1. yrion
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    yrion New Member

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    on the verge of being published?!

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by yrion, Nov 14, 2009.

    Hello everyone,
    So I'm on the verge of being published!
    Which is obviously very very exciting, though what now?!
    Basically I've been writing a factual / comedy blog which has been really well received, I sent it in to a packaging house (as they are known for making nice books) and they touted it at Frankfurt, and a publisher has put an offer on it.
    So it's not definite, but it's tantalisingly close!
    I think I know what I want on an intellectual property level, but has anyone any idea how much I should ask for on a monetary level?
    Oh and I'm UK based.
    If anyone could help I'd be very grateful.
    x
     
  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    you don't ask... they offer... and if you haven't been published before, and haven't got an agent, you should probably not dicker, be glad you're getting paid...

    i know i'll probably get some flack for saying that, but it's just being realistic, imo...
     
  3. HeinleinFan
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    HeinleinFan Banned

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    I've heard that a good way to get an agent is to take an "almost-published" offer, like you've gotten, and go to several agents asking whether they're willing to take you on. Say, "Hi. I'm a writer and I've been offered a deal. Would you be willing to look over this contract for me, with an eye toward working with me in the future?"

    Note that you should go to reputable agents, if you possibly can.

    The idea is that they don't have to do much work to make you publishable, and they know your serious and that your ideas and work so far are okay. You give them 15% or so of your cut and they represent you -- more importantly, they look over contracts and make sure the nasty stuff gets cut out. Crud like the "right of first refusal" and such.
     
  4. yrion
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    yrion New Member

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    Thanks mammamaia, is this from personal experience?
    Cheers heinleinfan, yes I think it would be really rather easy to get an agent on the basis of "would you like some free money?", though I've spent my time working up a relationship with the publisher and to go that route seems a tad silly now? What would you say? Anyone?
    Thanks again!
    x
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    one should NEVER go to disreputable ones!

    y...
    in answer to your question, not in re books, but certainly in re all the other work i've had published... the part about 'you don't ask, they offer' is just a fact in re how the publishing world works...

    and yes, a new writer could snag an agent by being able to say there's a publishing offer on the table... and that will usually result in getting a better deal, since the agent can negotiate...
     
  6. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    I just don't get why people wanna go to agents. They're just middlemen, at best, who want a fat piece of your pie. At worst, they might reject your manuscript because of some personal dislike to it, while a publisher might have accepted it. Cut out the middlemen, they just complicate matters. For legal stuff, why not go to an attorney? I bet they won't eat 15% of your soul, but look through a contract for a fixed fee.

    Maybe it makes some people sleep better at night, thinking they're "represented", while I have an inherent mistrust to anything labelled "agency".
     
  7. eliza490
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    eliza490 Member

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    I agree with HorusEye. I'm working on a book project myself and I decided a while ago that I didn't want to work with an agent.
    Good luck!
    ~Eliza
     
  8. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    No Horus, they are more than that. They are professionals who have the contacts in the publishing industry to get your manuscript considered before it could work its way through the slus pile. They will also help you negotiate a fair contract without trap clauses that put you at that publisher's mercy. They know what publishers are predatory and will not subject you to them. They will know what publisers are most likely to be interested in your particular manuscript. And they may be able to advise you on some changes to make to your manuscript to maximize your chances of getting accepted.
     
  9. Kas
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    Kas Contributing Member

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    And, from what I've heard, agents often cover their own fees by negotiating better deals for you. If your piece is something great, you won't get ripped off if you have an agent. Without any experience, I imagine it would be impossible to tell how well your work might be received, impossible to know what you've rightfully earned for yourself.

    I can't think of any reason not to shoot for an agent. I'd only consider publishing a book myself if I failed to snag one. . . and then, that wouldn't speak well of my chances. So I probably wouldn't even bother. An article, sure, (since mags, etc. often have fixed rates) but not a book.
     
  10. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    no disrespect intended, horus and eliza, but that's clearly the pov of a new writer who hasn't studied the business end of being one...

    writing for pay is a business, whether you know/like it, or not... and to be successful at any business, one must learn how it works and make the best use of the pros who are there to help you to run it successfully and maximize your profits... and that's the role of an agent, in a nutshell...
     
  11. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well, in the part of the world where I live, agents are pretty much non-existent. People go directly to the publisher. I pretty much walked straight into the office of the chief editor in one of europe's largest publishing houses and asked him to look at my writing and left a sample on his desk.

    But I was also brought up with the philosophy that you have to be a bit cheeky to get ahead.
     
  12. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    sorry to say, things are not that easy in the us...
     
  13. KillerMermaid
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    KillerMermaid New Member

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    exactly! It's good to have an advisor... especially someone who is just getting their foot in the door... or at least approaching that door!
    I see it as having a big bro/sis showing you the ropes and introducing you to the people that will be most helpful TO you and interested IN you.
    :)
     

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