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June 1st, 2004, 05:53 PM
My name is Paul Crosland, and I'm currently working on my first 'epic' fantasy publication (yeah, I'm sure you've all heard this many, many times before, and then that person mysteriously disappears).

I'm greatly wondering if there's any way to get in contact with publishers before the manuscript is completed; letting them know your name and what you'll be sending them for starters. This would greatly relieve some of my pressure once I get into the final editing processes (having a list of possible publishers to look at), and also allow the novel to progress far more rapidly. It's only up to about 55,000 words, and will likely fall within the 125,000 to 150,000 range, depending upon how the story progresses.

Also, how considerate should I be with posting excerpts from my novel on the net? I don't want anyone to steal anything, even if it's as little as a single sentence. I've avoided the concept up until now, but might change my mind in the near future, if it helps make people aware of what's been worked on.

I won't plow anyone with details on the story yet, but will happily dive into it if anyone's interested.

Thanks in advance for any replies.

June 1st, 2004, 06:12 PM
You don't say where you're from in your profile so I'm not sure if you'd be aiming for the UK or US market - or indeed, any other, Australia, Europe etc...

If you are in the UK I would suggest getting an agent to look at your work once you have progressed further - sending first three chapters and an outline. Many agents are not interested unless they know they are looking at a finished project but you could be lucky if you've completed about 3/4. You can find a comprehensive list of agents in The Writers and Artists Yearbook - look for the ones who either explicitly say they will consider fantasy and/or check their client list for writers that you know.

Personally, I wouldn't publish on the net at this early stage - but then, I am a bit of a 'control freak' when it comes to my work! :rolleyes:

Good luck with it. Hope you enjoy the forum - I think it's one of the best on the net.


Rocket Sheep
June 2nd, 2004, 03:55 AM
You may send the first three chapters and full synopsis to a publisher prior to finishing the work. This is often how well-known writers operate and many book deals are made before the manuscript is completed. Mind you, well known writers have a proven track record of completing decent manuscripts so as a new author you won't be offered a book deal but merely a 'no thanks' or 'let me see it when it's done'.

Why 150k words? I believe there is a problem with pb book spines breaking at that word length. You may be asked to chop 30-40k off.

Publishing on the net does nothing to promote your work IMHO, and publishers don't want second-hand stories. Having a web presence is still a good idea, and a nice bibliography of short stories placed in semi-pro fantasy mags will go a long way to making a publisher find you more attractive than the next wannabe writer.

June 2nd, 2004, 05:03 PM
Most publishers that I've looked at are not interested in incomplete manuscripts. They want it done, or not at all. I suspect this is because a lot of writers think they have a great thing going, but lose steam before it's done and never finish. That must be a big headache for publishers.

June 2nd, 2004, 09:05 PM
I don't have much to add other than 'well met'. You are in great company here.

As the rest have said, finish first before thinking of submitting. The competition is fierce and very rarely will any publishing company pick up an unfinished work by a new author unless it is of extreme quality of the flavor of the moment.

You may also want to 'build a reputation' before submitting as well. Credits will catch a publisher's eye and they may even read it. This can be accomplished by sending short stories and getting one or ten published. It also helps build confidence. :)

Good luck with continuing your work. Keep at it and work hard. Even if you don't get published (as I have not) it's a great accomplishment to say 'I wrote a book'. :)

June 3rd, 2004, 12:23 PM
Why 150k words? I believe there is a problem with pb book spines breaking at that word length. You may be asked to chop 30-40k off.

Man, that would be a hard aspect to digest. But I understand what everyone's trying to tell me, and it's pretty much what I expected to hear anyways. Still, the interesting thing about it all is that I surely wouldn't accomplish very much in getting in contact with a publisher prematurely anyhow (the story still has to be finished), and the length of time this will take is entirely unknown to me, so a contract would likely be far more stressful than productive, as well as reduce the level of quality I feel I've established thus far. :)

I'm surprised there's no visible IP address to tell where I'm at right now, but my home is Toronto, Canada. My age is 22, and I've never published a single scrap of short story, or anything else for that matter. Which of course leaves the one question, where's a good place (accessible from the net) to start?

I doubt an accepting publisher would want to chop off the end of my story though, as the intention is to make it a trilogy similar to Tolkien (am I the only person on this earth that didn't value the motion picture films? Loved the cartoon production though), and there would be no firm conclusion for readers to take a hold upon, and look to the next book in the series. My estimated total word count came after finding out that the older Harry Potter books were around the 150k area (I think), and feel I have much to say in the first novel in order to build a fanbase (hopefully), and establish as much of the trilogy's plot as possible :rolleyes:

I'll get my profile updated! -promise.

June 3rd, 2004, 03:37 PM
Don't worry about word counts. Magician by Feist is 350 000. You might do well to write a few short stories, but its not essential. Just keep writing and learning. There's a lot more to the art than people think. Don't burden yourself with publishing yet either. Enjoy writing for a while and gain experience

June 3rd, 2004, 04:31 PM
Don't worry about word counts.
I'm not ;)

Don't burden yourself with publishing yet either. Enjoy writing for a while and gain experience
I've enjoyed it for my entire life, and this story is something I've been putting together for a very long time. My experience as a published author may not be there, but I anticipate spectacular things once this book gets finished. By the comments people gave to me of an older try at the tale I'd constructed, about 2 years ago, I came to realize that there just might really be something out there for my work. And so has stemmed the new story that is now being formed. This is hopefully the one that will finally accomplish what I set out to do since being very little (even if unpublishable -which I honestly can't believe) :)

(Whew!! Wrote about another 2,000 words last night, as well as a ton of editing and revisions, over the course of about 5 hours. Could hardly even get to work this morning! Calgary Flames play tonight!!!).

June 4th, 2004, 04:51 AM
Lol, okay, calm down :)

I'm going to be slightly cruel to be kind, don't take it personally.

1. Don't count on being published, remember a lot of it is luck. Expect a rejection first time, no matter how good your work is. You can improve your chances by shopping round the different publishers too.

2. I don't doubt your work is excellent. Most of us here, myself included, have work that quite few people claim is amazing. They might be right, they might be wrong. In fact your work could be the calibre of Robin Hobb or Stephan Erikson, but its still not a certainty you will be published. Write a short story or two and improve your credentials to get a slightly better chance.

3. Be sure to browse this forum. You will find posts and links to all aspects of the art and business of writing. I advise you learn as much as you can from the people here. Most of us are in the same position you are, for example, I am writing a trilogy and am at the end of my first book. I've sent my work to a publishers, but I expect a rejection. I may be pleasently surprised but it pays to be realistic.

Well sorry for the slight put down, no offense intended at all, but once we all accept the level we're at, we can build each other up.

Having said all that, good luck, maybe you'll be lucky and make it first try :)

June 7th, 2004, 10:50 AM
We're both being incompetent here. [edited - useless gabble]

You're writing a trilogy? I'd love to have a peek at your writing style, and learn about what you're working on. I've noticed that small amounts of text often appears as crap for even good writers, but if you can give a small excerpt, or link to a short story (I'm going to take a look around this site now), that'd be great :rolleyes:

This would also give me an excuse to talk a little about my own story, and get suggestions and feeback from yourself and others here.