May 12th, 2010, 09:14 AM
I really would not stall them while you try to get a better deal. If you aren't happy with the contract, its best to politely reject. That aside...just because a publication can't afford to pay you doesn't mean its a bad credit. I'm assuming you have a good number of other short stories circulating. My suggestion is to sleep on it then make a decision.
Again, it won't count *against* you. I would only say no if you're confident you can get paid for the story.
May 12th, 2010, 09:23 AM
Originally Posted by Jennifer P
It is one of those things where I was really expecting a load of rejections, and the acceptance so quickly has caught me by surprise. I keep looking for something I might have done wrong.
I will sleep on it though, but I will probably accept. Not worried about the money so I should just accept the kindness they have shown me.
May 12th, 2010, 10:02 AM
It's *possible* that the magazine doesn't have very high editorial standards. However, I've had stories accepted first time out and stories rejected 10-15 times before being accepted and a few that...I don't think ever will be. There's no hard and fast rule.
It might also mean you should be aiming higher.
May 14th, 2010, 08:25 AM
I've only recently began writing and i have just completed my first novella. I was wondering if it was your first novel that you'd ever written thta was published or if you have to have a couple of go's at it first.
Any answers would be appreciated.
May 14th, 2010, 08:48 AM
It is very common to have written several works that never see the light of day before finally hitting your stride. I have two such novels under my belt - but they remain fertile ground for future projects, so don't toss em.
Originally Posted by AbbeyRose
May 14th, 2010, 08:56 AM
It's highly variable, but most people write a lot of unpublished (and unpublishable) words of fiction before finally making a sale. Years ago I read something somewhere (such a perfect citation, right? Not) that said most people needed to write upwards of a half-million words to really get their voice and have control of the craft. It could be a half-million words of shorter works, or five hundred-thousand-word novels. The more talented learn faster, but nobody's born knowing how to write a good novel. (I was not on the fast-track...)
May 14th, 2010, 11:19 AM
I'm told that the average is the third to fifth novel written is the one that gets published, but like all statistics, that's kind of dumb.
It is *extremely* rare for the first novel somebody writes to be published. Both my first and second are in the trunk. The second MIGHT be publishable, but I decided I don't actually *like* it that much and don't want to be bothered selling it. My first is referred to amongst me and my writing buddies as 'The Book That Shall Not Be Named'.
It's that bad. It reads like I wrote up an RPG campaign. I'll freely admit it. But never, ever let it see the light of day.
I would also, honestly, recommend setting a novella aside. It's very, very hard for a new writer to get a novella or novelette published. Put it aside, then when you're more established, rewrite it. Or try to make it part of something larger. MOST first novels are between 80,000 and 100,000 words, with the exception of secondary world fantasy, that always tends to trend longer. Unless you're writing in romance and erotica, there's not much market for novellas unless they have a 'name' attached to them.
Either way, I'd set that novella aside right now for at least a month, then reread it. Get some distance, so you can assess whether it's any good or whether it's a bunch of crap that should be treated as 'good practice'. And get some people you trust to look over it.
June 1st, 2010, 09:57 AM
Most publishers, if not all, do not want simultaneous submissions from writers (and if there's a simultaneous submission by an agent, it's for an "auction.")
So you avoid ticking off publishers by not sending your work out to more than one at one time.
In a first contact with agents, it's acceptable to contact more than one at a time, but if an agent has spent time seriously considering a complete proposal package (chapters and synopsis, etc.) then that agent may be annoyed if you say "Sorry, not interested" when he/she says "Yes, I'll represent you." Do your homework first. Submit only to agents you're fairly sure (on the basis of what you can learn about them) you will accept if they accept you. It's possible to observe and meet agents at conventions and writers' conferences...if agent X has a good rep but the moment you see him/her you get negative vibes...don't send X your proposal.
June 2nd, 2010, 11:55 AM
Edited for submission
Actually I wouldn't call it that dumb, it was my fourth book that hooked an agent and I had written by then upwards of over about 750,000 made up of four novels, a good dozen failed efforts of anything from 5,000 50 50,000 words and dozens of short stories. Oh, and ten years of my life.
Originally Posted by Jennifer P
Last edited by Holbrook; June 3rd, 2010 at 03:39 AM.
June 2nd, 2010, 01:12 PM
I sold my first completed novel (note the adjective) but that was, again, many-many-many hundred thousand words into the writing experience, and I was over forty.
June 2nd, 2010, 01:24 PM
Jim Hines, author of the Goblin Quest series, did a survey not too long ago where he asked a bunch of authors that question and several others. You can find his results here (short version: most authors wrote two books before selling the third to a major publisher; most authors spent about 10 years writing before that first sale):
His results are skewed toward SF/F authors, but if you're posting on this board, that's probably what you're most interested in anyway.
June 9th, 2010, 04:48 PM
My experiences mirror Ms. Moon's. My first *completed* novel sold...but only after approximately 50 rejections from publishers and agents, 100,000+ words of fiction in other formats which stalled or was uninteresting enough to send out, a complete nonfiction textbook of a Ph.D. thesis, and several other nonfiction sales in my academic discipline. Does that count as a 'first try' success or not?
July 26th, 2010, 12:22 AM
My two MS's (over 100k words, I admit) were reviewed by editors in the industry that were friends of a college prof of mine (legitimately published in non-fiction) and I was told that I had talent, I work hard, but I'm not marketable. Two years later an Arizonan airhead was paid $750k for a sparkling Mormonpire series. I'm working on a third MS, so should I just wait until the idiotic trends are done, and agents are more willing to give a chance to people who LIKE to research and work?
P.S. I'm not ashamed to say that I'm against Lulu, Smashwords, digital presses, and self-publishing.
July 26th, 2010, 03:27 AM
Bear in mind, rubym3575, that this is not a competition. There are no winners and losers and just because someone in Arizona gets paid a lot of money does not mean you are on the side-lines.
Originally Posted by rubym3575
Think positively about this. If a whole new generation of teenagers, particularly girls, are introduced to speculative fiction, then that means they will be looking for something to read when they have finished the Arizonan's masterwork. Perhaps your story, your idea, will be what they are searching for?
You cannot change what is already written and already published. You can only change what you write and make that the best that it can be. You can learn, improve and develop so that your writing stands out as being imaginative, rich and deep. Then your writing will get published because it is superb, and not because it is better or worse than someone else's.
Do you really want to be published as the successor of someone else's success?
July 27th, 2010, 02:26 PM
Re: getting published. My heartiest congratulations to all who succeed, no matter what path you take. I still think the first step for any new writer - after you complete your manuscript - is to get a copy of the most recent Writers Market, go through it and find publishers (and agents) that accept works in your genre ... and follow their instructions to the letter.
The reason for this is that, with the number of manuscripts being submitted to all the publishers and agents these days, sending your work to the wrong publisher in the wrong format can greatly increase your chances of winding up in the slush pile.
First ... not every publisher or agent will look at every genre of writing. So the first thing you want to do is get your manuscript into the hands of someone who's interested in your genre. (Some go so far as to say they are not interested in science fiction or fantasy.)
Second ... some publishers or agents want to see the completed manuscript while others only want sample chapters and a synopsis. However, it's in your best interest to have your manuscript finished before you start your search for a publisher or an agent.
Third ... agent vs no agent. Some publishers won't work with agented authors, others only work with agents, still others fall somewhere in the middle. That said, I don't think it hurts to have an agent whose sole purpose is to represent you in dealing with publishers. If I hadn't kind of stumbled upon a friendly publisher with my first book, I would have sent my manuscript to agents rather than publishers - at least initially.
Finally, I know a lot of authors these days are turning to self-publishing on and off the Internet. My only caution here is ... Be very aware that things may not be what they seem. I'm afraid that some of these Internet publishing companies may be little more than scams designed to separate people from their money.
Note though ... I did say "some," not "all." I do believe self-publishing and Internet publishing are viable options, worth exploring.