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Agents and Publishers

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message 1: by John (last edited Aug 24, 2010 05:37AM) (new)

John Cicero | 71 comments Mod
Give us your thoughts here.

How has the publishing world and the agent world been treating you?

What advice can you give to our fellow authors as well as our aspiring writers?

john


message 2: by Brigid ✩ (new)

Brigid ✩ Well, I haven't had much success in the publishing world yet. Last year I sent out queries concerning one of my novels, and I only received two positive responses––one for a full and one for a partial, but they were both rejected. One because she "didn't connect with the characters enough" and the other because "you do a lot of telling instead of showing, and your sentence structure needs help". So, I decided that particular manuscript wasn't ready to be published and I put it aside and started working on some other things.

Earlier this year I finished and edited another novel, and then one of my friends told me about the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest and encouraged me to enter. I entered thinking maybe I'd make it to the second round, maybe the quarterfinals if I was lucky, but I ended up making it all the way to the semifinals which was really exciting. All the quarterfinalists received a review from a Publishers Weekly reviewer, and I got some really great comments from that.

Seems like having the experience from the contest, and the comments from it, really helped. Since I started querying, I've had four requests for partials and four requests for fulls.

So, my advice … 

- Having some sort of experience helps. I don't have much, besides the one contest. But if you've won something for your writing or published something, mention that in your query.

- Make sure you query agents that are right for you. Maybe this is obvious, but you should check to make sure that the agent you're querying represents the genre of your manuscript. There are a lot of great sites where you can search agents by genre, like querytracker.net, agentquery.com, 1000literaryagents.com, WEbook.com, etc.

- Make sure your book is in a publishable condition. You're more likely to get positive responses if your writing is polished. Also, word count is an issue. I made the mistake of querying about my novel when it was far too long, and then found out that some agents automatically reject manuscripts that are more than 90,000 words. So now I'm madly chopping out useless descriptions, dialogue tags, adverbs, etc. which is something I should have done before I started querying. (Oops.)


Well, I think that's a sufficiently long rant. I have more advice but I'll stop there. Hope it helps!


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