Hot answers tagged

32

You certainly can --someone will always be willing to take your money --but there are multiple reasons this is a bad idea: 1) You're putting the cart before the horse: You're managing a writing career before you've produced much at all in the way of writing. Until you've done some more writing, gotten some feedback, and attempted some sales on your own, ...


27

The most likely explanation is that your queries are poorly written, or the agents you are querying are poorly suited to your work (or feel they are after reading your query). If you are getting rubber-stamp rejections, look online for lessons in writing queries; one example is at Query Letter, but there are many such sites. I would also look for agents ...


18

Your novel has a major supernatural element in it: people come back from the dead. No matter how you spin it, the central premise of your novel is supernatural. Correct me if I am wrong, but if you remove this element the story is not at all the same. This supernatural occurrence is a major plot device which the characters discuss in-world. Even if it's ...


16

Probably Thinking of a Literary Agent The role you are describing is really that of a Literary Agent. Part of the question is, "Would a Literary Agent take on an unknown and begin representing her/him?" Great Resource For Leaning About Literary Agents Expectations That is where the Writer's Market (Writer's Digest Books) will come in very handy. It lists ...


15

Keep in mind, genre isn't an exact science, it's a marketing tool, and cross-genre books can actually do very well. Neuromancer is science-fiction noir. Star Wars is science-fiction fairy tale. Harry Potter is fantasy/mystery/teen-series. Books fall outside the lines all the time, that just gets glossed over in the marketing materials! What reader is ...


11

Do not try to query with an unfinished manuscript. Dear Query Shark, I have an incomplete fantasy novel here's where I stop reading and send a form rejection letter -- Janet Reid, http://queryshark.blogspot.co.il/2009/09/134.html Google will find you this advice over and over: an unpublished author should not query an unfinished novel. e.g. 1 2 3 4 An ...


10

Answer: You stop when you are ready to stop. You begin again when you wish to begin. New agents come on the scene every month or two. New publishers too. Part of the answer, which complements the excellent existing answers, is to assess what you are gaining from the experience. You might be learning through the process, and this may be valuable in and of ...


9

I see no reason why not; agents have no bias against foreign writers, they want good stories. You seem to have a command of English, and you obviously have Internet access. The technical details of you getting paid (if the agent sells your work) is easily solvable, on our end at least (American), I don't think your country is sanctioned by us (sanctioned ...


9

It may be a scam When I read your question I was reminded of all those scam questions over at Money.SE - you mention that you contacted the first two of those companies and then the third contacted you? Here are your paragraphs about the third company with an emphasis added by me about everything I find suspicious and a little explanation in square brackets: ...


9

My answer is a little broad and maybe even opinion-based… so here goes. I think you can divide your decision process into 3 "problem areas" – it's a little difficult to say these things in a neutral nonjudgemental way, so hopefully you will have the patience to translate my words into ideas. I say the word "problem" but the reality is there may not be a ...


8

I spent some time in Oman and Kuwait this year and in Egypt a few years back and found the people to be extremely welcoming and lovely. When I look around York I see many people from other parts of the world - the Middle East included, who appear to be living peaceful and productive lives. From my perspective, you would be welcome to come here, or write ...


7

Agents generally do nothing for short stories. I have never heard of an agent representing a short story to a literary journal of any kind, since the 15% that they get from a sale would be too trivial of a sum to be worth their money. There are two things that an agent could potentially do for you at this stage in your career: Help you publish a short ...


7

Ultimately, agents and publishers are interested in what will sell. At one time, it was considered that prior publication online would cannibalize print sales, so writers needed to choose one or the other. But today, many publishers and agents are willing to see prior online publishing success as a good thing. In essence, your work has already been road-...


6

Agents do get a lot of submissions. Hundreds. But it is a myth that they are too busy to take on new clients or that it's impossible to get an agent if you are an unknown author. A few years ago, I found myself in exactly your position. Here are the rejections I received for my first novel from the top ten literary agents in the UK: "Thank you for ...


6

How can you be sure your employer is telling the truth when she says there's no money for bonuses this year? Or your local farmer's market farmer who says the early rain messed with the harvest and that's why the squash is twice the price it was last week? How can you be sure that a writer, famous for books about how authors should follow his advice to ...


6

I highly recommend http://agentquery.com. It's free, searchable by category and oriented towards North American agents. I haven't personally had any luck yet securing an agent through them, but the listings all seem to be legitimate, and comparable to the ones you can find through other valid sources. I do recommend, however, taking the time to click ...


6

Converting comments to an answer as suggested by @wetcircuit WHY BOOKS SUCCEED I was in the same place with my first novel. Many writers assume that the doors aren't open to them or there's some magical query that will open them. Remember: books are picked up based on how marketable they are, not how good they are. So, ask yourself, is it as good as the ...


6

Any writing award is a good thing, and so the Watty is fabulous--congrats. You also have an arguable fan base, and I'm jealous! Novella's are rarely queried. Short stories go to anthologies and magazines, by and large. My answer is two-fold. One is to compile a list of agents who would represent novellas. My guess is that this list will be so short that ...


5

First: you can't just "hire" a reputable agent. The only agents that allow you to buy representation outright are effectively running a scam to defraud new writers of their money, and you should not go to any of them. Instead, you query agents and tell them about your novel, and if they're interested they will offer you representation. The process of ...


5

Yes, you can. For example, the time I published my first book I already had a number of people willing to buy my book and who weren't related to me or weren't close friends of mine. It was a non-fiction book for a small niche and I was already known in that niche. I participated in forum discussions, used a common IRC channel, I blogged and commented on ...


5

Personally, I use a spreadsheet just because it's easier for me to control and manipulate, but I'm also a member of Query Tracker and they let you track all your queries and responses. Plus, they give you access to lots of data about agents in addition to comments other users leave which almost always include when they queried, when they got a response, and ...


5

If they want the information in the synopsis, then put it there. I also see no problem mentioning it in the cover letter additionally, but you don't need it there when it is in the synopsis. If you do not have a writing career (yet), then your age (or date of birth) and current profession should be sufficient. Tell them, why you are in expert for children's ...


5

When your authors began working with their respective agents, they would have had to sign a contract explaining the bounds of the agency. That contract will explain the ins and outs for common situations such as dual representation, entering markets outside the agent's bailiwick, and so forth. I would be surprised if 'Collaborative Works' wasn't mentioned ...


5

Probably NOT a synopsis or plot summary. I think he is looking for a report the editor would write about the work after editing it. This is not a book report like a summary or synopsis, but the editor's take on whether your writing is professional. The editor will correct all punctuation and formatting errors, but beyond that, pays attention to see if your ...


5

It is not necessary to go to a writer's conference to get an agent. Agent Query is an excellent resource --free, searchable, and legitimate. Other than that, your best bet is probably Writers' Market, the venerable print resource. It's available at most bookstores, as well as in an all-online form. The basic path is just to contact agents. At one time, ...


5

Yeah, you have to plainly label this as fantasy. Not science-fiction. Because the fantasy elements are ones that would jar the reader if they were expecting reality. And I think it will turn off anyone accessing your book if it wasn't stated upfront. Your queries can talk about "a mystery" without saying the book belong in the mystery genre. Or you can ...


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