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27 votes

Can you pitch an outline?

As Mark says, not without a track record of one bestseller after another. But if you got that, you should be pretty rich, so why bother? Rowling and Stephen King probably don't worry about stuff like ...
Amadeus's user avatar
  • 103k
13 votes

How can I know that I'm not plagiarizing?

El ver mucho y el leer mucho avivan los ingenios de los hombres. (Seeing much and reading much sharpens one's ingenuity.) ~ Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra Your fear of plagiarism is a common anxiety ...
rolfedh's user avatar
  • 1,915
11 votes

How can I know that I'm not plagiarizing?

You are allowed to reuse ideas, but you are not allowed to reuse exact characters, names, or blocks of text. Let's take The Lord of the Rings as an example. You're not allowed to use the character ...
Galendo's user avatar
  • 311
7 votes

Include book cover in query letter to agent?

I think that is a definite marketing mistake on your side by trying to sell your book that way. Nobody else does it so you would look more like an amateur. I was an agent briefly, and would take it as ...
post as a guest's user avatar
6 votes

Are agents too busy for new clients? What should I do next?

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 ...
GGx's user avatar
  • 9,923
5 votes
Accepted

Should one invest in a professional editor before querying?

I didn't pay for a professional edit before querying and it didn't stop me being offered rep. Agents will tolerate some mistakes, knowing it will need a professional edit. However, that was my ...
GGx's user avatar
  • 9,923
5 votes

Ensemble cast novel - pitch and synopsis

I think you are focussing too much on introducing the characters in the synopsis too much. You are telling a mystery tale. Let a reader discover who are the characters later, it is not important to an ...
Totumus Maximus's user avatar
4 votes

What Genre Is My Book Judging By My Logline?

Well, that's not a logline, that's a (somewhat confusing) description of the premise. No agent is going to take a second look. A log line or logline is a brief (usually one-sentence) summary of a ...
Adaddinsane's user avatar
4 votes

Are idioms in query letters a bad idea?

For me, the problem is that the cliche hides the originality of your story. That is, it obscures the unique delights that distinguish your cat and mouse game from every other. Also "is forced" is ...
Dale Hartley Emery's user avatar
4 votes

Giving a character a name that is based on his storyline

This is a perfectly reasonable way to name your character and introduce the name with a little backstory. Some people will call it cheesy. Some people will say that it lacks originality. But all ...
Secespitus's user avatar
  • 5,686
4 votes

Does Blind Querying Literary Agents Actually Work? Is That How Authors Find Agents?

Don't know about stats as far as most, but yes, it happens: https://twitter.com/samroebuck/status/1229919990083702785?s=19 General wisdom is that every 10-15 rejections without a request, you should ...
MELISSA's user avatar
  • 41
3 votes

Can you pitch an outline?

To add a slight frame challenge to the mix: You appear to have headed off in an awkward direction by wondering if you can take an outline and some reasonably polished directly to an agent. And while ...
TheLuckless's user avatar
  • 1,361
3 votes
Accepted

Forum to Get Feedback on Queries

Where to find critique for query letters? Pitch wars (an annual event pairing aspiring fiction novelists with people in the industry) is imminent and this link leads to the 'middle grade query ...
SFWriter's user avatar
  • 23.8k
3 votes

What is the "Proposal" Part of a Query Letter?

Query letters and book proposals are two related, but distinctly different tools for selling your book. A query letter is a brief "hooky" one-page document that is often sent as a "cold-call," ...
Chris Sunami's user avatar
  • 56.5k
3 votes

Giving a character a name that is based on his storyline

Yes, author's do this all the time. One of the books I use frequently is The Writer's Digest Character Naming Sourcebook", it lists 25,000 first and last names and their meanings from around the world ...
Amadeus's user avatar
  • 103k
3 votes

Can I query a book in two countries simultaneously?

Foreign distribution to a publisher means $$, so yes, you have to be honest when querying regarding your intent to market your work overseas. Understand, however, that such a move may be off-putting ...
RobJarvis's user avatar
  • 556
2 votes

Where can I find sales numbers for books?

I found new book sales, rankings, and reviews tracking service. It tracks all your book data from Amazon (Apple books, google books, Smashwords as well) and puts them into one chart in the app. ...
Jan Pouska's user avatar
2 votes
Accepted

Ensemble cast novel - pitch and synopsis

1) Would seven mentioned characters in a synopsis be too much/too difficult to track? Is there another way to avoid this confusion other than simply labeling some of them as "the group"? The length ...
SFWriter's user avatar
  • 23.8k
2 votes

Is it acceptable to include articles written for assignments in one's portfolio?

The saying goes: If you don't have samples, create some. This should be applicable to journalism as well as it is to other fields like design, photography, engineering, programming, etc. You have to ...
Viktor Katzy's user avatar
2 votes
Accepted

Does Blind Querying Literary Agents Actually Work? Is That How Authors Find Agents?

I've had success at least getting to the level of proposal requests through blind queries. They can be a tremendous resource for an unknown writer. But it's a brutally tough market out there right now....
Chris Sunami's user avatar
  • 56.5k
1 vote

Multiple Books in a Single Query

I think it depends on the specific style/genre as well as your relationship with the publisher or agent. There are formal queries and then there are chats you have with someone in a position to get ...
Cyn's user avatar
  • 32.4k

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