1. k.imwalle
    Offline

    k.imwalle New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2012
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0

    Publishing 101

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by k.imwalle, Oct 16, 2012.

    Okay, I am in the process of writing my first book and I need help!

    My book is a YA dystopian romance. How do I go about finding publishers for this genre?

    As far as getting an agent. Get one? Don't get one? What do they even really do?

    Query letter. I introduce my book to the publishers. Do I send this the same time I send them the beginning of my actual novel?

    Thank you!!
     
  2. Steph4136
    Offline

    Steph4136 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2012
    Messages:
    164
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    I think your very first step is to forget about everything else and just write. Finish your story, then revise. Sit on it for a bit (as in a long while, weeks or months even) and go back to revise again with fresh eyes. Have beta readers and more than one, people who will do more than say "It's great!" You'll need people who will be able to tell you how the story flows, about character development (or lack thereof), continuity errors, as well as the usual grammar/spelling mistakes. Then you revise again.

    Once your manuscript is done and polished, then it's time to start thinking of trying to get published. Do your research on which agents represent YA (there are a ton out here, YA is popular right now). A Google search will lead you in the right direction. Most people would recommend getting an agent, as long gone are the days of mailing your m/s into a publishing house. If you did that, it'll only end up on the slush pile. Agents represent you, they have the contacts for publishing houses, they're the ones that will be able to sell your manuscript.

    When you write your query letter, you should make sure you include three main points. Who the protagonist is, what the major problem is they face, and what's at stake. You also need to include the word count. For YA I believe the closer you are to 80K the better, but look into that. I've never written YA before so am not 100% sure. Before you send a query letter to any agent, check the submissions instructions for their particular agency. Most only want the query letter and nothing else, but some ask for a synopsis and the first five pages. It's important to follow the instructions for each agency.

    Speaking of a synopsis, it's probably a good idea to write one of those as soon as you're done your book. And to spend a lot of time doing so and polishing it up. They suck to write.
     
  3. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    do a site search for publishing basics... there are many threads on it here, that include detailed instructions and good advice...
     
  4. JQJohnson
    Offline

    JQJohnson Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2012
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Kentucky, USA
    I have to agree with above posters, finish your story first. Then polish it. Then polish it some more. Then get some friends to read it, and polish it again. Before you even consider sending it to anyone, get it in the best possible shape it can be.

    While writing, make sure your book meets requirements for its genre. For example, a book from an unpublished author in YA should be fairly short, 50k words. Look at J K Rowling’s first Potter book and how short it is. Once she became an established author, they became longer and longer.

    When the book is the best book it can be, then think about sending query letters. If you want to talk to traditional publishers, you will need an agent. When you send out queries, whether to agents or publishers, research what they require in a query letter, and do each one accordingly. Do not send attachments or unsolicited manuscripts. Some folks will want a short sample of your work within the body of the letter, some won’t want anything at all. Each of your query letters should meet the requirements of who you are sending it to.

    Do your research. Find out how to write a good query letter. Consider getting a good resource such as the 2013 Guide to Literary Agents. Last night, I browsed through every single agent in that book to find agents that accept my genre. There were certainly agents who were specifically looking for YA books.

    Best of luck to you,
    J Q Johnson
     
  5. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    if you haven't even finished a first draft, then you've a very long time to go, before you'll be ready to even start thinking about agents or publishers... don't waste time and energy on that now, when you need to concentrate on writing a book that agents and publishers won't toss on first sight...
     

Share This Page