1. sophia_esteed
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    sophia_esteed Senior Member

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    So...uhm, how should I go about contacting publishers?

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by sophia_esteed, Aug 6, 2010.

    This is actually the first time I've written something readable and I've never published anything before.
    So, uhm, how do I search for publisher? How do I contact them? By, like, email?
    Should I include the work I'd like to be published in the very first message I send to them?
    How do writers normally go about contacting publishers and present them with their works?
    And if I wish to publish with a pen-name? How do I explain it to them?
     
  2. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    You need to go to the web site or user other resources (like a Writer's Market book) to find out what the Publishers want in terms of contact. It can differ from publisher to publisher. Many won't even look at your work (assuming we're talking about a novel) unless you have an agent, in which case the agent will take care of the submissions.

    Publishers who do take unagented submissions usually have guidelines on their web sites that tell you exactly what they want to see and how they want it to be presented to them.
     
  3. sophia_esteed
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    sophia_esteed Senior Member

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    No, I don't have an agent. I don't even know where to start to get one.
    Anyway, I see. I should do a bit of research on the publisher's website first.
    Submission guidelines, you said. I'll go and look for them.
    Uhm, about the agent, where do people usually go to find one? or how do people look for one?
    Sorry, maybe me questions are kind of naive, but this is really my very first time writing a proper novel and I've never even though of publishing anything before.
     
  4. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    You can do a Google search for Preditors & Editors. They have a list of agents and attorneys on that site, and they try to keep a watch on which ones are reputable and which are not.
     
  5. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    Given your location, the first thing I'd ask is what language your story is in?
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    p&e exists mainly to just warn writers of the bad guys... it's not a comprehensive listing of the good ones...

    i have several good agent listings i can send you if you email me... same goes for publishers, but you should try for an agent first, if it's a novel you have to offer...

    i also have good tips from pros on how to write an effective query letter, which is your first step...

    see above re listings... once you have names of those who take on the kind of book you have, you need to check each one out to make sure they're legit and to check their submission guidelines, which you must stick to, if you hope to have your work considered... and they won't all be the same...

    some do take email queries, but snail mail is best, since that leaves your letter/samples lying around for others in the agency to see, or for the person who got it to take a second look at it... while email queries can be deleted with a single mouse click...

    only if they say it's ok to... though some feel you can get away with sending the first 5 pages of your novel regardless, i wouldn't advise it, if their guidelines are specific about sending only the query...

    see above... i mentor many beginning writers, so if you need help with this, drop me a line any time...
    you don't have to, though it wouldn't hurt to simply mention it in the body of the query letter [don't explain it!]... you simply use your real name in all correspondence and put your pen name on the ms in the by line...
     
  7. sophia_esteed
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    sophia_esteed Senior Member

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    To Banzai, I live in Italy and the story is written in my mother tongue. It's a sci-fi novel.
    To mammamaia. I kinda have a publisher in mind. It's a huge publishing group which has, like, the monopoly over the sci-fi genre in my Country.
    But it's a really huge publishing group and an influential one at that.
    Maybe you guys know it as well? It's called Mondadori.
    I wasn't sure if I should contact them first or maybe try with smaller publishers.
    It's...kinda scary, thinking of going directly for the largest publishing group in my Country. And I thought it may be best to contact several publishers anyway.
    But I was unsure on how to contact them in the first place, this is why I seeked advice.
    I already cast a glance at the Mondadori group website. There's written to phone to their submission office and it's given the phone number to call to. Should I go for it?
    Should I look for other publishers as well or should I stick with the largest publishing group and see what happens first?

    PS

    Guess I should mention this too. To get it reviewed I posted exercpts of the novel I'd like to publish on the Italian creative writing site I'm registered to.
    Also I've put up a personal site on the web with my writings in it.
    I think I should be honest and let the publisher know it beforehand.
    How should I go about this? Do I explain it in my query and add the links?
    Also, should I let the webmistress of the creative writing site know about this? Should I ask for her help? To act as an in-between?
    There's another user on that same website that had one of her works recently published. Should I talk with her first?
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    query all the publishers who handle novels like the one you have to offer... and there's no good reason not to start at the top!

    but don't you have literary agents in italy?... if you do, that's the best way to proceed, letting the agent approach the publisher, making you appear to be a professional, rather than an amateur, which will be assumed if you do so on your own...

    i don't see why you'd want to call them, unless it's to ask how to query, if you can't find submission guidelines on their website...

    not if you've only posted brief excerpts... but if you've posted significant amounts of the ms, that may harm your chances of getting it published... i wouldn't mention it in the query... if/when they request sample chapters or the full ms, then you should, if you have more than a few small bits on the site...

    i don't see any reason why you would, if she only manages that website and is not an agent...

    depends on how her work was published... if it was self or vanity published, don't bother... but if she snagged a reputable print publisher, she might have some helpful tips for you, or even recommend your ms to her agent/publisher, if she likes it...

    buona fortuna!

    abracci e baci, maia
     
  9. sophia_esteed
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    sophia_esteed Senior Member

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    Thank you. I'll write down all of your helpful advice!
    Now that I've acquired a clearer view of the process, I think I can teake my steps more consciously (at the beginning it was all so hazy and fuzzy in my head I didn't even know how to get started!).
     

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