1. Agent Vatani
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    Agent Vatani Active Member

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    Publishing thoughts/questions.

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Agent Vatani, Dec 28, 2010.

    What do you look for in a agency?
    Could I even be good enough for that?
    What is he difference with self publishing?

    Just after questions. I'm thinking of writing a 50,000 words book.
     
  2. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I look for an agent who has a proven record of success. Of course, everyone's definition of "success" is going to be different, so it's important to do some research on the agent/agency to make sure he/she/it is a good match for you.

    Yes. It may be hard to publish a novel, but it's not impossible.

    When you publish a book yourself, you have to pay for the entire printing process. You also have to find a way to advertise and promote your book. You'll most likely end up losing money if you decide to self-publish. IMO, it's not worth it. Just stick to the traditional publishing route.
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ditto all of that...

    however, 50k is way too short for a novel for the adult market, since 80-100k is the range required by almost all publishers, for first novels by unknown writers... or are you targeting the YA market?...
     
  4. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    S.E. Hinton published "The Outsiders" when she was only 16. If she can do it, so can you.
     
  5. Agent Vatani
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    Agent Vatani Active Member

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    Thank.
    Notes:I haven't even got a rough draft. I'm not writing a adult. It's a young adult book, for teenager.

    So is to to soon to look?
    (I know nothing about publishing..)
    So any help is thanked. I'm very clueless... But I am quick learner.
     
  6. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Write the book first. :)
     
  7. Noya Desherbanté
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    Noya Desherbanté Senior Member

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    I'd agree with Mallory - write the book first, i.e. pour all your energies into the material instead of hunting for a way to get it out there. However there's nothing wrong with doing research beforehand: I've been submitting and researching the publishing process for a few years now, it doesn't hurt to know what's coming up ahead and you may even find your book changes slightly when you know what publishers want. Good luck!
     
  8. Lmc71775
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    Lmc71775 Active Member

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    I second that. Write it first, then worry about where you're going to send it to later! Cause umm, what's the point in researching agents and publishers if you have nothing to send? Kinda jumpin the gun there...
     
  9. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    There is nothing wrong with learning about seeking an agent and how publishing works while you're working on your novel. But, as others have indicated, you have to actually have a completed, polished piece to move forward with the process.
     
  10. FrankABlissett
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    FrankABlissett Active Member

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    While you're working on your book, you can look for other outlets for your writing.

    The downside is that it would take time to do. On the positive side, you would get more practice writing and would build a "writer's resume".

    If your school has a newspaper, you may be able to write stories or a column for it. Likewise, if your school has a lit-mag, then submit a couple stories to it. Your local college lit-mag may accept submissions from non-students - check first though.

    There are the traditional short story and poetry magazines. Things are changing so fast that I really don't know what the market is like at the moment though.

    Sometimes a first novel is picked up and sells well enough. It does happen. Often, though, a professional writer hones their craft writing news copy, doing freelance work, teaching English etc for a decade or two before their skills and reputation are established enough to get a novel published.

    In other words, absolutely keep it your goal to get published if that's what you want to do, but from day to day make it "write, read, write, discuss, write, read etc."

    Good luck. Feel free to pick our brains all you need.

    -Frank
     
  11. Agent Vatani
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    Agent Vatani Active Member

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    Thanks.
    I'm one to plan ahead..:)
    First got to think of what to write, so many ideas....

    A few more questions:

    1. How gets it work. Like do you send it in and wait to see if they like to publish it?

    2. How much is to much. (Costing area, $$$$)

    3. I fear that I'm not that good.. Since my grammar is not great.. But isn't that what a editor is for?

    Thanks for you time.
     
  12. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    1. How does it work? Each publisher (or agent) has guidelines to follow, usually spelled out on their website. Normally after you have a completed manuscript, you query (with a letter) or send a synopsis and first three chapters--or whatever's asked for. If they like it, they will ask for a full manuscript and decide. Rejection is common. It is very competitive, so only send when you've got the work the absolute best it can be.

    2. It should cost you nothing--other than postage if you're required to mail letters/chapters, but most accept electronic submissions these days. Anyone who asks for a reading fee is waving a RED FLAG, indicating scam 99+% of the time.

    3. No, editors are not for fixing up your grammar. Look at it this way. An editor has two manuscripts that are great stories. One is written where there are occasional grammar goofs or typos, the other has many more such concerns. Editors have many many MANY things to do. Which manuscript do you believe will be accepted? More logically, which would have even made it out of the slush pile to begin with? VERY unlikely the one rife with grammar problems.

    Once your manuscript is accepted, you will work with an editor to improve the manuscript--and someone will copyedit it, but that comes at the tail end of the process. Going into the process thinking "My writing has issues but that's what editors are for" will lead to a stack of rejection slips.

    Will your manuscript be perfect? No. But make it the absolute best, cleanest you can. You only get one shot per editor/publisher/agent for every project.

    And while you're submitting your first novel around, plan on working on the second. Very few things move fast in publishing. It's been argued that glaciers move faster. And with that statement, I tend to agree.

    Queries and partials and then full mansucripts sent can take weeks, months or sometimes longer to get word back.

    Good luck moving forward.

    Terry
     
  13. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    yup!... what terry said...
     
  14. Agent Vatani
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    Agent Vatani Active Member

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    Thank you very much.

    (Gosh I feel like a newbie to writing. I have beeing writing for over 5 years.)

    Isn't a manuscript the copy of the whole book of what you have wrote?
    Or is it what the agent/publisher wants to read bfore saying yes or no?
     
  15. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    The manuscript is the whole book. My understanding is that for fiction, the publisher will want to see the whole book, as polished as you can possibly make it, before saying yes or no. That's not to say that that's the first thing you send them, but they will want to see it all before there's any possibility of them accepting the book.

    For _agents_, I don't know if it's as absolute--will an agent consider representing an unpublished writer before the entire book is done?

    I've been reading the blog Author! Author! in anticipation of the theoretical future time when I might be ready to submit something. There's a lot of very specific advice there.

    ChickenFreak
     
  16. Agent Vatani
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    Agent Vatani Active Member

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    Thanks so much.

    I don't believe I have any more questions. Well at the moment. :)
     
  17. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    no... though there may be rare exceptions, you should never count on being one...
     
  18. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    That's what I figured, but I suddenly remembered an exception, and wanted to make sure it was a rarity. :)

    ChickenFreak
     
  19. Lmc71775
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    Lmc71775 Active Member

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    I still think doing all this research and investigating is a waste of time, if you haven't even started yet. You should try sitting down and writing...and writing everyday or at least very frequently...try that first. You may find out you don't like it after all. It is a true test to get through it all.

    And once you do...you need to revise and prepare it, polish it real pretty too. You might find out that you have a whole different genre then what you were researching for.
     
  20. Agent Vatani
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    Agent Vatani Active Member

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    I don't time research is.. Sure I'm jumping the gun for a agency but research is good. To be ahead so I won't be clueless.

    I write a like of genre. Action, drama, western, fiction and fastny.
    I have some many ideas I don't know what to pick. I fear if I asked people from the internet they might steal it...:eek:
     
  21. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Research is good, but only up to a certain point. It takes a lot of time to write something as large as a novel, so I wouldn't spend too much time worrying about agents and/or publishers at the moment.
     
  22. Lmc71775
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    Lmc71775 Active Member

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    That's what I keep saying, but I give up. Go ahead and research your brains out if you want, it is still pointless if you don't have anything to send. And I disagree, research isn't good if your researching something that might never happen. Sure it may make you wiser, but the book isn't going to write itself.

    And sure you can have lots and lots of ideas and sure they my even be great, but the writing is what counts. And even if someone takes your idea, it is how you write it, not them. And since you have nothing written down, it would be awefully hard to steal. There are many many books with the same idea to it, but like I said, being the broken record I am, the writing is what matters most.

    Hate to burst your bubble Agent V. but you don't even know the half of it, if you haven't even been there. It is like researching for a job that doesn't apply to you.

    But then again I know nothing. Good luck on your writing. That is if you decide to write a novel.
     
  23. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Not sure why researching a career before you embark on it is such a bad thing? I did with my first career and began preparing for it whilst in school - long before it applied to me. By the time I was heading for university I knew what I wanted and how to get there. Being an author requires a heck of a lot more skills than being able to write a book. Learning to write a synopsis is a whole new skill, likewise an introductory letter. Then there is producing the website, being able to read said book out loud etc
     
  24. Lmc71775
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    Lmc71775 Active Member

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    True, but why research on writing a query or synposis, when the book isn't even written yet? The story can change.

    Researching for a career isn't necessarily good, if you don't have the requirements for it. Learning about it first is good, looking into it first is okay...but why research on doing brain surgery, if your not a doctor yet? Sure a student or intern will research it first...but they are FIRST a student of the field. Why research on winning a case, if you haven't even passed the bar yet? You should first become a student before anything. Why buy pet supplies, when you don't even have a dog and find out your alergic? It's like jumpin chapters in a book. So many scenarios, it is endless. There are just some things you need to DO first before anything. I find this very backwards. It would be completely different if a draft is written. You don't just wake up one day and say, I'm gonna write a book, I should find a publishers for it. That's silly.

    There are steps, a process...like everything is. Sure you can research, and YES it will make you wiser, like I said, but honey, no matter how you look at it, it is still pointless if you have nothing to show for it.
     
  25. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    How to write a synopsis and what is involved in one is a skill. You can practice alongside writing a book or two. What a difference writing the one for my second book was because I had a better idea of what to look out for whilst I was writing - I completed it whilst writing the first draft. When I started writing it was by accident - no intention of writing a book just kind of happened. I could now be sitting here wondering what the hell am I going to do - instead I have started to market it. I also know what I am looking for and what I want from an agent/publisher.

    Just know talking to people and researching, whilst writing my first book has been invaluable. I know that when that agent sent me a personal note it was something amazing. My first rejection didn't hurt I was waiting for it etc However it only took me ten months to write and edit it to completion could have been done quicker. Hoping to manage this one in three as have a compeitition deadline.

    Guess I am not sure what the point is in writing a book you hope will get published is, if you don't know how to be an author and what is involved in selling it etc. It is as much a part of being qualified as writing a book.

    Just like I read everything about forensics, anthropology and archaeology when I decided bones was my thing aged six (oh and anatomy). It stood me in good stead with that career - I have read what I can about what it means to be an author beyond just writing my books. I know where my limitations are and what might prevent me. Also know what strengths and skills I have to sell me as an author.
     

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