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  1. Quest
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    Quest New Member

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    New Writer

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Quest, May 7, 2010.

    Hi guys, I am new to all of this and I need your advice.
    For years I cooked a thriller in my head' and I started to write it a couple of days ago. It is going great, no writers block, because it was long time in the making. And it will probably be a trilogy.
    I have a few questions:

    1. How do I find a publisher that can give me a good contract? I know I have a good book in the making?

    2. Can I use real name of actors in my book, like, one of my characters see a famous actor?

    3. Can my hero ask himself in the book that he is wondering what would another hero will do in the same situation, for example:
    "I wonder what Jack Richer for Lee Child books would have done now"?

    4. I am basing some of my characters on my friends, with their permission, is that a problem? Should they sign something?

    Thank you so much

    A. Quest
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    1. After you finish your manuscript (including editing/revision passes), staret sending out query letters. You will learn patience.

    2. Using real names can be risky, depending on context. You'd be surprised at some of the things that could be considered defamatory.

    3. You can, at the risk of seeming corny or obsequious.

    4. Bad idea. If you are determined to do so anyway, absolutely get signed permission, and have a literary attorney check the consent forms carefully to make sure you are covered. I repeat, this is a very bad idea. Even if you avoid getting sued, you can lose your friends this way.
     
  3. Quest
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    Quest New Member

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    Thank you so much for your advice.
    Any good publishers you can recommend for me?
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i can ditto all cog had to say... plus:

    first of all, as a new and unknown writer, you won't be able to sell a trilogy... your first book will have to stand alone and satisfy its readers even if your sequels never get published...

    I have a few questions:

    you don't just find one and hire it... to get the best contract, you should have an agent shopping your ms around, instead of trying to do it yourself...

    if you can't get an agent, or insist on trying to do it on your own, you have to query publishers that will accept submissions from unagented writers and hope your query letter will get them to request the ms... and then hope the ms will interest them enough to offer you a contract...

    at that point, again, for the best contract, you should try to snag an agent to do the negotiating for you, as the agent will be able to get you a better deal than you can manage alone...

    for now, you can check out publishers websites and see what kinds of contracts they offer... however, if info is given, it will only be general, such as if they pay any advance and how much, and what royalty percentage they offer... all the other many details will have to be dealt with if/when a contract is offered...

    you need to know that there are a lot of scams out there, so you must check out anyone you intend to submit your work to carefully... the best starting point is the preditors & editors site [ http://www.invirtuo.cc/prededitors/ ] that lists the known ones... doesn't mean that if it's not there it's ok, however... only that info on it hasn't been submitted to dave, the site's watchdog, yet...

    sure, since they're public figures... real famous people are mentioned in fiction all the time... just make sure you don't cross the line and write anything about them that they can sue you over...

    that may be a bit trickier, since you'd be mentioning something from a copyrighted work and not a real person... but again, if not derogatory, probably not a problem... but that sentence makes no sense, so i don't really get what you meant there...

    only if they, or anyone they know can tell it's them... fiction writers base characters on people they know all the time, so it's just a 'normal' thing to do... but if they can be recognized, you'd be better off getting a signed release... the smart thing is to not do that... switch character traits around, so no one who knows them can say, 'Hey, that's so and so, isn't it?'...
     
  5. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I wanted to add one specific warning: A publisher, agent, or related party who asks you to pay them - for reading your manuscript, for printing, for marketing expenses, for whatever - can't be trusted. The phrase I keep hearing is "money flows _to_ the author". If you do get an agent, a percentage of the money flowing to you will also be paid to the agent, but that's after it starts flowing to you, not before.

    ChickenFreak
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    also know that legit agents and publishers will not recommend/send you to a fee-charging 'editor' to help you 'polish' your ms...
     

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