February 17th, 2010, 05:38 PM
Speaks fluent Bawehrf
Not precisely what you were asking, but close: A top 400 run-down of the highest-grossing films of all time.
Originally Posted by Gkarlives
As you can see, SF/F titles dominate to a quite amazing degree. After a cursory look, the only film I can find in the list based on a recognised 'literary' story is 'The English Patient' (smart alecs could justly argue the LOTR films also qualify for this).
It always makes me laugh when the ill-informed dismiss sci-fi as a minority genre.
Last edited by zachariah; February 17th, 2010 at 05:41 PM.
February 17th, 2010, 08:37 PM
Well, look, when I say split it, that's just my advice. Because I suspect you've got a break in there in the story but you're just too close to it to see it. If you split it, say at around the 200,000 word mark, or maybe the best split is at 150,000 words and then the second one would be longer, then what you would be marketing is Book 1 as a separate book, with its own title, the first in a series, and you'd present them with a ms. that was only Book 1 and the plot synopsis would only describe Book 1, but you can say in your cover letter that it is the first in a planned series. And then if the agent reads the first 50 pages of that Book 1 and liked it, you would probably be asked about your series plans and you could say that you have Book 2 ready to go in draft form, and the way fans are these days, that would be a plus, if they like Book 1.
Originally Posted by ausnos
What you might want to do is look at the climatic events in the story -- where are they, what are they, do they bring about some sort of closure to a key part of the story, etc., and I think you'll find that you are telling a large story in distinct chunks. Because authors usually are.
February 18th, 2010, 04:18 AM
The Lord of the Rings is a good example. Its division is a bit arbitrary. It is not three separate books, but one book broken at the nearest convenient spots. This is acceptable to readers because all three books are available now. (When it first came out in the US it was known that books 2 and 3 would soon be available, avoiding losing readers who would not abide long waits.)
Originally Posted by KatG
LOTR is also made up of several substories, each following a different cast of characters. Some of the characters meet and their stories intertwine at least briefly. Some of them never meet; they are parallel stories.
About book length. Toni Weiskopf, the managing editor of Baen books, recently replied to a question of acceptable lengths. She said readers felt cheated by anything less than 100,000 words. And that 250,000 words was the largest physical book Baen could publish. This is just one publisher, but I suspect other publishers have similar feelings.
February 18th, 2010, 11:09 AM
Thank you, KagG and Laer. I will definately consider spliting my novel thusly. And just so I am clear what goes in my proposal (after my query has been approved)...
Correct me if I'm wrong in any of these.
1) Title Page (title of novel, my name and contact info)
2) Overview: (1-3 page summary of story)
3) Biographical Section: (self-explanatory, but should be related to novel)
4) Marketing Section: (reserved generally for non-fiction, but something nice to add in to show them I've done my homework )
5) Competition Section: (a list of similar works with brief commentary of each)
6) Promotion Section: (Details on how I will promote my book)
7) Chapter Outline: (Brief listing of chapter titles w/ short summaries of each)
8) Sample Chapters: (3 chapters or 50-pages)
I know that some of these (marketing and competition) are generally reserved for non-fiction, but this is what I read about making proposals. I figured I'll just work on all of them and submit whatever the agent wants in the end. At least I'll have the extra material put on the back burner until needed.
Just wondering though...what is the procedure in promoting yourself? My current network is abysmal, and I think that if I should talk to libraries and book stores about my manuscript becoming a potential published novel (as well as obtaining some vital information), that I can say what they will offer and how I will go about promoting myself through them in my proposal. Am I wrong in that?
February 18th, 2010, 11:23 AM
No, Ausnos, you're trying to turn it into a non-fiction proposal and they don't want all of that stuff. It's two different markets that sell differently and have different needs. What you need for a fiction submission packet is a cover/query letter that includes a brief description of the book and a brief amount of bio info, most specifically any publishing credits you have, the 50 pages of ms to which you can add a title page, (it's a good idea to put contact info in the corner of each page of the ms.,) and a 1-2 page single spaced plot synopsis.
And that's it. All the other stuff is not needed.
February 18th, 2010, 07:32 PM
Oh my word! I feel like such a moron now! Thanks, KatG for helping me through this!
Originally Posted by KatG
February 18th, 2010, 08:08 PM
You're not a moron; you're just over-thinking it. Basically, do what they tell you to do is the best guideline. If they say send a query letter, send a query letter. If they say send a query letter with chapters, send that. If you send a query letter and they say we'll read it, send chapters and a synopsis, send that, and so on. And if you send them stuff they don't need, as well, it is unlikely to annoy them enough to cause you a problem.
February 19th, 2010, 01:21 AM
Cool. Thanks for all your help!
Originally Posted by KatG