1. zilly
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    zilly Senior Member

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    Unique Situation (Update). We'd appreciate your advice again.

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by zilly, May 18, 2011.

    Review:

    We received great reviews from local literary scholars/professors (much better than we ever thought we would have received, at least).

    We sent 30-ish query letters -- butchered the first ten. We received mainly non-standard responses. One agent offered us a lot of help and advice and two requested the first three chapters. But, both of the agents that requested the chapters almost immediately wrote back to us saying that our book is not for them.

    ***

    So, we waited a week or so to send out the next set of query letters -- sending out about another 30. Almost all of the responses this time around were standard rejections. One agent requested the first three chapters and had them for more than a month, but then decided against representing us. She did say that she really liked the story and our writing, but she probably just said that to be polite or else I think she would have represented it.

    As I mentioned before, our book is very unique. When we decided to write it, we thought that the majority of people would think that it's terrible. But, we knew that a lot of people really enjoy our writing, so we decided to write in our unique (polarizing) style. One professor went as far as to compare our story to Catcher in the Rye (which we couldn't believe). So, we don't know how seriously to take our story.

    Neither of us has the time to continue spending hours a day querying agents in the hopes that one of them will like our story enough to represent it. As we mentioned, we figured that most people wouldn't like it. So, it's reasonable to assume that most agents wont like it either. We are a little confused by the unbelievable response we've got from local literary scholars/professors, but we are still under the impression that it's going to be a really hard sell to an agent and probably a much harder sell to a publisher.

    The professors have all said that they are not aware of any book even similar in style to ours. We thought that was a good thing, but most agents and publishers want things similar to their previous works. So, we think it's probably not a good thing and maybe why things aren't working out as well as we thought they would have after having such a good response.

    I mentioned before that we are thinking of putting the book on Amazon. Most of you said that that would be a bad idea, but, now, after spending more than three months trying to get an agent and failing, we are heavily considering Amazon.

    I could understand if no agents were giving our story the chance to even read it. But, with three agents reading our story and not wanting to represent it, that means something to me. I have to think at this point that, if we would ever be represented, it's going to take a long, long time. Neither of us have that time.

    So, we'd appreciate any advice you have about putting our book on Amazon. If you have any warnings about it or tips that you think could help us, that would be great.

    NEW:

    We just heard back from an Author that spoke at my friend's university early in the year. He asked us to send him the first chapter of our book and, after he read it, gave us another outstanding review. In fact, he liked it so much that he acted as an editor and suggested some changes and pointed out errors and asked us to send him the rest of the book.

    That being said, we just realized that we made a good deal of stupid mistakes. For example, we used the wrong heterograph (homophone with different spelling) in several situations. We used "then" instead of "than" twice.

    However, I still have to believe that that could not possibly be the reason we were rejected. If the book is really THAT good, I don't think something so simple would be a reason to even consider rejecting it. As far as we are concerned, if the book isn't THAT good, why go through all the hassle of publishing it when we could just put it on Amazon. The only thing that has stopped us is because of the number of people that have said it is that good.

    It doesn't make sense to me for something possibly great to get rejected over spelling. Wouldn't it make a lot more sense if our book just wasn't really that good?

    I'd like to post the first chapter online so you all could get an idea of how different the writing style is. But, I've read that if I post a chapter, the chances of being published are pretty much erased, so there's no sense doing that if the option is still on the table.

    I really want to put an excerpt up, but it will be tough to find a piece small enough that wont destroy our chance of getting published and long enough for someone to be able to judge/critique it. Honestly, the best thing would be to get a lot of negative feed back, and then we could merrily put it on Amazon.

    So, if you have information on how I could go about selecting a sizable piece of the story without hurting our chances of being published, I'd appreciate that.

    Thanks,
     
  2. The-Joker
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    The-Joker Contributing Member Contributor

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    One question. Who is we? It sounds a little creepy.
     
  3. popsicledeath
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    popsicledeath Banned

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    No offense, but this scenario is starting to sound painfully typical:

    Young author(s) write something 'amazing' and 'unique' the likes of which had never been seen before and local professors and friends proclaim it the next great masterpiece of literature, but no agents are interested because of minor, technical mistakes that were made in the query and such that have nothing to do with the manuscript itself, of course, just technicalities, but still more agents aren't interested because they obviously just don't understand the genius of this revolutionary manuscript or aren't smart enough to understand its importance and after several months of waiting to have what the writer(s) feel they deserve bestowed upon them, it's just taking too long and the young writer(s) just don't have the time to wait to get all the accolades and honors they deserve... so tell everyone they can their tragic tale, hoping someone else will help the process along, to help right this wrong!

    And really, you seem like nice kids, but this story is one I've seen often and rarely is it anything but a young writers with flights of fancy, being impatient and naive, excited for the possibility and glories of publishing, but not quite ready to put the work in.

    You don't have the time to continue querying agents? (via what seem like mass/blanket queries) Trust me, you've got the time if you're willing to make it, and if you do self-publishing right it won't take less time, but probably more to give your book the attention it requires to even have a shot at success.

    I'll also add that praise isn't that hard to come by, and isn't nearly as hard earned as support.

    The frustrating thing is most of your story here was covered in the active thread you previously had. Starting a new thread makes me think you're perhaps more concerned with attention and praise in general, than actually getting/taking solid advice (as there was plenty in your other thread that you seem to not want to go back to).

    Not to mention, there is a ton of advice and even guides out there one how to handle all these things, including plenty of discussions on this site regarding these issues, including in the thread you previously started.

    All this tells me that you may have talent and gumption, but are perhaps a bit too young and eager to really handle all this properly. Thinking of your manuscript like it's a child, I'm more concerned with its well being, as I don't think self-publishing at this point is going to give the manuscript the respect and support it needs to have a chance at succeeding.

    The first thing good writers do is put their work ahead of themselves, realizing the biggest compliment in the world is when a reader cares fully for the story, not the writer. I'm not sure you're to that point, yet, as your posts seem all about you, and very little about the actual writing.

    So sorry, but my advice is to keep reading and writing and learning (especially about the industry; see the 'reading' advice). For the sake of your manuscript, FIND the time to not just rush it into a market since you haven't found the instant success you seemed to have expected. It's not the rejections that tell a writer they aren't yet ready, but the writers reaction to those rejections, that is key.
     
  4. Raki
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    Raki Contributing Member

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    Why is this project so important to get out immediately? Is its material timely (ie: current world events)? What I quoted above from your post tells me that perhaps your project offers some intrigue as it has at least interested three agents. However, their almost immediate rejections tell me you haven't spent enough time with the material to make the advertising from your query hold up.

    I might also add that saying literary scholars and professors liked your work does you little credit unless those scholars/professors are someone in the business (with books under their names...helps tremendously if their books are popular and somewhat like yours). About this...did these folks actually write reviews of your work? Or did they just say they liked it? Huge difference there.

    But on further examination, I think you need to figure out what you want to do with your work here because it sounds like you are not sure.

    Is your goal to get it published? Or is getting it published just something you thought was possible because your professors liked it so you thought you'd "give it a shot?" From your post, I'm getting the impression of the latter. That you don't have high expectations for this project, and that you don't really care if it publishes or not. Actually, it sounds that if it will require you to spend more time than you are willing to give then you will cast it aside, which also says something about what kind of work it might be and how much you care about your work.

    But this is one of the things that bugs all writers--whether or not their work will be accepted. We want to set a time table to it so we can work toward a set-in-stone goal. The problem is, none of it is set in stone. You can have a masterpiece and be required to sit on it for fifteen years before someone may take an interest in it and unleash your fame. Writing is one of the businesses that you can literally pour all of your energies and efforts into without a single drop of reward. That's just the way it works, and most of the time, we can do only two things to fight off that ever encroaching sense of failure: keep writing and keep trying.

    Honestly, I think the only advice I can give you is that writing is rewriting and to keep at it. Sorry for the negativity in my post; I usually try to avoid it.
     
  5. StrangerWithNoName
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    StrangerWithNoName Longobard duke

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    What about the professors who liked the work? Can't they give you a hand finding an academic publisher or anything like that?

    If they teach literature they should have connections, most of their work is publishing articles, thesis etc..
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    all good advice given above... my advice is to take it!
     
  7. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I feel as if you're about to drown a puppy here.

    There is every evidence that your book is good. Yet you seem unwilling to put any significant amount of effort into getting it published. Thirty rejections is nothing, as I understand it. On the other hand, three bites from agents is huge, and the fact that they resulted in rejections doesn't change that fact. They probably mean that there's more work to be done on the manuscript, but three bites remains exciting. You are getting a response that most first-time authors could only dream of.

    But you don't have time to pursue publication. And rather than just putting the book on the shelf and waiting until you do have time, you are eager to self-publish and thus destroy your book's best chance of success. And it's not as if there's any real chance of your being one of the very, very, _very_ few self-publishing successes, because if you don't have time to work on getting conventionally published, you certainly don't have time to market a self-pubished book.

    I'm going to go amateur psychologist here: Is there any chance that the positive response to your book has freaked you out, and that you're afraid of giving it its best chance, for fear that it won't fulfill your expectations? If you self-publish, you pretty much guarantee the book's failure, and that failure can't really be tied to the merits of the book. If it sells a dozen copies and peters out, you can say, "Oops. Well, we'll know better next time." If it's conventionally published, it has a chance of success, and therefore a possible failure might actually be based on its merits.

    Failure based on your best and most heartfelt efforts is more painful than failure based on an error. That's the only explanation I can think of for what appears to me to be your determination to kill this book.

    ChickenFreak
     
  8. zilly
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    zilly Senior Member

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    Yes, I know it does! That's what I've been trying to say. It seems like we've got our hopes up over a couple misleading statements and nothing other than sheer luck in getting a couple of follow ups to our queries. That's why I'm so serious about self-publishing. Maybe our work just isn't that good. But, we have a lot of people that want to read it and we don't want them to have to wait two years or more and then still end up self-publishing it and really looking like idiots.

    We always said that we thought it would be published and be successful, but, in the back of our minds, both of us were thinking, "Yeah, right. This book is so stupid. No one is going to like it except our friends -- who are equally as stupid." But, once we finished it, we realized that it wasn't as silly as we thought and after we got the response we got from the professors we immediately changed our perspective to "Oh. My. God. We're going to get published!"

    Honestly, we wrote the story for nothing other than the enjoyment. Then, when we found out our friends were so interested, we thought we could have a chance to get published -- just based on the amount of people that are waiting to buy the book (I know that a lot of books print less than 5k copies on the first print). Then, when we got the response we did, I think our expectations got too high.

    And, really, our original plan wasn't even to write a novel; it was to write a screenplay for a movie. So, honestly, if it wasn't for pretty much everyone telling us not to self-publish, we'd have done it already.

    Pop culture is all throughout the story, but that's not really the reason for the rush at all. Both of us have just graduated and are moving on to completely different things. And, unless some miracle occurred, neither of us will have the time to focus on writing any time soon.

    One of them has really good connections to Random House. And, this is one of the reasons that I'm so skeptical about the reviews. He really hasn't done anything other than tell us about his connection. If he really thought it was so good, why wouldn't he do something about it? It doesn't make any sense. But, neither does going out of his way to compare it to Catcher in the Rye for no reason other than to mislead us.

    Granted that I'm not an agent, but this just doesn't make any sense to me. If I read something and saw a lot of potential in it, I'd want to represent it. I wouldn't just straight up reject it. And, even if I did, I'd probably suggest some changes and hint at the idea of re-submitting it after a revision. I wouldn't just reject it.

    The one that really got to us was the last one. The first two rejected us so quick that we really don't think they even read one sentence of the story (our biographies were a little ridiculous -- to say the least). One agent literally rejected it within four hours of sending it to her. The other within 24. But, the last one had it for a month and didn't so much as give us advice or anything. So, maybe she had it all that time and didn't read it, but I doubt it.



    Something just isn't right. And, I think everything would make sense if it weren't for a couple of statements from a couple of professors. If you take those statements out of the equation, it's a no-brainer that our story is probably not publishable. And, considering that both of us were suspicious from the start -- even when we were as excited as you could imagine -- it just seems like that's all it is: a couple of statements by a couple of people that were just trying to make two kids feel good about their story.


    As always, we really appreciate your input. Thank you!
     
  9. popsicledeath
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    popsicledeath Banned

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    It may be good, though, is the point many are making. You've already found more success with agents than many/most writers ever do, so there's something there. Up to you what to do with that something, of course. If your goal is to just push it out self-published so friends can read it, then do it, I guess.

    And I know people who have major connections, and they aren't in the habit of just calling up their publishers and insisting some friend of theirs be given a break. It doesn't work like that. You have to pay your dues and they'll help when professionally feasible, in ways that are reasonable, but just because the one professor has ties to Random House doesn't mean it could reasonably be expected for him to cash in on those ties. So I wouldn't take his not doing that as a sign of anything.

    If you want people to read it, why not just do some respectable conversion to pdf format and let people download it for free? That's what I don't get, I guess. On the one hand you seem to just want it out there and to be done with it, but on the other hand you seem to think/expect/want to make money from it. Like any good investment, it takes time and attention to see a decent return (which you seem to not have, which is especially understandable if both writers just graduated and have gone their own way).

    It might be best to just put it out there for free, as then people could read it and you wouldn't even have to quibble over money with the other writer. Offer the download through a blog or website, as then you can at least track how many people are downloading it and they'll have some place to comment or follow future work, as then this book can be a momentum builder for other stuff, or something.

    Interestingly enough, if you share your story and these sorts of posts on enough sites I'm sure you'll drum up interest. I know I want to read this book, now, though on principle will refuse to pay for it if it's self published. ;)
     
  10. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    My understanding is that it doesn't work that way. Have you done any reading about the publishing process? I really, really think that you should spend at least a little time doing that. One possible website is Author! Author! (the annemini site).

    As I understand it, agents simply don't have time to say, "Hey, this could be a great book! It'll just take several hundred hours of my time to make these authors into professionals, and if I lose a few ready-to-sell books in the meantime, who cares? I'm not in this for the money, after all."

    They're far more likely to say, "Could be a great book. Too bad it's not ready. Next!"

    The assumption is that if you're serious, you will do the work to discover your book's flaws and fix them. Agents and publishers simply do not have time to turn promising amateur authors into professionals. The authors have to do that themselves.

    So the agents' rejection does not mean that your book could not be published. It means it's not ready yet. If it's not ready yet, why not put it on the shelf in case, someday, you want to make it ready? Why kill it?

    ChickenFreak

    Adding to clarify: As I understand it, agents and their readers have so many manuscripts to read that it's not unusual to reject one at the _first paragraph_. They have to knock them off that fast. They simply do not have the time to give loving, respectful attention to each one. If yours starts to show its value on page 2, or even paragraph 2, that may be too late.
     
  11. Laura Mae.
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    Laura Mae. Member

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    Exactly what I was thinking. Yet, of all the posts that were quoted in zilly's reply, yours was ignored.
     
  12. Mister Cheech
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    Mister Cheech Member

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    PM me the story and I'll tell you why it got rejected.

    P.S. It goes without saying that I won't share with anyone else, but still worth mentioning because people on the internet are often terrible.
     
  13. tonten
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    tonten Senior Member

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    How long have you put away the novel then come back to it for editing?

    For your first book, the editing process, in my opinion, should take 1+ years. It took me 1.5 years. During that time, you will learn a lot about your writing, mistakes you may not have seen before, and how to improve on your writing.

    Even now, when I reread my book, I still catch a few errors. I have a lot of those my eyes can see, but my brain misses to process errors. This is even after 3 excellent beta readers and me personally rereading my manuscript a thousand + times.

    There are many reasons why an agent would reject you. You may not have a strong opening/beginning in your book. There could be grammar, structure errors that you may not have caught. The book may just not be for them, or they have already have a book similar to yours on their client list.

    Just remember, what you have written now, ten years down the road, you will look back and dwell on how amateur it was. Writing is a craft you can never perfect. A true writer is one that will always learn and improve.
     
  14. zilly
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    zilly Senior Member

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    We finished the book around the end of December 2010. And, we're starting to see that problem.

    I've edited the following into the OP.

    We just heard back from an Author that spoke at my friend's university early in the year. He asked us to send him the first chapter of our book and, after he read it, gave us another outstanding review. In fact, he liked it so much that he acted as an editor and suggested some changes and pointed out errors and asked us to send him the rest of the book.

    That being said, we just realized that we made a good deal of stupid mistakes. For example, we used the wrong heterograph (homophone with different spelling) in several situations. We used "then" instead of "than" twice.

    However, I still have to believe that that could not possibly be the reason we were rejected. If the book is really THAT good, I don't think something so simple would be a reason to even consider rejecting it. As far as we are concerned, if the book isn't THAT good, why go through all the hassle of publishing it when we could just put it on Amazon. The only thing that has stopped us is because of the number of people that have said it is that good.

    It doesn't make sense to me for something possibly great to get rejected over spelling. Wouldn't it make a lot more sense if our book just wasn't really that good?

    I'd like to post the first chapter online so you all could get an idea of how different the writing style is. But, I've read that if I post a chapter, the chances of being published are pretty much erased, so there's no sense doing that if the option is still on the table.

    I really want to put an excerpt up, but it will be tough to find a piece small enough that wont destroy our chance of getting published and long enough for someone to be able to judge/critique it. Honestly, the best thing would be to get a lot of negative feed back, and then we could merrily put it on Amazon.

    So, if you have information on how I could go about selecting a sizable piece of the story without hurting our chances of being published, I'd appreciate that.

    Thanks again for all your help and advice.
     
  15. popsicledeath
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    popsicledeath Banned

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    Putting the first chapter online would only hurt your chances of only publishing the first chapter somewhere.

    Even still, if you're concerned, it's shouldn't be hard to find an excerpt. Those white spaces that act as breaks between your scenes (I hope) are scene breaks. Between those breaks is a scene. Usually posting even a single scene is enough for others to offer feedback.

    But yeah, an excerpt, whether a chapter from a novel or just a scene, won't hurt your chances of publishing the novel (from a legal standpoint). It might even help if you get good feedback you're able to apply to the rest of the manuscript.

    And hey, if you're just wanting an excuse to self-publish on amazon, then nothings stopping you anyway, as you'll be your own publisher, so who cares, right?
     
  16. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    That is _absolutely_ sufficient reason to be rejected. Absolutely. You may not like that that's the way that the publishing industry works, but it is the way that it works.

    I'm not sure if you realize that an agent's screener is not going to read every submitted manuscript from beginning to end and give each one a long-thought, careful, loving evaluation. He doesn't have time for that. He is going to read a page, or a paragraph, or perhaps just a line, and if he sees a reason to reject the manuscript, it will be rejected. He gets too many submissions to even consider the possibility of spending substantial time on each and every one. I've read many times that for a good number of pages into a work, the screener is looking for a reason to reject it. Only at around page 100 is he looking for reasons to accept it.

    If your material had obvious errors, that was a clear signal that you did not respect it or value it. So why should the screener? Why should he even read for content when the work failed to fulfill minimum standards for presentation? He no doubt has many professionally-polished manuscripts in his reading pile; why shouldn't he turn his attention to them?

    If your book had these errors when you submitted it, you have not even begun the process of submitting it for publication. Not even _begun_. Your effort to submit your work hasn't failed; there has, as yet, been no effort to submit your work. A clean manuscript is a prerequisite, not a frill.

    Yes, you may have trouble believing this, but try making it more extreme: try imagining that your submission was hand-written in an unreadable scrawl on damp, wrinkled paper that smelled of cat food. Can you more easily believe that the screener wouldn't go to the trouble of thoroughly and extensively reviewing the work? Yes, it might be valuable, yes, it might be the book of the century, but he's not going to read it. And if he finds basic spelling or other errors in your manuscript he is, similarly, _not_ going to read it. He's never going to learn that it's "that good", because he's not going to get that far.

    If you want your book to be published, you need to give it the respect that it deserves and make a genuine effort to submit it. If you don't want to do that, that's your choice, but it's not reasonable to blame the publishing industry for failing to understand or appreciate your work. It sounds like it's publishable, if you do the work. And it sounds like you don't want to do the work, and you are _determined_ to destroy its chances by self-publishing. And I do not understand why.

    ChickenFreak
     
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  17. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    You keep saying 'we', so I assume this is a collaborative thing, which may in itself be reason enough for publishers to reject you. I'm assuming it's fiction? I can't think of a single book I've read (besides ghost-written books by those authors who are an industry on their own) that has two authors. It's simply not done. It also means that there's the potential for things to get messy if the book does get published and become as successful as you hope it's going to be, when profits start coming in and the partnership starts to fall apart--unless you have a solid, legally binding contract in place dictating who gets what.

    And yeah, if you confused 'then' with 'than', that's more than enough reason for an agent to throw your mss away. It's not like they don't have dozens/hundreds of other submissions to sort through from writers every bit as convinced as you are that their work is great and going to be hugely successful.
     
  18. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi Zilly
    Haven't read though all the posts they're far too long.

    But here's my two-pence worth.

    You say your story is different from anything out there - publishers and agents are business people and would be more inclined (I think) to go with a well tried and tested genres/types = less risk.

    You also say that your story will not appeal to most people (not a good selling point) - another reason for agents to be cautious.

    Agents are out to make money - to survive, they have to be.

    They are looking at potential sales figures and your book sounds as if they would have to be prepared to take a risk and in today's economic climate, they may be more reluctant than normal to do that, and who could blame them.

    Good luck!
     
  19. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    So you want negative feedback so you can justify self-publishing? It's your career, do what you want. Either you really do need justification to self-publish (which doesn't make much sense) or you're trying to tell us you want us to think it's terrible so that if/when we don't you can say "See! I told you it was awesome!"

    As pops said, there's really no reason for you NOT to post an excerpt or scene so do as you wish, but if all you're looking for is justification to self-publish you need look no farther than yourself. (Though considering what you've said about mistakes in your last post I'd work hard to get those worked out before I self-published or resubmitted to more agents).
     
  20. The-Joker
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    The-Joker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Who is WE!!!???:confused:

    You sound like Mathew Swift from A Madness of Angels.

    Or a very eloquent version of Gollum.
     
  21. popsicledeath
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    popsicledeath Banned

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    Not to play devil's advocate, but plenty of manuscripts not only get submitted, but published and become best-sellers with errors in them. And plenty of works have had co-authors, though perhaps not in genres people will say 'count' I suppose.

    Meaning: my guess is the manuscript just isn't good enough. Whether it's not good enough to overcome typos, or not good enough to overcome a potentially off-putting authorial situation, or simply not good enough the agents think it'll ever sell and/or win awards. Writers like to make a million mistakes, trying to explain and excuse everything away--maybe this or maybe that or maybe the agent was having a bad day or maybe the world just isn't ready for my genius or maybe pigs aren't flying--but in the end the answer is rejection means the manuscript just isn't good enough.

    What to do next is up to each individual writer, of course. Most quit (fact), many just keep trying and hope to get lucky, some go back to studying in an attempt to improve their craft, and increasingly, and in my opinion inexplicably, many writers these days, in these situations, think the answer is somehow simply self-publishing.
     
  22. zilly
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    zilly Senior Member

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    But it's not that hard to read. Sure, if I were an agent, I can imagine getting really irritated when reading common grammatical/spelling errors. However, if I'm reading something with a style that I really like, I'm going to give it a chance. I can't see ANY agent getting a manuscript and saying, "man, this style of writing is so good. I love it. I really do. Oh, wait, misspelled word. Never mind. Next."

    That's not what I was wanting to imply. I meant that, after submitting it, if there was an overwhelmingly negative response, I'd feel like, at that point, it's safe to say the story isn't THAT good. And, if it's not that good, we want to self-publish it on Amazon so that our friends/followers can download it and read it now. We're probably going to make it free if we self-publish on Amazon.

    But, if you guys agree with the majority of the responses that we've gotten so far and say that it is/could be THAT good, we'll continue pursuing an agent/publisher.

    I completely agree with you. I don't think the spelling errors should have changed our chance of getting published if our book really is that good.

    Anyway, I'm going to put an excerpt of it up later this week. Unless it is better to take an excerpt from the begging, I'm thinking about taking a short excerpt out from near the ending of the story.

    But, even then I don't know how much of a review it can get from a short excerpt. When I think of a book like The Catcher in the Rye, if I read a scene from it, I would get the idea of the style of writing J.D. Salinger used (and I'd absolutely LOVE it, but plenty of people wouldn't), but I'd have no idea as to whether the entire story would be publishable or not.

    For example, if The Cather in the Rye had a different ending, it arguably wouldn't even be that great of a book. So, how would you know how good that book is by just reading a chapter, for example?
     
  23. dizzyspell
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    dizzyspell Active Member

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    You need to hook an agent with an excerpt. If the sample you send isn't that great, what makes you think they'll read your fantastic ending?
     
  24. popsicledeath
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    popsicledeath Banned

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    You won't know if the entire book is publishable or not based on an excerpt alone. Just like an agent doesn't know if an entire novel is publishable or not based on a query. But there are heavy indications in both, and if a single excerpt or query isn't hitting just right, then there's no point in even reading the entire work.

    Posting excerpts to a writing review/workshop site isn't to get confirmation an entire novel is publishable. The point, in your case at least, isn't to affirm the entire novel is publishable, but mostly to affirm if it's not. Just as a query isn't to convince the agent your novel is worth publishing, despite what many think, but instead to convince an agent it's at least work considering.

    And because of the situation, I'd submit the beginning, as it's what any agent will see to determine if they even want to read the rest.
     
  25. The-Joker
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    The-Joker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yes consider this. The agents who've been rejecting you haven't been reading the scene at the end. They're reading your first paragraph, first page, first chapter. If there are major flaws on the first page, it doesn't matter if the rest of the manuscript is scintillating, your WILL get rejected. So I'd strongly suggest posting your first page.
     

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