1. BluEyedVixen
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    BluEyedVixen New Member

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    Questions

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by BluEyedVixen, Feb 11, 2011.

    Hi, I am new to the forums and did not see answers to the following questions, though I am sure they are here as these questions must get asked plenty. I would love any feedback.

    I am new to the writing world, although certainly not new to writing. I never had a desire to be published until recently, and now I find myself with a list of questions that I cannot find answers to. I have a novel that I am almost finished with, and have fallen in love with. I have no idea how to go about getting my work published or what order things go in. I will try to sum up my questions.

    1. I read that I will need a litterary agent, but I have no clue where I should look or how to tell a good agent from a bad one.

    2. Can I get my work published by a good company without an agent?

    3. Am I supposed to get my work copyright before I contact anyone on the novel? If I were to send it to an agent or a publisher, would they be able to steal credit for my work?

    I have more, but many of them depend on the answers to those questions. I am sorry if this is our of place, I didn't know where it would belong. Thank you for any feedback, I look forward to your response.

    -BluEyedVixen-
     
  2. LordKyleOfEarth
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    LordKyleOfEarth Contributing Member Contributor

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    a) Welcome to the forums!


    1) You can find publishers at places like Duotrope.com, the writer's market publication (check your local library), or through google. Once you find someone you are interested in, google their name to see what other people are saying about them. If it smells too good to be real, it likely is. Legit publishers do not charge reading fees.

    2) I believe so. You definitely can with short stories, I don't see why novels would be different.

    3) It is already copyrighted. If you are really nervous, mail yourself a copy and never open the envelope, the post-date will show you had the work before someone else. I'd not worry much, literary theft is very rare and easy to debunk. Legit publishers will not risk their hard-earned reputation to snag your book.


    --
    Searching the specific items on google and this site's search will answer these all in greater detail.
     
  3. Ellipse
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    Ellipse Contributing Member Contributor

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    Just adding to Lord's reply. :)

    1) Two sites I know of that are good for finding literary agents are:

    www.writers.net

    www.agentquery.com

    2) You can get your work published by a company but most prefer you have an agent. This is simply because the agent is already familiar with the entire process, knows who to show your work to, and will generally save everyone time.
     
  4. Spring Gem
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    Spring Gem Member

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    Here is a succinct overview of how to get published by Rachelle Gardner, a literary agent.

    Hope this answers some of your questions.

    Lavern
     
  5. BluEyedVixen
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    BluEyedVixen New Member

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    Thank you very much, that helped a lot. That last link really cleared up most of my questions.
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ...check out the agent listing sites... i can send you the best ones, if you want to email me...

    ...always check them first at preditors & editors, then their websites, to see if they're legit, who they represent, and if they'd be interested in what you have to offer...

    ...you might, but if you're writing fiction, the chances aren't very good... and a good agent can get you a better deal, regardless...

    ...your work is already copyrighted and seasoned writers don't register their book's copyright... legit agents and publishers don't steal work... it wouldn't make any sense for them to do so, would it?...

    ...kyle's 'poor man's copyright' advice isn't admissible in us courts, though it may be in the uk, so don't rely on that... this is dealt with on the loc site's faq... learn the official ins and outs of copyright here: www.copyright.gov

    ...the best proof that you wrote something [that is admissible in court]... is to save your first idea notes/jottings, your first rough draft and a 'middle' draft, so you can show how you developed the finished ms from an idea... no 'theif' will have that...
     
  7. Torana
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    Torana Contributing Member Contributor

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    Depends, if you want to hit the big time without putting in much effort, I guess so. Others get there without any help at all.

    Yes, you can. You don't need an agent to be able to submit to a lot of high paying markets, you just need to have something that interests them. Also, you may have better chances if you have a few publications already. Try submitting short pieces to a few reputable markets, ralan and duotrope are the best search engines if you ask me. My partner has a novel in US and Germany, Austria and Switzerland, he also has a novella out in the same places, and has publications in a heap of other areas. He makes between $50 to $300 of a short story sale (which isn't bad at all), he has submitted to large publishing houses where they publish people like Jack Ketchum, Gord Rollo, Edward Lee, and he didn't need an agent to do it for him. Would he have better luck with an agent? Yes. But he can still submit to quite a few places without one.

    My suggestion is to have more than one novel on hand, submit one for an agent, shop the other around. Also, get the shorts out there. It's worth it. An agent is going to be more interested in an established writer, than a non established writer.

    You don't need to, no. And they could, if they weren't a legit agent/publisher. Just do your research before you hand over your blood and sweat to them.

    Best of luck with whatever path you go down. It's a hard business to get into and will constantly slap you in the face, and kick you when you are down.
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    what current big name/big money authors do you know of who 'got there' without an agent?
     
  9. Ellipse
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    Ellipse Contributing Member Contributor

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    What is your deffinition of effort? What authors didn't have to put a lot of effort into their work, aside from writing it, to become a big name?
     

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