1. puttyfish
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    puttyfish New Member

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    need clarification!

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by puttyfish, Dec 14, 2007.

    Hi All
    I know this is been sort of answered but I need to get this right in my head!
    If either an agent or publisher says NO UNSOLICATED MSS then that means I have to write a query letter to see if they are interested in reading my mss - yes? Is that right?

    So, if it's a publisher then it doesn't matter that the letter is off an unpublished writer rather than an agent. You see I thought NO UNS MSS meant I couldn't even correspond with them, only agents could!

    Also, if you do write to an agent/pub that states NO UNS MSS do I have to send a SAE for them to reply?

    Does anyone know of a good sample letter that I could view to give me an idea as to what goes in a query letter for an agent/pub.

    Kindly waiting a response!
    MERRY CHRISTMAS..!
    Karen.
     
  2. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    I'm not entirely sure, but I think publishers that say "no unsolicited MSS" will only accept them off reputable agents. However, if you feel lucky, I don't see why you shouldn't give a letter a try.

    Though someone more knowledgable than myself will probably come along and say the opposite shortly :p
     
  3. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    Here, try this link, it looks fairly helpful:

    Query Letter Sample
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    first... banzai, that's not entirely true... if they will only accept queries from agents, they'll say so... if they only say no unsolicited mss, they'll almost always accept queries...

    yes, that's right... and 'ms' is a single manuscript... 'mss' is plural... you should only query for one book at a time...

    exactly...

    no, it only means they don't accept the actual ms from anyone... they'll take queries and decide from that if they want to see the ms or sample chapters...

    sure... 'cause most won't, without one... that's the same for everyone, agents and publishers, regardless of what you're sending them...

    you can email me for tips from the pros on how to write good ones... and the link above is a very good one to keep handy...

    love and hugs, maia
    maia3maia@hotmail.com
     
  5. puttyfish
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    puttyfish New Member

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    Clarification

    Hi All
    Thanks for your help. That link was fantastic, just what I was looking for.
    The only thing that worries me is the line that says multiple submissions are frown upon by both publishers and agents.

    To an extent I can understand this but surely they (agents/pub) understand that it's such a long process that multiple submissions is expected. I'm not sure how long ago that sample letter was written, things might have changed now.

    Any links for a good cover letter? Do you need to write a different cover letter when submitting a manuscript to publishers/agents that accept them first off (cold calling, if you like - there are quite a lot around in the UK that do accept them) than one that is a response to a request from a publisher/agent.

    Thanks for your help in advance.
    Karen.
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    nothing much is different now re simsubs, for the same reasons they were frowned upon in the first place... remember that it only applies to submitting the actual work, not to querying with a letter first... it's expected only that you'll query many at the same time, due to the long time gaps between sending and getting a reply... fly in the face of the simsub ban and you risk being blacklisted at worst, remembered as a rule-breaker at best, either one hampering your chances for you and your work to be taken seriously...

    you seem to be confusing a query/request letter with a cover letter... the query is sent w/o any enclosures and only lays out the book's premise, asking for permission to send sample chapters or mss, if they're interested...

    a cover letter for work that has been requested should only mention who requested it [if you were told to send it to an editor other than the one you queried], contain the name of the work and thank them for the opportunity to have your work read...

    a letter accompanying a 'cold' submission of complete ms or sample chapters should be no different than a query letter, except for not needing the offer to send material at the end, as a query would... the thrust of the letter is the same, trying to get them interested enough to actually read what you're sending... if you lose them with a poorly written query, or your book doesn't sound marketable in it, it's doubtful anyone will bother reading what you send...

    hope this helps some... hugs, m
     
  7. puttyfish
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    puttyfish New Member

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    More Clarification!!!

    Hi All

    I've come to the conclusion that the best form of attack is to send out a query letter first regardless as to whether they are allowing me to send unsol ms or not. That way I can't be blacklisted right?? At least it saves time and effort to begin with!!

    Can I send to both agents and publishers at the same time? Or should I do one, if no luck target the other??

    So what happens if two pub/agents ask to see my work at round the same time? Do I send them both a copy or pick the one I prefer and reject the other?? (I know but it could happen!)

    As I've mentioned before I have sent my manuscript to several publishers (but I have said this in my cover letter, and they never stated in the guidelines that this WASN'T acceptable!) I now know this probably isn't the best way, but it's done now....Will it be ok if I sent request letters out to more publishers for the same manuscript or shall I put this to experience and start on something else?? I guess that if nothing comes of it I can then approach the other publishers yes:D??

    Thanks in advance
    Karen
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ...sure, you can!... it's done all the time... if a publisher shows interest first, you can then mention that in your next agent queries... or if you snag an agent first, you can then stop querying publishers and if any you sent to before that show interest, can reply by asking them to contact your agent...

    doing both will maximize your chances...

    that will depend on whether they allow simultaneous submissions or not... if they don't, then yes, you have to pick the one that sounds most promising and put the other on hold... it wouldn't hurt to tell the rejected one/s you've submitted to another, but would like to keep them in mind, should their offer not meet with your approval...

    since none of the ones you sent to wanted exclusive subs, why shouldn't you send queries/requests to others?... you should keep on sending out queries till you hook someone...
     
  9. puttyfish
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    puttyfish New Member

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    Thank you!

    Hi All
    A big thanks for taking the time to write in...all is now clear and I know what to do in future....hopefully I'll be asking for help about accepting an offer soon :)) fingers crossed!!!

    All the best for 2008!
    Kxx
     
  10. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    for help re accepting an offer, don't come here... without seeing the contract itself, no one can really give you valid advice... and as far as i know, none of our members have a law degree... consult a literary attorney before signing any contracts!...

    best of luck to you... hugs, m
     

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