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kassimir funk
December 2nd, 2003, 04:57 AM
I was wondering if any of you folk could help me out.

Here's the deal.

A lot of publishers do not accept unsolicited manuscripts. Mostly, this is specific to all the really BIG publishers. They want you to go through an agent. Sort of a preliminary screening process. Which is completely understandable.

What I'm curious about is if there is any way to find out which agents have more pull with certain publishers. Lets say that I really want to get published at Del Rey. Is there any agent(s) that stand a somewhat better chance of getting me in with Del Rey?

I wonder if this isn't going to require me to do a lot of homework?

Take it easy y'all

K-Funk

Rocket Sheep
December 2nd, 2003, 04:48 PM
Some big publishers will accept a manuscript with a manuscript assessment report or a manuscript if you have been published before.

The good agents are just as hard to win as the good publishers and they market where they like but it would be reasonable to assume that some agents have better contacts than others at Del Rey. Perhaps try browsing sites of Del Rey authors and see if any thank their agents.

Preditors and Editors (http://www.anotherealm.com/prededitors/pubagent.htm) have lists of agents and their reliability status.

kassimir funk
December 3rd, 2003, 02:06 AM
Iknew it was going to require homework.

thanks RS

Beetle
December 3rd, 2003, 09:46 PM
Your right about the limited number of publishers that will accept unsolicited manuscripts. DAW is reported to do so and will also accept a full manuscript versus just a synopsis. I cannot honestly say wether that is a good or bad thing, since they were nice enough to send me the "thank you, but no thanks" form letter earlier this year.

Miriamele
December 7th, 2003, 09:37 AM
I have done some research in this regard.

As Beetle mentioned DAW accepts unsolicited manuscripts. So does Tor, Orbit (from the UK) and Baen Books, which is an independent publisher.

Most small presses will receive manuscrips as well, but there are too many of them to mention here.

Here (http://www.locusmag.com/Links/Publishers.html) is a great page from Locus Online where all of the publishers for sf/f are listed, including small specialty presses.

user123
December 10th, 2003, 04:10 AM
If you really want to do the research you should pick-up a copy of WRITER'S GUIDE TO BOOK EDITORS, PUBLISHERS AND LITERARY AGENTS. It has a ton of info on not only publishers, but what the many editors and agents are most interested in seeing.

KatG
December 10th, 2003, 11:23 AM
Originally posted by kassimir funk
I was wondering if any of you folk could help me out.

Here's the deal.

A lot of publishers do not accept unsolicited manuscripts. Mostly, this is specific to all the really BIG publishers. They want you to go through an agent. Sort of a preliminary screening process. Which is completely understandable.

What I'm curious about is if there is any way to find out which agents have more pull with certain publishers. Lets say that I really want to get published at Del Rey. Is there any agent(s) that stand a somewhat better chance of getting me in with Del Rey?

I wonder if this isn't going to require me to do a lot of homework?

Take it easy y'all

K-Funk
Pull is not really what you need to worry about right now. There are only a set number of publishers who publish science fiction and fantasy. Of the literary agents out there, only a small percentage handle science fiction and fantasy writers. Another small group don't usually handle science fiction and fantasy writers, but might be willing to represent a particular project they like. These agents are just as likely to make a sale as the agents who regularly handle sf and fantasy.

A few of the big publishers are apparently still looking at unagented ms., probably because they know there aren't enough sff agents out there to hunt for talent for them. But a lot aren't because they don't have the personnel to do it. Since submitting to a publisher can mean months of waiting, for this and other reasons, it's usually a good idea to go searching for an agent anyway. If you are writing for the category romance or children's market, you will probably find more publishers willing to look at unagented works.

An agent does more than talk you up and get a deal from a publisher. An agent watches your back, pushes the publisher to live up to its promises to you (with more leverage than you, a single author, would have,) makes sure you get paid, sells subsidiary rights, makes sure you have protective language in the contract, negotiates contract terms, checks over your royalty statements, troubleshoots when there's a problem, advises you on business matters and opportunities, and helps you strategize about where you want to go with your career. And that's before breakfast. An agent is your business representative and business manager. The profession was invented to protect authors from publisher's unethical and damaging business practices.

An agent works for the author, not the publisher. But you have to talk them into working for you. And the bigger their client list, of course, the harder that may be to do. Agents with big client lists don't have more pull in making a sale with publishers, but they may have more pull on some of the terms of the written contract. If an agent has sold to a publisher, they establish precedent on contract terms and can then usually get those same terms for their other clients with that publisher. However, since publishers are well aware that the next big writer may be represented by some new agent in Schenctedy, they are pretty receptive to all agents.

Checking out who the biggies have as their agents is helpful, but those are the agents most likely not to be looking for new clients. The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America may have listings of agents who handle sf and fantasy on their website -- sfwa.org. These listings may not be solely limited to American agents. SFF writers conferences where agents are present aren't a bad opportunity since the attending agents are there specifically to look for new talent.