But the protagonist is a Pakistani by origin, so there are some (very few) references to the culture, and our language (however I did translate the way Khaled Hossieni does in his novels sometimes)

    The writing isn't the problem. I'm just concerned about the marketing process, and the agent-writer relationship. I know many US readers might not be interested in something that comes from a Pakistani, but it's not even set in Pakistan. And most of my characters are from all around the world, only the protagonist is from Pakistan.
     
  8. Alya
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    Alya New Member

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    Okay, thank you! I will look up this agency. One of my main characters is a German anyway haha.
     
  9. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    If the writing won't be a problem, I don't think you have a problem. I have no idea where most of my favourite writers live, nor do I care. There are no business-related impediments to getting your book published based on geography.

    You're good. Carry on!
     
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  10. Nightstar99
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    Nightstar99 Contributing Member

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  11. Alya
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    Alya New Member

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