1. Diviance
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    Diviance Member

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    What are common mistakes and issue's during publishing

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Diviance, Jun 2, 2009.

    Hi, just as the title says. What are the most commmon misconceptions, mistakes, newbie errors a person can make while attempting to publish a book.

    Iam about to finish up my first fantasy novel. Now iam at a wordcount of 75k with some editing to do and final plot. I started thinking what next? I began writing 8 months ago with the challenge to see if i can actually write something that is worth publishing. Now that iam nearly done with the actual book i have have questions. I doubt iam the only one with these questions

    Do i really need an agent, if so what do i look out for? What is okay to ask and what is not? What do agents actually do for me asside from looking for a publisher?
    How do i a approach a agent? Do i send the person a fitting part of my book with a short story about myself. Or do i first ask them if i can send it?

    How do i get my book reviewed and by who?

    What do i have to look out for in contracts with publishers or agents?

    What if i want to publish my book in two or more languages? Can i use more then one publisher?

    What should i really try to avoid, and what is a absolute must?

    Please feel free to add or answer questions. Also, if you can please tell us your own experiences.

    Thanks, Diviance
     
  2. TragicJuliet
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    TragicJuliet Senior Member

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    That is a lot of questions. I, unfortunately , have no idea yet since I'm still trying to finish my book. I have seen friends of mine however, turn in their manuscripts to publishers thinking they would get it on the first bat- which, that doesn't happen. SECOND I would recommend asking MammaMia for her tools of the trade and talking to her since she is very successful. Good luck!
     
  3. ManhattanMss
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    ManhattanMss Contributing Member

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    I hate to say it, but the most common mistake I've seen writers make when attempting to publish a first novel is to expect to succeed. That's not meant to be discouraging but rather to suggest that if you believe it's ready (and have objective opinions to support that perception), then get an agent (and yes, you'll need one), and move on to writing something else.

    Your agent (once you get one--and that's not simple either) will (or should) advise you on contracts and publishers and so forth, and once you have a contract to sign, you'll probably benefit from an attorney, as well to review the language in the contract and make sure your interests are protected. You should research agents (internet avenues are fine) and learn as much as you can about the publishing industry and how it all works (I think Writers Market is a good resource to start with, but I'm sure there are others, too). There are, indeed, pitfalls and scams and all kinds of things you'll need to become familiar with. Subscribe to some writers journals or magazines; read writers' blogs where they talk about publishing. Understand how royalty publishing differs from vanity presses--and all the gray areas in between. Know that there are agents who charge reading fees and others who don't. Know that writers usually expect to work with those who don't and often consider those who do to be less than legitimate (which is probably not necessarily so).

    In any case, don't expect anything at all to happen with your first novel immediately, soon, or maybe even ever--none of which speaks to your writing. If you haven't already, try publishing some short work to see what kind of reception you get, which could give you some confidence as well as some useful credits. Not to mention you're more likely to know if your writing is publishable by submitting short fiction to various places before you go casting your first novel out into the sea of likely rejection.

    You should be very pleased that you completed the writing. That's not small potatoes. But that's usually only the tippitip of the iceberg. Once you get some publishing credits behind you and begin to get a feel for the way it all works, then you'll be more likely to know how good your writing actually is. You'll need that confidence to get through the process of tracking down an agent and, ultimately, a publisher.

    And, no, you are not alone in your questioning. Not by a very large margin!

    This is just my opinion, based on experiences and opinions of the many writers I know and have known through the years, as well as my own experience launched (many decades ago) by some of the very same questions you ask. Good luck.
     
  4. Diviance
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    Diviance Member

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    Thanks for the very informative reply. I will defonately try the sugestions you gave me, thanks.
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    good advice from molly... take it seriously!

    to answer your questions specifically:

    ...you'll have a much better chance of getting published and will get a much better deal, if you have an agent... many publishers won't even accept unagented queries, so your book will be made available to publishers you couldn't get to, if you have an agent...

    ...you need to look out for any 'agent' who charges any sort of fee up front... legit agents only get paid AFTER they sell your book to a publisher... and the only money they'll ask for in addition to their 15% commission may be for printing and postage expenses... and that also won't be paid till the book is sold and they take their commission off the top...

    ...you shouldn't have to 'ask' anything... what the agent does will be spelled out in the submission guidelines you'll find on their website and in their representation agreement...

    ...first of all, check out each one's submission guidelines and follow them to the letter... the usual process is that you send them a query letter, asking them to rep your book... in it, you include a brief description of the book, mention any previously published books [not self-published!], any paid writing credits you may have, and offer to send either sample chapters or the full ms... letter should be a single page... i have tips on how to write effective ones i'll be glad to send you, if you drop me an email...

    ...you don't!... that's not done till you have a publisher and they'll take care of it...

    ...too much to list here... as a total newcomer to the business side of being a writer, you'd be wise to have any contracts looked over by a literary attorney... if you have a reputable agent, you won't have to worry about the publishing contract, as that's one of the agent's responsibilities...

    ...not unless that is allowed in the contract with your first publisher... if you want that clause included, you'll have to negotiate the details... but if the book is one that could sell well in a translation, your original publisher will probably take care of that...

    ...again, too much to cover in a single post... i have lots of info for new writers on all aspects of writing and the business end, so if you email me, i'll be glad to send you whatever you need... hope this helps...

    love and hugs, maia
     

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