Getting Published - Your Questions Answered

Discussion in 'Writing' started by Tim Stretton, Jun 24, 2009.

  1. Sterling13

    Sterling13 Registered User

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    Darn, I was hoping to be able to leave them up, at least until they (hopefully) entered the "we might possibly be interested in your story" stage of the submission process.

    I'm currently employing a spread offense with my short stories - fire 'em all off, see where they stick (no simultaneous submissions, of course). So I'm afraid I'm going to leave my collection of submissions on this site (which has helped my writing more than anything ever I've done) rather bare. That stinks.

    Fingers crossed on my end as well....
     
  2. Sterling13

    Sterling13 Registered User

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    Er... fingers crossed "over here" as well... not "fingers crossed on my end"... that'd be an uncomfortable way to sit...
     
  3. N. E. White

    N. E. White It could be worse. ~tmso Staff Member

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    Thank you for answering my question Kater.

    Funny, didn't read it that way the first time, but now that you pointed it out... ;)
     
  4. Jraiter123

    Jraiter123 Josh

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    Publishing

    My name is Josh and I have finally completed my book Journey of Lost Souls, the first in a four part series and I was wondering what it takes to get a book out into the world and how to go about marketing a new author like myself?
     
  5. N. E. White

    N. E. White It could be worse. ~tmso Staff Member

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  6. kmtolan

    kmtolan KMTolan

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    Might keep in mind that this is from a New York-centric agent. There are plenty of indies out there where you do not need an agent (not sure how long that will last) and you can just submit to them. Fictionwise lists a bunch of indie publishers - note that many of these are generally e-book and limited trade with little in-store distribution for the most part.

    You still have to come to the table with your best foot forward as this agent suggests. Oh, and check everyone out against Preditors & Editors site.

    Kerry
     
  7. swords

    swords Mechanicus

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    When submitting a ms to someone (agent, publisher, etc.) are you expected to send them out to only one person at a time and wait for their reply or can you send out however many you can afford to ship?
     
  8. zachariah

    zachariah Speaks fluent Bawehrf

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    From what I've read elsewhere, sending out queries to agents is done by the truckload. Publishers typically state quite clearly they do not appreciate multiple submissions of the same MS.

    Look at it this way - in the extremely unlikely event you get two publishers or two agents wanting your book, which of the two groups would you rather piss off?
     
  9. shevdon

    shevdon www.shevdon.com

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    It's true that some people send out truckloads of submissions and sometimes get representation or publication as a result. This is a shotgun approach - blast it out there and hope that something hits. However, if an agent is interested in your initial query, one of the first questions they are going to ask you is 'Who else have you sent this to?"

    If the answer is that it's gone to 200 people, they are not going to feel special in any way. They are also going to assume that you didn't do your research. Bearing in mind that your intention is to end up with a working relationship with your agent, are they going to feel that you are the right person to work with them?

    If you are successful, you will have a working relationship that may last years or even decades. It is absolutely worth finding someone that will like what you write, appreciate your work, give you the advice and help you need to grow as a writer and act as an advocate for your work.

    Given that is what you are asking for, isn't it worth researching agents, refining your query to make it the best it can be, sending your query to the agents/publishers that are right for you and waiting a month or two for a response?

    Sending out shotgun queries implies that the selection is random and that if you send it more places then your chance of success will improve. This is far from the truth. The process is absolutely not random. It is highly skewed towards original, exciting, well-written work, which is well-presented and politely and enthusiastically offered. If your work meets those criteria then your chances of success are massively improved.

    Hope that helps.
     
  10. Holbrook

    Holbrook Edited for submission

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    Well, I can just say what I did. If it was just a query letter/email, I sent them out in batches of five. Then each time a rejection was received I sent another one out. But you have to bear in mind quite often agents don't reply to query letters/emails unless they are interested. So any that were still unanswered after three to four months I considered dead.

    If I got a request for sample chapters from a query letter. I put the query submissions on hold for three months, just in case they requested the whole manuscript. After three months I sent a polite reminder, and started sending out queries again.

    With submissions that consisted query letter, synopsis and sample chapters, I used to send out two, maybe three at a time, and again sending another one out once a rejection was received. Again if more chapters were requested I put the submiisons on hold.

    I took it in turn, one lot of query letters, then one lot of sample chapter ones.

    By doing a few at a time you give yourself space to re-jig your query and sample chapters, especially if you get feedback from any of the agents.
     
  11. PeterWilliam

    PeterWilliam Omnibus Prime

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    Uncertain if this is the best thread,

    but decided is was the best place to start.

    I know a submission needs to have 1" indentation. Please forgive my ignorance, but does an ms-word.doc already have 1" indentations, or do I need to indent another inch from where the blank template begins?

    Thanks in advance,
    PW
     
  12. N. E. White

    N. E. White It could be worse. ~tmso Staff Member

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    Hello PW,

    No, the standard 1" margins are just right. No additional margins.

    I have been referred to these guidelines several times:
    http://www.shunn.net/format/story.html

    Hope that helps.
     
  13. PeterWilliam

    PeterWilliam Omnibus Prime

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    Indeed, it did. Thanks for that.
     
  14. Jennifer P

    Jennifer P Registered User

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    Just be careful. The default Word template is actually 1.25"...it's easy enough to change it. (Unless it's different in PC Word, which it might be). But I sent out a LOT of stuff with the wrong margins before realizing.
     
  15. PeterWilliam

    PeterWilliam Omnibus Prime

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    In Microsoft Word? Should I back it off -0.25"? I'm somewhat detail obsessive, so now I'm tweakin' and freakin'. Jennifer P help, help!! :eek:
     
  16. N. E. White

    N. E. White It could be worse. ~tmso Staff Member

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    Sorry. Not Jennifer P, but thought I'd give my two cents worth.

    On my PC machine, running Windows XP, when I open Microsoft Word. Then click on File --> Page Setup. The Page Setup pop-up box appears with three tabs (Margins, Paper, Layout). On the Margins tab, at the top where it says Margins there are boxes you can fill in that are labeled: Top, Bottom, Left, Right, Gutter, and Gutter position. The defaults are 1", 1", 1", 1", 0", and Left, respectively.

    If your defaults are the same, you don't have to do a thing. If not, then just change the margins to 1,1,1,1 and you should be good to go. :)
     
  17. PeterWilliam

    PeterWilliam Omnibus Prime

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    Thanks TMSO.
     
  18. Jennifer P

    Jennifer P Registered User

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    Ah. I'm guessing that the 1.25 default is only in the Mac version, then. Sorry to add confusion.
     
  19. PeterWilliam

    PeterWilliam Omnibus Prime

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    No troubles, JP. You were trying to help which puts you in the "good" category. Not the subjective one, mind you, but the real one. Yes, I have that ability and authority. :D
     
  20. DyedNTrue

    DyedNTrue Inspired!

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    Remember, after you set up the defaults as you desire, click on the "Default"
    button (Page Setup, lower left corner) to make your new settings the default each time you open a new blank document. Setup your preferred Font also before clicking on the Default button if you don't want to have to pick out your preferred font every time, or roam through styles.