1. Bright Shadow
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    Bright Shadow Member

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    Will agents and/or publishers care if I don't have a degree?

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Bright Shadow, Jul 20, 2011.

    I never finished college. Basically, it was a combination of my own laziness, making too much money as a fine dining server to care about getting a "real job" and all around sucking at math that made me half fail half quit. Years later I've decided to go to trade school in the next year or two for automotive technician...writing and reading fiction are the only things I can sit at a desk to do. Other than that I need a job I can do with my hands.

    Anyway, my thing is this: the only authors without college degrees are from back in the day. Look on the back of any book at the author's bio and they all mention some college attended and degree gained. Is it just because most of the people who write are degree holders or because agents have a bias against degree holders?

    Well, in the end I think that if it's quality enough they wouldn't care if a Martian wrote it, as long as it's marketable. Still, I can't help but thinking it would limit my chances...
     
  2. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Bright Shadow,

    When you submit a mansucript to a pubisher a degree won't count, especially for fiction--unless you're writing a crime mystery and you graduated with a degree in criminal justice and have worked as a sheriff for 20 years or something. Even then, all the degrees in the world won't make a difference if the story isn't good enough.

    With nonfiction it might be a different story depending on the subject you're book covers. Being a history professor or a degree in history might help if you're writing a biography of Abraham Lincoln. Really, I am not well versed in submission and acceptance of nonfiction books.

    Publishers of fiction and agents are not interested the fact that you have a degree. They won't even ask (at least not that I've ever heard). They'll only care about what kind of story you can write and maybe...maybe if you have some sort of audience or experiences or contacts that will help sell the novel.

    But the primary focus is the quality of the work and if they think it can sell/make a profit. Get that covered and things should fall into place.

    Good luck moving forward.
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    all true!

    first of all, agents and publishers won't know whether you have any degrees when you query them and they won't care whether you do or not, except in the case of certain non-fiction, as noted above...

    so stop agonizing over the issue and concentrate only on writing a book that is professional quality writing-wise and highly marketable...
     

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