Skip to comments.Looking For Help With Publishing Novel
Posted on 05/18/2007 11:47:04 AM PDT by bolobaby
I've recently written a 139,000 word fantasy novel (swords & sorcery type stuff). After an overwhelmingly enthusiastic response from dozens of test readers, I've decided to seek an agent to help get the book published. I'm taking a stab in the dark here in case...
1) Anyone knows an actual agent who deals in the fantasy genre.
2) Anyone knows a published fantasy author who may be willing to "blurb" my manuscript, if it is worthy. (That means reading all or part of the book and, if they enjoy it, to offer a quote that I can include in my query letter that will greatly increase my chance of getting looked at.)
I've only begun my query process, but I am very familiar with how it all works. I do NOT intend on self-publishing if I can help it. After I get six books rejected, maybe I'll consider that route, but not until.
I understand that any established writers don't want to be hounded or stalked, so I would act appropriately if you are able to provide me with a contact. Furthermore, although I haven't had any complaints with the book yet, I am fully prepared to be told "sorry, not good enough" by agents and authors who I may approach.
So, if you know anyone, or think you can help otherwise, send me a freepmail. Getting published would be a boon to my family!
How about this guy?
You did say Fantasy, right?! Sorry, had to do it. :O)
You found me out. The title of my book is “I Used To Be the Next President of the United States.”
No help here, but good luck!
If you really want your novel printed, you should stick it in a desk drawer for a while, and start writing short stories for a Fantasy magazine.
I’m not into fantasy, but I do subscribe to Analog Science Fiction and Fact, and I’ve seen many new authors write short stories for that magazine that really read like a chapter of a longer novel. They even often write ‘sequels’ that continue the story, and eventually a novel of the same story or something very much like it appears on the shelves.
It is much easier to get a short story accepted by a magazine without an agent, and much easier to get an agent once you’ve been published by a magazine.
Good advice. My wife has been pushing me to write some short stories, but I have all blasted novels in me!
After I finish this next book I’m working on, I’ll probably consider some short stories. Good exposure.
“You can also go to the library and look at an expensive paperback called Literary Market Place.”
I actually have a copy of Writer’s Market 2007 and I use the online sites (like www.agentquery.com) as well.
Again, I’m kinda shooting blindly on the off-chance that someone says, “Hey, my cousin is a published fantasy author... maybe I’ll help a freeper out and get them talking...”
Want my advice? (It’s worth *every* penny you pay for it. Okay — it’s free, but I have managed to get four books published, without an agent.)
Submit it to Baen Books. You can find guidelines for submitting manuscripts at: http://www.baen.com/FAQS.htm
Baen is new-author friendly. Does not mean they will accept your manuscript. Does not even mean they will reply. But John Ringo (who is a Freeper) got first published by them and is now on their “A” list.
My bet is that if your manuscript *really* is as devastating as you think it is that Baen will pick it up.
But you have to be good. Very good — in the top 3%. I am a pretty good writer, better than 9 out of 10, (around 89th percentile, I would guess). That puts me in the publishing equivalent of the Triple-A minors, but I am not good enough for the majors.
Good point with Baen. They’re on my radar, for sure. Jim’s in good hands now.
I’ll definitely consider submitting to Baen in the future. Since I’m only on my third query, I want to see what kind of agent feedback I can get first. Half of the time agents just send form rejections, but my first two were personal. The second agent actually read some of the material and provided some comments - none of which were really negative. Woot!
I have several ideas but very little time to do anything about it right now, I wish you all the best and remember your FRiends when you hit the big time:)
“Half of the time agents just send form rejections, but my first two were personal.”
If you are getting personal responses then you are almost there.
The path followed by many starting authors today is:
1. Write a book.
2. Send it to publishers.
3. Have publisher reject ms, send to new publisher.
4. Finally have publisher accept ms.
5. Find agent to negotiate contract (having a letter from a major publisher helps there).
6. Submit subsequent ms’s through agent.
Once you are a (6) it becomes a breeze. Getting there . . . that’s the hard part.
Actually, according to what I know, you get the agent first - they find you a publisher...
I’ve got Terry Brook’s “Sometimes the Magic Works”, a very cool book called “Worlds of Wonder”, and “The First Five Pages”. (Among others.)
All these books are helpful, surely, but nothing is more helpful than a personal referral.
And, in some cases, these books can’t even help. I have a friend for whom there is no hope, yet he keeps sending me stuff to read. Sigh...
“Actually, according to what I know, you get the agent first - they find you a publisher.”
Nope. Most agents won’t bother with you unless you are “saleable.” That means you either have a track record (like a long history of published short stories), you are a celebrity, or you have managed to get a publisher to buy one of your novels (without an agent). It’s easy to get an agent once you sell a novel, but almost impossible *before* selling your first novel. That’s why I suggest the Baen slush pile.
One shameless, self-serving bump...
I’ve read 2 of Snake65’s books, both sci-fi genre.
Thank you Tijeras_Slim.
Question for Snake65: I see you are scheduled to go to World Fantasy 2007. This is one area in which I could really use some guidance! I’ve never been to a writer’s convention, but think I will be going to this one.
There’s going to be four agents there (as of now) that I’d like to talk to, namely Jennifer Jackson, Shana Cohen, Jenny Rappaport, and Joshua Bilmes (although I currently have a query out to his partner, Steve Mancino). I’ve heard of people scheduling time to talk to agents at the conventions, but haven’t seen any mechanism to sign up anywhere. Do you have any experience with this?
Feel free to Freepmail me with any info you may have that will help my convention going experience to be more productive. Or, for that matter, any information on the subject of getting published at all.
I’m extremely energized right now. I think I have something pretty good on my hands, but what author doesn’t? Still, it’s not like some of the samples I’ve see online. You know the stuff...
“Joris’kar, first knight of the Temp’helra, has been fighting the six houses of Gor’nak since being inducted into the Fgellanam. When his kingdom comes under attack by the Relg’ak, he must forsake his blood oath to never draw his sword again...”
Agents are generally friendly and accessible people. By going to a con like World Fantasy you’re telling them that you’re serious and approaching it in a professional manner.
You’ve got to do some groundwork first. Hopefully the ms you’re marketing is complete, polished, and similar to the kind of stuff they handle. Assuming that’s the case, you can email or snail-mail them through their agency and simply ask for five minutes of their time at World Fantasy (which is where I got my agent, BTW).
Assuming that you get a chat, just be prompt and courteous. They’ll probably ask about any publishing experience you have, your ms (subject, word count, who you’ve shown it to) and plans beyond. Remember, no agent, or publishing house, just wants to handle one ms, they want twenty.
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