1. writewizard
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    writewizard Contributing Member

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    I just wrote my first book! What's next?

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by writewizard, Dec 29, 2009.

    I just wrote my first book. What's next? Re-edit it untill I cry? Try and get it published? Hire someone else to read it and edit it? If I do want to publish where do I go from there?


    Help!!! :)
     
  2. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Keep on revising it until it's as good as you can make it. Then you can start submitting to agents/publishers.
     
  3. The-Joker
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    The-Joker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Congratulations on finishing.

    Is it as perfect as it possibly can be in your opinion?

    If yes, give it to someone else to read, for that invaluable objective opinion. Give it to several if you must.

    While you're waiting, you should start working on a query letter and synopsis which are requirements should you approach an agent. Google them if you don't know the details.

    Then, get your query letter critiqued, preferably by someone who knows a thing or two about queries. It's exceptionally easy to fall short with a query, so don't rush into anything.

    After say two months of doing relatively nothing to your manuscript, revisit it with fresh eyes and make the relevant changes.

    Now, you just you might be ready to find an agent. Send the query.
     
  4. fantasy girl
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    fantasy girl Contributing Member

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    I'm not an expert, (infact I've never finished a piece in my life) but revise it untill you're sick of it, leave it a few months then go through it again with fresh eyes. Then go through the stages of submitting it to publishers or getting an agent.
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    depends on what you mean by 're-edit'... have you already edited and polished it to a professional faretheewell?... if so, leave it alone and move on to step 2...

    if not, lay it aside for at least a couple of weeks and then read it as if your worst enemy wrote it, to see if it's really as 'done' as you thought...

    that's step 2... but step 2A is to try to snag an agent first, to 'get it published' for you, since most of the top publishers won't accept unagented queries or submissions and an agent can get you a better deal, in any case...

    not unless you have unlimited funds and can afford to try several, before you find one you can work with comfortably [which may never happen], and you don't care if the book won't then be really just 'yours' anymore, but more of a collaboration...

    if you mean publish it yourself, it's not advised, for fiction... 1. it will cost a lot of money, effort and time to get it in print, out to the public and sold... 2. it won't make you a 'published author'...

    if you want some tips from the pros on how to write effective query letters, drop me a line and i'll be glad to send them to you...

    meanwhile, congrats on getting it 'finished'!!!

    love and hugs, maia
     
  6. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    If you mean you just finished your first draft...

    Let it sit a month or two, and work on something else. Then come back and reread and revise, catching not only typos but minor inconsistencies.

    You'll probably then want to have at least one other person who you trust (will tell you how things are--not what you want to hear) to give it a read. They may pick up on somethings you overlooked or places where the book dragged, wasn't clear, etc.

    Then fix that up, always working to make it the best you can.

    Then begin seeking agents/publishers, following their guidelines to the letter.

    While you're submitting, work on another project.

    Good luck.

    Terry
     
  7. writewizard
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    writewizard Contributing Member

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    I've gone through it several times although I want to go through it a few more. Thanks for all the wonderful advice!!! :)
     
  8. coldu
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    coldu Member

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    You'll never be finshed. You'll be working on it in months and years to come becasue the art of writing has nothing to do with writing and every to do with re-writing. I didn't belive this at first until i finshes my first novel. Except it wasn't finsihed because you put it aside and say to yourself "It's perfect." You come back to it two months later to find that it's not perfect at all. You see things you didn't see before. then you rewrite and put it aside again. You can back ...and see things you didn't see before. And so the loop continues until you hate your work until you become a slave to it and perhaps wish you never started the bloody thing because it occupies every single waking moment of your life at the expense of everything else.
    Then, maybe, you're done writing your first book.
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    sorry, but that's nonsensical... it has everything to do with writing... editing, rewriting and polishing are integral parts of the process of practicing the writer's art...
     
  10. coldu
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    coldu Member

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    You've missed the point. It's NOT nonsesical. You have unwittingly agreed with this by failing to stop at

    "it has everything to do with writing"

    You continue with "...editing, rewriting..." So you must be aware of the importance of these steps. I stated that the art of writing is not in the "wirting" of a story...i didn't say anything about it not having to do with editing etc.
    Anyone can write. anyone who puts words on paper is a writer. I could write. "My cat is small. See the cat Run. What a fun cat." it's crap writing but it's writing all the same. would you then say that this "becasue its writing" is "art?"
    No, it's not...it IS the re-writing...again and and again and again that makes a good writer and NOT the inital "wirting" of a story. Surley you must understand that the skill of writing is in re-writing. How is that nonsensical?
     
  11. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    It's equivocation. You are redefining or using multiple definitions of the same word or idea within the same argument.
     
  12. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    you did not say 'skill of writing' you said 'the art of writing'... and claiming that 'the art of writing has nothing to do with writing' is nonsensical to the max, imo...
     
  13. izanobu
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    izanobu Senior Member

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    give the book to someone (or multiple someones) who you trust to give you good feedback. Let the book sit until they get back to you. Then go through it and fix only the things they point out (that you agree with). Then do a clean up draft and fix typos and any little nits that got through the first time.

    Then write a good query letter and short synopsis. (Query letter should tell what your book is about, not the plot, just the idea. Think like a back cover blurb. Something to hook an editor and get them reading the sample pages). Take the first 1-3 chapters (no more than 50 pages) and send all that out to editors (pick 5 at first) at publishers that publish the kind of book you just wrote. EDITORS. Not agents. Editors can pay you for your work, agents work for the writer. Once you get an offer, then you pick up the phone and call the agent you want to work with (I'd recommend having a list of 5 or so that you've researched) and ask them if they will represent you (ie, hire them to negotiate the contract).
    Oh, and most importantly, write the next book while you are waiting to hear back from editors. Rinse, repeat.
     
  14. kittenmojo
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    kittenmojo Member

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    Izanobu hit the nail on the head!

    There is no definitive right or wrong answer but if you re-visit and re-edit your book over and over, you'll never do anything with it. And sometimes you run the risk of losing that special something that makes your book unique if you play about too much with re-editing. I agree that you should leave it a couple weeks, then go back and re-read it. If you're happy with it, you should be good to go. However, always make sure it's been proof-read a couple of times and your spelling, grammar etc is perfect. Always research the publishers you are sending it to as well. Different publishers will require different things (ie: some want a 2 page synopsis, others may want 10 pages, etc).
     
  15. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i don't know what you have against agents, iza, but telling new writers to avoid them is not giving good advice, imo...

    and making it seem to be so easy/simple a thing to 'hire' an agent is also misleading... fyi, one does not 'hire' an agent... agents are paid a percentage of whatever the book makes, they are not salaried, nothing comes out of the writer's pocket... the agent is paid by the publisher, off the top of any advance and the royalties, will almost always make the writers more money even after their commission is paid, than the writers could negotiate on their own...

    and just having a contract offered is not a guarantee that an agent will want to take you on, as you're making it seem to be...
     
  16. izanobu
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    izanobu Senior Member

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    I don't have anything against agents. I wasn't telling writers not to get one, I'm saying that the agent you can get before you sell a book might not be the agent you can get after you sell it.

    Yes, agents are paid a % (usually 15) of the money from the publisher. However, they don't work for the publisher, they work for the writer. And once you have an offer in hand, you can actually just call up agents and discuss if they will work for you or not. No need to query them at that point.

    So my basic message here is that you should send your book to people who can pay you for it (ie editors) and once you have an offer you go hire someone who knows about contracts and such (ie agents, or a literary lawyer if you don't want to go the agent route).

    Edited to add- I think some of the confusion is that agents get paid a %. That % however comes from the author's money from the publisher. So you are, as an author, paying the agent to work for you. Agents work for authors. Period.
    Also- yes, having a contract/offer in hand doesn't mean an agent will take you on, that is correct. But if you can't find an agent, there are plenty of good lawyers who specialize in intellectual property law and literary contracts who will help, usually for a specified hourly fee.

    Publishing is a business. No one cares as much as the author about the author's career. I'm just trying to help people see how to take control of their own career. :)
    In the end, people should do whatever works for them. But don't let a stranger (ie an agent) decide what your career is going to be like or control your money. Agents work for authors. Period.
     

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