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Physics Knight
May 16th, 2007, 09:05 PM
Okay, so I'm all ready to send out my novel to agents. Many accept email queries, which is great, but many only want mail. So, I have two questions.

First, I am Canadian, but I am mostly looking at American agents. They want a SASE. How does that work? Are there any other Canadians out there who have done something similar.? So, I have my large envelope with the summary, first few chapters or whatever they want, and on that I put whatever postage I get at the local Canada Post office. Then there is the SASE that goes inside. Do I put American stamps on that? What is even the American equivelent of Canada Post? I feel very silly not knowing these things like the USA postal system.

Second, when they ask for a SASE, do they mean the little letter-sized envelope that you could fit a few pages in, or the huge sort so that they can return the whole thing?

Arg, it is difficult because they all have different webpages, requirments, this and that and all want different things, and are sometimes unclear. But I am sure there are many here who share my pain!

AgentRustyBones
May 16th, 2007, 09:28 PM
Okay, so I'm all ready to send out my novel to agents. Many accept email queries, which is great, but many only want mail. So, I have two questions.

First, I am Canadian, but I am mostly looking at American agents. They want a SASE. How does that work? Are there any other Canadians out there who have done something similar.? So, I have my large envelope with the summary, first few chapters or whatever they want, and on that I put whatever postage I get at the local Canada Post office. Then there is the SASE that goes inside. Do I put American stamps on that? What is even the American equivelent of Canada Post? I feel very silly not knowing these things like the USA postal system.

Second, when they ask for a SASE, do they mean the little letter-sized envelope that you could fit a few pages in, or the huge sort so that they can return the whole thing?

Arg, it is difficult because they all have different webpages, requirments, this and that and all want different things, and are sometimes unclear. But I am sure there are many here who share my pain!

I'm sure KatG will give you even better advice and guidance on this issue...but as an American who lives near Canada, I can provide some guidance.

First, a SASE (a self addressed, stamped envelope) can be either letter sized (for the agent to reply with a note or letter of some sort--they will then pitch the rest of the manuscript if they decline your work) or large enough to return the whole package.

If you are sending to American based agents, the postage must be US stamps, the US Postal Service will not take Canada Post to initiate a letter from a US address.

Finally, I would reconsider the idea of only American agents. There are lots of Canadian agents and Canadian publishers who are looking out for talented Canadian authors--and who don't really want anyone from south of the border.

Many of those Canadian publishers also distribute in the US, so gettng published there will likely mean your book will be available in the US.

Same with the agents. A Canadian agent can just as easily shop your manuscript to US publishers as a US agent can, but they are likely more inclined to take on the headaches that come with crossborder representation than a US agent will be.

Trust me, the various tax issues in both countries, can be a nightmare. As self-centered as we Americans are, we don't really worry about 'other people's rules' very much. (Especially in our current political climate.)

I would at least consider trying Canadian agents as well...why exclude a potentially friendly bunch of agents when you have the option of trying them as well?

Good luck.

Doug
aka Agent Rusty Bones

Physics Knight
May 16th, 2007, 10:40 PM
I would at least consider trying Canadian agents as well...why exclude a potentially friendly bunch of agents when you have the option of trying them as well?

Now here's the zinger. Well, first off I'm sending things to agents by email/who have websites because that is easier to keep track of. (I feel I'll exhause them soon, however). Of all those I've checked out in Canada, none take genre fiction! I'd love to stay in Canada, but I'm not sure it's possible with genre fiction.

Of course if I was writing something set in our world, literary, I'd set it in Canada because that is what I know. I would favour Canadian agents/publishers over American because it would be simpler tax-wise as you mentioned, and I don't think there is a big market for Americans reading about Canada anyways. But alas I am genre, and when they say "no-genre fiction" it's starting to make me feel dirty and unwanted.

Thanks for all your help!

KatG
May 17th, 2007, 11:12 AM
Okay, so I'm all ready to send out my novel to agents. Many accept email queries, which is great, but many only want mail. So, I have two questions.

First, I am Canadian, but I am mostly looking at American agents. They want a SASE. How does that work? Are there any other Canadians out there who have done something similar.? So, I have my large envelope with the summary, first few chapters or whatever they want, and on that I put whatever postage I get at the local Canada Post office. Then there is the SASE that goes inside. Do I put American stamps on that? What is even the American equivelent of Canada Post? I feel very silly not knowing these things like the USA postal system.

Second, when they ask for a SASE, do they mean the little letter-sized envelope that you could fit a few pages in, or the huge sort so that they can return the whole thing?

Arg, it is difficult because they all have different webpages, requirments, this and that and all want different things, and are sometimes unclear. But I am sure there are many here who share my pain!

Canada has no official sff category publishers, I've been given to understand, but their publishers do put out sff as general fiction and these titles are then sold in sff sections of Canadian and U.S. bookstores and also sometimes in general fiction. Canada has a population of 30 million, concentrated in cities, compared to the U.S.' near 300 million, so the market is smaller and not as specialized at this point.

Canadian agents do handle genre fiction, but it's possible they aren't describing it accurately. Check out Canadian authors for who they list as their agents in acknowledgements. Also, some Canadian publishers may take unagented submissions. So Rusty is right -- don't rule your home turf out because hometown regional support is usually an author's best friend.

But there's no point in also ruling out the bigger market to the South either. It's not unusual for Canadian authors to have U.S. agents. So for mail submissions, you want to use a letter-sized SASE envelope for a response and expect your ms. paper to be recycled if rejected. The letter-sized envelope must have U.S. postage on it. You can find out how much is need to ship a letter from the U.S. to Canada by going to the U.S. post office's website. (I believe they are soon to raise or have raised the postal rates.)

If you live in one of the border areas, you can just nip across if you've got your passport and go to any U.S. post office and buy a bunch of stamps. If you live further away, you may be able to buy them from the U.S. postal service website, shipped by mail, or buy them from some other source. You may be able to buy them from an office supply store or places like that in Canada. Do some web searches and find out what's available.

Physics Knight
May 17th, 2007, 06:09 PM
Thanks KatG! I have managed to find out that Spider Robinson and Tanya Huff both have American agents. I'll look up Guy Kay and Robert Sawyer too, see what they did. And now I'll look into mainstream Canadian publishers, see what they'd take. Thanks!

pat5150
May 17th, 2007, 09:01 PM
Ah yes, the SASE for a Canadian sending documents to the USA. As a fellow Canuck, I know how much of a pain in the butt that can be. Because you see, unless you order stamps from the USPS (your best bet if you're planning on sending over a dozen submissions) you must buy an IRC (International Reply Coupon which can then be exchanged in the States for a stamp. Problem is, last I checked an IRC was over 3$.

As for Canadian agents, FORGET about them. You need an agent either in NYC or London.

Regarding Canadian publishers, I know that Penguin Books Canada accepts unagented material. So if you want to deal with the slush pile. . .:)

If I were you, I'd go on the USPS website and see the rate for a sending a letter to Canada. Then order some stamps with your credit card, and you'll save a bundle compared to what you'd spend paying for IRCs.

And lastly, best of luck. Not so long ago I was in your shoes, so I know the feeling all too well!;) Took me seven years to find an agent, so don't despair if at first you don't succeed!:p

Cheers,

Patrick

Physics Knight
May 18th, 2007, 07:06 PM
Ah yes, the SASE for a Canadian sending documents to the USA. As a fellow Canuck, I know how much of a pain in the butt that can be. Because you see, unless you order stamps from the USPS (your best bet if you're planning on sending over a dozen submissions) you must buy an IRC (International Reply Coupon which can then be exchanged in the States for a stamp. Problem is, last I checked an IRC was over 3$.

I've also read that some agents don't like IRC's because they require standing in a line. So stamps it is! Thanks for your help.



Regarding Canadian publishers, I know that Penguin Books Canada accepts unagented material. So if you want to deal with the slush pile. . .:)

Sadly, they stopped doing that in 2005. So now, the only major publishers in Canada (from my quick parouse) are either Panguin, are one of the slew owned by Random House (which doesn't accept unagented stuff) or make textbooks! It is so encouraging. It's like they don't want new Canadian authors or something.


And lastly, best of luck. Not so long ago I was in your shoes, so I know the feeling all too well!;) Took me seven years to find an agent, so don't despair if at first you don't succeed!:p

Thanks for the hope. Yeah, I have a whole priority of how I'm sending my novel, to the big agents and Tor and Daw first, down to the wee presses, and I will see it to the very end, because some publishing is better than none! (excepting vanity presses)

Just out of curiosity, are your publisher and agent both American? Since you're on this forum I guess it's sci-fi or fantasy your write.

pat5150
May 18th, 2007, 10:51 PM
I'm not published yet, but hopefully that will soon change!:p

I have an agent in New York City, and a co-agent who handles my manuscript in London for the European markets. They're trying to sell the rights to my fantasy debut and its sequel.

I also have a nonfiction manuscript, which my agent is perusing at the moment even though he's not sure whether he's the right person to shop it around or not.

Cheers,

Patrick

BrianC
May 22nd, 2007, 10:45 AM
If you're interested in an independent publisher in Canada that does genre stuff, look at Edge and/or Tesseract: www.edgewebsite.com (http://www.edgewebsite.com)

Physics Knight
May 22nd, 2007, 11:26 PM
If you're interested in an independent publisher in Canada that does genre stuff, look at Edge and/or Tesseract: www.edgewebsite.com (http://www.edgewebsite.com)

Oooh, thanks! I'll keep them in mind. They look perfect.

The other small publishers in Canada I looked at wanted local stuff, or mysteries, literary stuff, YA, or you had to be a First Nation. I wanted ask, does one hundreth count enough to make me elidgable to get published by you?

For those who wanted women's fiction and chick lit (this goes for American agents too), I wanted to say, yeah I have a woman's fiction/chick lit right here. The main character is a women and it is written by a woman. Just ignore the castles and dragons and stuff :)