1. Flying Geese
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    Flying Geese Contributing Member

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    I'm finding it frustrating to find agents/publishers because...

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Flying Geese, Aug 23, 2015.

    Because it seems that half of all the agencies you Google are a one page site that requires you to enter your email address and phone number. I did that once two years ago with something called Xlibris or something. It was only annoying.

    I found some agents on Writer's Digest, but it wasn't a lot. I am expecting to be rejected a lot, so it would be nice to find about 100 unique agents to submit to. Also, is there a place I can find some agents with a bit of clout?

    As far as publishers go, it appears that the big names have closed gates. You can't get to them without an agent. And the small name publishers sometimes look so small that I question whether they are worth my patience.

    Does anyone know if those sketchy-ass sites that want all my information first are actually legit?

    (In case you are wondering my genre is Fantasy)
     
  2. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    The only thing I know it there's a Preditors and editors website that you can check some of these guys out.

    Beyond that, I got nuthin.
     
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  3. Flying Geese
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    I see a whole lot of words on that page ... I must be lazy. I thought the actual doing the submission part would be fairly straightforward
     
  4. AspiringNovelist
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    AspiringNovelist Contributing Member

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    I sent you a PM with a link to one of my publishers.
     
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  5. AspiringNovelist
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    AspiringNovelist Contributing Member

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    My first warning it to be wary of the up-sale...If you're on a site that keeps pushing you from 199 to 299 to 599 and 1000 then move on -- they're only going to rip you off, and your work is "officially" out of market or under consideration.
     
  6. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Avoid any agent or publisher that wants money from you. That is money flowing in the wrong direction.
     
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  7. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    @Flying Geese have you done much research? SF/F is one of the few areas where the big traditional publishers don't require an agent. See Tor, Baen, DAW, etc.
     
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  8. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've searched off and on for twenty-odd years for publishers or agents who might consider my stuff. I've tried Googling, Writer's Digest analogue listings and a few smaller names. What I've always been baffled by is when I read that someone (Rowling, for instance) submitted to some huge number of publishers before finding a match. I've never found more than three or four at any one time who looked like they might be a match. And even then, I was doubtful about those.

    So, either Rowling was shotgunning those 40 or 50 submissions, hitting every publisher no matter if they matched or not, or she found a secret list. That's about the only conclusion I can come to.

    I'll be very interested in hearing if anyone knows how to find this 'secret' list.
     
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  9. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I did not know that! :bigeek: Seriously?!
     
  10. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Yep. MacMillan was also taking unagented novels for paranormal Romance, and at one point HarperCollins was taking unagented submissions (they might still be, but I think only on certain days). Not sure if the latter was limited to genre works or not.

    Big publishers have been moving toward more open submissions policies, perhaps in part because works that were getting passed over by agents ended up doing well as self-published titles, and I don't know that some of these publishers want the agents basically screening work for them anymore because the needs of the publisher and the needs of the agent may differ.
     
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  11. TWErvin2
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    As far as major fantasy publishers go, as has been said Baen, DAW and Tor accept unsolicited manuscripts (slush) so you don't need an agent. Ace/Roc used to until recently.

    It is a far slower process without an agent, and maybe even a bit more uphill of a battle, but from my personal experience, I do know that Tor and Baen do read and seriously consider unsolicited manuscripts. In the process of rejecting my SF novel, the Tor editor wrote a lengthy letter explaining their decision, and recommended I sent it to Baen as they tend to publish more along what I wrote. So I did. And Baen took even longer than Tor to come to a decision, after going from the slush pile to and through the slush pile gatekeeper/editor to an editor Tony Daniel (also an infrequent author with Baen). In the mean time, I spoke several times at conventions with Gray Rinehart about my submission, with him promising that it wasn't forgotten.

    Finally, it did get rejected, but my current publisher picked it up. Baen didn't say why they didn't accept it, but I contacted Tony Daniel and asked him if he'd offer a blurb. He said he would and his blurb for the back of the book reflected this: (okay, maybe a little bragging by posting this, but it also reflects that he did read the novel): "The tech level premise is fascinating, but what really makes the novel special is the spirit of Krakista Keesay. Kra is a hero to root for—often underestimated, adept with brass knuckles, bayonet, shotgun, and all sorts of old style weaponry. He proves that, while technology matters, so do courage, intelligence, and daring."
    —Tony Daniel, Hugo-finalist, author of Metaplanetary and Guardian of Night

    So, for fantasy, you don't need an agent. And you're right, many smaller publishers are not very strong publishers, and you probably could do just as well, if not better, on your own. But there are some good ones out there. They're selective too, just because they're small and don't require agents. In the end, any reputable publisher you submit your manuscript to is going to be highly competitive to find a contract offered and a spot on their publishing schedule. Sure, you can self publish, but that is highly competitive as well. Just because it's published doesn't mean anyone will read, let alone enjoy what you wrote. You have to decide what a publisher will add to your chances having a superb novel published, including editing, cover art, marketing and distribution, and more.

    And obtaining an agent, even a top tier agent isn't a guarantee of your novel selling. It certainly improves the chances, especially with larger markets. With that, I am speaking based upon friends and acquaintances who are published and represented by agents. It's not from personal experience.

    Well, that's my three cents on the topic.

    Good luck as you move forward and don't give up!
     
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  12. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    How might they differ?
     
  13. Flying Geese
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    Flying Geese Contributing Member

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    No technically I haven't done any research about it. I've just been looking around for people with their front door open, so to speak.
     
  14. Flying Geese
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    I wouldn't say I have a 'secret list' but in like 2 hours I had found a list of 12 potential fits for me.
     
  15. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Cool. Which sites did you look on? ...if you don't mind me asking.

    Maybe I'm just looking for agents in all the wrong places. :)
     
  16. Burnistine
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    Burnistine Active Member

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    Flying Geese, is there anything wrong with you selecting a few notable people on this site to give your manuscript one last read; then publish it yourself? I'd put a lot of work into your synopsis and your book cover, publish it with an indie site that doesn't charge until the book sells. All publishers worth their salt are connected in some way and they watch the number of sales of your book. Once your sales reach a certain level, they will come calling so they can get a piece of the pie. That's a good thing because once you hook up with the publisher then your book will reach a broader audience worldwide.

    One of the many reasons why we have so many indie writers and publishers is because the writing world has always been tight to get into, and people are tired of it. You can't tell me that there are that many people who write bad or don't have a good story. Try the indie route. You may have more success that way.

    Give this some thought.
     
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  17. AspiringNovelist
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    Hi Burnistine,

    Which indie site would your recommend?
     
  18. Burnistine
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    Burnistine Active Member

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    Try Smashwords. I think they require about 10% or less of "actual" sales. You don't sell anything, you don't pay anything. And the withdrawal of payment is automatic. Here is the website: http://www.smashwords.com/extreader/read/52/1/smashwords-style-guide

    For payment terms: http://www.smashwords.com/about/tos

    I'm sure there are other reputable ones, but I don't know them at the moment. I'm certain Smashwords isn't the only one.
     
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  19. TWErvin2
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    If you're going to self-publish, you'd probably want to be on as many venues as possible, such as Smashwords (which can get you to Kobo, B&N and maybe iTunes), Scribed and more. There is also Amazon, which is the large player in ebooks. Some self-published authors opt to go exclusive with Amazon so that they can be part of the Kindle Unlimited.

    There is a lot of research to do before self-publishing to make sure you're prepared and do it so that you have the greatest opportunity for success.
     
  20. Flying Geese
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    I only looked on Writer's Digest and a site for a thing called Trident Media. I just looked for all the fantasy and YA fantasy agents. So I guess it really depends on what you're writing.
     
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  21. Flying Geese
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    Yeah this is what I plan to do. I've already started submitting to a few agents but I won't even be bothered by rejection notices until I hit 30 rejections. I am very aware of how 'edgy' and sensitive my story topic is, so I expect more than a few agents to run simply because of that.

    I also expect to have already self-published before they even reply. The only thing I'm worried about is my book cover. But I already have a design. I just need to make it look good. People tell me I have charisma. When I started an event-sharing platform not too long ago, everyone I talked to in person was interested. I seem to have some sort of Jedi-Mind trick power where people are interested in what I'm doing.

    So yeah, publishing the traditional way is my back up plan if I'm honest.
     
  22. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Why not submit to the big publishers that have an open submissions policy? If they take it you won't be paying commission to an agent.
     
  23. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Yeah, maybe so. I'll have another look, though. Thanks!
     
  24. Flying Geese
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    Those are the people I'm looking for but all the big pubs I know are closed to agentless submissions. But I know only a few and they are:

    Simon & Schuster
    Penguin Random House
    Harper Collins

    Are there any other big names? I'm gonna go look around.
     
  25. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Yeah, Tor and Baen, which are particularly good for SF/F.
     

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