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Publishing/Querying Read 14543 times

Ara

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Publishing/Querying
« on: March 29, 2015, 05:42:13 pm »
I know some of you have works in progress outside of rping and thought I'd ask if anyone has ever had anything published or undergone the gauntlet of sending out query letters to publishers or agents? Or even what sort of projects you're working on if you are. What genres? How far along are you? How is it going?

I've done some agent hunting in the past for a series I started but it grew halfhearted after a number of rejections (some very polite and some just the silence that comes after sending in a query). This year I rededicated myself to the task and really embraced the fact that being published is something I want for myself and my work and believing that I deserve that.

My own update- My book is currently being considered by the publisher I've been courting, they requested to see the full manuscript and I am dangerously hopeful. If this doesn't pan out though, I plan to go back to agent hunting because, at the very least, this particular experience has given me more confidence in my query letter and manuscript.

So, what about the rest of you?

Beau

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Re: Publishing/Querying
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2015, 08:09:08 pm »
It's posts like these that pump up my anxiety.  That and walking though Barnes and Nobel and wondering over all the books.  I want my name in print, but I hate rejection -- total catch 22.

I've done the queery route on my mystery book, probably back in 2007ish.  Got as far as 'send me 3 chapters" a couple times.  Had Harper Collins read it and offer comments.  Based on that feedback I've been rewriting -- joined a mystery writer group 2 years ago.  Went to a pitchfest (where they line up agents and you get 5 minutes with each one you're willing to stand in line for) -- but I have this need to perfect the book before I do anything with it.

Finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.  I had a professional editor read and line edit and the specific feedback was worth the cost -- trouble is it's hours of editing I simply can't focus on.  It's fate though that I ran into my friend Eve on line after a couple years not connecting with her.  I'm emailing "a chapter a day" -- although its more like 3 a week.  She's known Hale from the beginning and is my original model for Nadiya/Bailey so its truly full circle.  I haven't asked her to comment, but deadlines really help me.  So my recommendation to you is build small goals, and celebrate the milestones.   I have a spreadsheet of agents, but it will probably be June before I do anything with it.  I want the book finished and I need to get through another crisis at work.

On another note, I've been involved in some self publishing.  I tend to pony on with others and "Contribute."  I have a short story in a compilation, and a chapter in a leadership book that we marketed to #1 in US, UK,  and Austrialia a couple weeks ago.  Went to #3 in Germany. #2 in Canada and we beat out Huffington on the charts on release day which was a huge win since I don't really like her.  SO - there is hope.  Keep plugging.  Consider self-publishing as well if you're willing to do the marketing.  The business of publishing has really changed in the last 10 years.

(edit) So now I'm like all...why has it taken another year to edit this thing....so I'm at starbucks trying to finish Chapter 18.   GOd, I hate posts like this because it makes me feel like such a failure...Good luck Ara.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2015, 08:18:44 pm by Beau »

Krystal Itzume

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Re: Publishing/Querying
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2015, 08:48:10 pm »
-hugs Beau- You're trucking away, and that is what matters. You will get it done!

I mean, I've left my work untouched for 5 years now. Heh.

I haven't looked into the publishing thing seriously, but back in 2009 (I think) I did start to look into professional editors and I did what Beau did, just not the full manuscript. I sent out the first few chapters, and that helped to single out what my issues were in my writing. Thanks to GRR Martin, I think I know how to remedy it now. Goal is to start the heavy rewriting and editing this May. No goal for finishing it. Might take your advice, Beau, and try to set deadlines since that sort of thing tends to help me out.

So I don't know much about the publishing part, but I can say that professional editors can be very helpful in figuring out how to make your manuscripts better before you send out for publishing. Some even have connections to agents and publishers, so that can also be a useful foot in the door. The one I contacted did, though of course now I've forgotten who. I have her card somewhere in my pile of important cards...

Ara

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Re: Publishing/Querying
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2015, 09:06:05 pm »
haha Beau! My intent was not to give you anxiety, I promise, but I'm not very sorry if you ended up at a starbucks working on your mystery novel. One day, when you get your book on the shelves, you might actually have to tell us your name. I know Verse will expect to see your bearded face on the jacket.

What genre was your short story? Was it sold locally or would it be something we could find on amazon?

I also have a spreadsheet of agents from back when I was sending to them! That way I could keep track of when/if I should expect to hear back and, you know, not send to them again after they've rejected me. I need to start building onto it so I don't get stuck in a sad funk and lose time if this publisher I'm courting isn't interested.

I might have to consider a professional editor in the future. I haven't gone that route. I've had beta readers and revised/edited it myself a few times. I always do a reading/revising/editing round on paper because I find that I pick up a lot more things that way than I do when reading on my screen. Also little things, like words used too closely to one another.



Beau

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Re: Publishing/Querying
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2015, 09:35:30 pm »
The short story book is here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00546FEUQ/ref=rdr_kindle_ext_tmb

And, I used my real name....be funny if you figured out which story was mine.

Anyway if I publish Hale, it will be as Hale Marcum.  I planned to make him a real persona on Facebook and Twitter (assuming I can remember the passwords) and be the faceless author -- so good luck with that dust jacket picture.

I have that awful words reuse too close issue too.  Hate it.  Still do it.

I also love the word 'it' and 'that' and 'just'.  Rigorously trying to prune.  On to CHapter 19...but I need some lunch....
« Last Edit: March 29, 2015, 09:38:24 pm by Beau »

Krystal Itzume

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Re: Publishing/Querying
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2015, 09:39:03 pm »
I'mma go get that book, too, now.

Also, any tips you can offer about short story publishing (and I'm asking Verse this, too, if he looks)? I've considered it, but never really investigated it...

Edit: I overuse the word 'smirk'. I know that much about my writing and overuse of words.

Ara

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Re: Publishing/Querying
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2015, 09:43:34 pm »
Oh my gosh. You are in print and you didn't tell us!? I'm going to buy this, read the stories by all the gents, and find yours. And then I will know your name, Beau! Mind you, it probably won't be cooler than Beau so I will continue to call you Beau, but we will be that much closer as friends, you and I!

Krys, I've looked into doing short stories (I am terrible at writing short so it hasn't worked out for me) but I know some places that do anthologies pretty regularly. I'll put them up here hopefully tomorrow so you can check them out and see if anything looks like your taste.

Beau

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Re: Publishing/Querying
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2015, 09:45:05 pm »
Both my books have been networking spectaculars.  The short stories were from people I met on Authonomy.  Forty authors who wanted a publishing credit -- so we banded together under one leader (Michael -- so ha, that one's not me) and submitted them.  He sold it on the merits of the funds going to charity after he made back the nominal publishing cost.  Cheep to do with Createspace.

This premise was actually done with a random song generator -- we each got a song and had to write 3000-5000 words.

I might be talked into coordinating something if we got enough people interested in submitting.  There were nine of us in the leadership book.  Lisa Marie took three years, but ultimately we got it done.  It was to serve her business mostly, but I wanted the credit for resume purposes.  I used to write commentary in the local newspaper but that was years ago before I was married.  No time now to build that part of the resume.

(edit) and I agree with Ara there are lots of places that take short stories.  There is an annual thanksgiving mystery one due every September. Each year I think I'll submit, but I struggle with keeping my thoughts short enough to do that sort of quick in/out packaging.  So, that's another epic fail....


where is my cake....*off looking for cake*
« Last Edit: March 29, 2015, 09:50:45 pm by Beau »

Verse

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Re: Publishing/Querying
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2015, 09:49:02 pm »
Krystal! Usually publishers have little anthologies they're looking to fill out. If you want to write you,you should look around to see if anyone's got something coming up you'd like to write in! If you already have a short story you might want to try and bunch them up, hopefully have a theme, and try to sell it as an anthology, in which case normal novel selling procedures apply.

Since we're sharing, here's my second to latest rejection letter, which I feel was not a form rejection and gave me hope I'm at least doing something right.

"
Dear Phong

 

Thanks so much for giving me the opportunity to consider your work.

 

While I was intrigued by premise of the book, I ultimately didn't respond in a way that tells me I can champion the book wholeheartedly and I’m afraid it’s not quite right for my list.

 

Thank you again and I wish your project every future success.

 

Best," and then the agents name.

If I'm to analyze this critically it'd be "Good idea, but your writing sucks.". If Im to be a little more nice to myself about it, I'd say "Good idea, but I didn't appreciate the violence and sexin' in tandem."

Stay tuned for my second favorite rejection letter.

Also: Beau is published! I never new! in print, even! Wow! Well done! That's gotta look good on your resume.

Also again: trying both publishers and agents. Hopefully that works.

Beau

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Re: Publishing/Querying
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2015, 09:54:25 pm »
My favorite one came after  sending a longer submission.  It said something about loving the start, but ultimately finding the plot 'not believable" == I suppose that's a slam to all the pop mystery/psycic stuff.  So much for Medium, etc.   

I think I've reworked some of that though.  My key I believe is changing my main side kick from love interest to Sister.  I do smirky dialogue better than steam.

(edit) Oh, and I just remembered the odd cover art is actually all 40 of our pictures spliced together...so technically you can see if I have a beard or not...if you look really close and can identify the thread.

(edit, edit) -- and No Ara, I am not "Mr. Wayne".   Far more dark and mysterious.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2015, 10:11:49 pm by Beau »

Jill the Ripper

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Re: Publishing/Querying
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2015, 11:12:08 pm »
ahhhhhh you guys have to get published it'd be mad and cool and really mad and then i would be able to say i know published authors and i would go into Dymocks and order in your books and then you would get readership in australia and it'd be really cool and it has to happen or else i will dIE.

:jill: :jill: :jill:  :dumbledore: :choco: :bluecat: :birthdaycake: :birthdaycake: :mlprainbow: :mlprainbow: :mlprainbow: :crown: :tinyunicorn: :bow: :whitecat:

Ara

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Re: Publishing/Querying
« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2015, 01:51:48 pm »
More dark and mysterious than Mr. Wayne? I ordered the anthology. It's only a matter of time until I find out now!

Krys, the publisher I sent my book to actually does some really neat anthologies. If you're looking, that is.

I've also been checking out a forum called absolute write. I found it when looking up possible agents/publishers. If you google an agent/publisher and absolute write you'll likely find a thread about them where people put in their experiences (good and bad). It's been really helpful and the whole site has just been a really good resource.

Jill the Ripper

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Re: Publishing/Querying
« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2015, 02:27:10 pm »
you have to find out if beau has a beard, ara!!!

i'm browsing the YA section of Absolute Write now and I want to die that's how badly I want to be apart of the YA crowd.

/sobs

Ara

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Re: Publishing/Querying
« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2015, 05:20:22 pm »
I've been working on my agent list today and I must say, I'm getting sick of all the young adult, middle grade, and new adult. Not as a genre, but just because that seems to be what everyone is looking for. Which I guess is great for you, Jillibean, but a little disheartening for me. And don't even get me started on this "New Adult" nonsense.. It's adult. Adult is adult. Stop it.

Jill the Ripper

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Re: Publishing/Querying
« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2015, 07:22:39 am »
Maybe we should swap countries then Ara-bear, because I bought a copy of The Australian Writer's Marketplace which lists agents and publishers and yadayada and there's only a handful of publishers that'll accept YA and like, maybe about four agents in the country that'll look at it.

Funny thing about "New Adult", when I was buying the Marketplace book, I saw a How-to-Write New Adult one - as far as I can tell it's pretty much just older teenagers in sexy situations~

Like I can't cram that shit into YA, ha! Just watch me.

I follow a lot of YA blogs/tumblrs/instagrams and found this video, it's kind of interesting! and short!

A Brief History of YA

Now excuse me I'm just going to sob a little more.  /sobs

:jill: :jill: :jill:

Ara

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Re: Publishing/Querying
« Reply #15 on: March 31, 2015, 09:56:30 am »
I don't know if it's a country thing, Jillibean. The agents are usually based in the states or UK but their profiles are online and you can submit query letters to them from wherever. Otherwise I would be in serious trouble. Swedish publishers only want books in a scandinavian language.

Verse

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Re: Publishing/Querying
« Reply #16 on: March 31, 2015, 10:02:33 pm »
Which are of course high and forest Elfish as well as some of the softer Orch tongues.

Jill the Ripper

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Re: Publishing/Querying
« Reply #17 on: April 01, 2015, 06:24:29 pm »
i can see how writing a full story in any form of elven would be hard, but orc? i thought that was just all grunts.

i joined Absolute Write but I've picked the worst day for it because they've turned their site a hideous yellow for April Fools' (must be old people bc idk why anyone would find that particularly funny?) and it is absolutely blinding.

i don't know why i bother joining other forums sometimes, either i find everyone else boring compared to you lot, or i come off as elitist and unpleasant which i blame on... well, just the internet in general, actually, for instilling a sense of ruthless, shameless brutality when it comes to interacting with the peasants.


:crown:
:jill:
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Krystal Itzume

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Re: Publishing/Querying
« Reply #18 on: April 01, 2015, 09:53:26 pm »
Quote
when it comes to interacting with the peasants.

The plebeians, Jill, get it right.

I have nothing to contribute right now, but thank you all for your wonderful links and advice. I'll contribute when I have something besides editing Jilly's comments. xD

Jill the Ripper

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Re: Publishing/Querying
« Reply #19 on: April 02, 2015, 05:55:52 am »
/sobs

i didn't know how to spell plebeians.  /sobsharder

i've been watching more EpicReads youtube vids and found some that are kind of interesting, even if they are geared towards twelve year olds (okay not really but you know)


Interview With An Editor
Interview With A Cover Designer
Interview With A Literary Agent

idk which person sounds like they have the coolest job.  Maybe the Editor.


edit: oh my god AW's YA section has a Show Me Your Kiss Scene thread and it is by turns amazing and terrible lmao lMAO send help I can't eveN.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2015, 06:08:22 am by Jill the Ripper »

Ara

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Re: Publishing/Querying
« Reply #20 on: April 02, 2015, 12:22:32 pm »
Jillibean! Be nice to AW! They're nice to each other and helpful!

ps. I have built an agent list and plan to compile a document with everything I need to send to them so that if the publisher I'm waiting to hear back from declines (insert jill style sob here) I can send out the agent queries without having to do much work since I think I'll be too down to actually motivate myself when the time comes.

Jill the Ripper

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Re: Publishing/Querying
« Reply #21 on: April 02, 2015, 01:52:10 pm »
nO i shant be nice.  /sobs

though you are right, they are very paitent with dumb questions~  they have ugly emoticons tho.  /sobsharder

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and awwww ara-bear, you got this.  you've got this.  you're going to get it, one way or another, i absolutely 110% believe it.


Verse

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Re: Publishing/Querying
« Reply #22 on: April 02, 2015, 03:29:05 pm »
Here is my second favouritest rejection letter:

Dear Phong,

Thank you so much for sharing BONE BALUSTRADE with me. Though I think you have an interesting story here, I didn't quite fall in love with it in the way that I need to in order to request more. In this subjective industry, I'm sure another agent will feel differently, and I wish you the best of luck on your writing journey.

Warmest,

And then the agent's first name.




I thought it was sweet. I hope this means Im getting closer. But who knows? It's sort of fun hunting for agents though. Sort of like getting you ass beat in a fight, it's all part of the exercise.

Verse

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Re: Publishing/Querying
« Reply #23 on: April 09, 2015, 07:54:52 pm »
And here is my latest one! This one should have come in some time ago, but a lot of agents go over time since they're so swamped.


Dear Phong:

 

Thank you very much for sending me your query and thank you for your patience as I considered it.

 

While this is definitely the kind of project I am interested in, ultimately I wasn’t as taken with your manuscript as I need to be in order to fully get behind it, and so I’m going to pass. I must remain extremely careful to only acquire projects about which I am wildly passionate, and thus I feel it is in your best interest that I step aside and allow you to continue your search for representation elsewhere.

 

Please remember that this is only one opinion in what is a highly subjective business and another agency may very well feel differently. Thank you again for thinking of me, and of Writers House, and the very best of luck to you in your search for the right agent.

 

Best,




So I think some agents are on board for the idea, this one very much so, but don't like what I've written. It's both uplifting and discouraging. But it's all part of it! This makes me feel like Im inching along. It's nice to have movement after so long! I'm gonna keep throwing out that hook, and hope the prose of my worm will attract some kind of fish with good connections.

Beau

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Re: Publishing/Querying
« Reply #24 on: April 14, 2015, 03:47:55 pm »
Inching along is good Verse.  I'm in a dead stall and could use some help.

So, I made it to chapter 22, and I see the light at the end of the editing tunnel.  So, now I'm starting to panic.  I was originally planning to send the manuscript to someone who does pitches.  She markets books, not like an agent but goes to those conferences and tries to sell them for you.  Trouble is she'll likely have an editor go through the work again and I'm not sure I'm quite ready for another round of that.  Perhaps I should go the agent route, but every time I surf the net I get hives.

Can I get 15 minutes of people's time?  Assume you have a mystery, with a psychic detective.  Sort of thriller based, about 77K words.  Who would you send it to?  Please post your recommendations below (link preferred so I can see the reference/get address and submission info).  I have a spreadsheet of agents but its 5 years old and even thinking about sending stuff makes me sick to my stomach.  I want to just pull the trigger.  Can you offer me a couple choices so I can get over the fear?  If everyone here offers me one or two links I might make it over the hump....

Help?

Oh - and English, no troll or hobbit lingo please.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2015, 03:51:22 pm by Beau »

Krystal Itzume

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Re: Publishing/Querying
« Reply #25 on: April 14, 2015, 04:34:49 pm »
I'll give you one, Beau, because I have no spreadsheets or information yet since I'm not at that point.

Link is: http://www.kimberleycameron.com/

I saw the name when browsing google for mystery agents in literature, and I just liked this one since they mentioned debut authors. So, if I were in your shoes, they sound like someone I'd consider.

Ara

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Re: Publishing/Querying
« Reply #26 on: April 16, 2015, 12:14:36 pm »
Beau, when you had an editor go through your book before, how did you go about finding one and how much did it cost, if you don't mind me asking? You seem really put off by it. Do you think it was a bad experience or is it just that you felt uncomfortable with the critique?

And I have my agent list on a spread sheet too! It makes it easy to keep track of who you've already sent to (because you're not usually supposed to send to the same house again) and it also makes it easier to keep track of when you sent and how long until you should hear back. Not all agents send out rejections these days. A lot of them only reply if they're interested, which is somehow more brutal than an actual no.

Jessica Faust of Bookends- http://www.bookends-inc.com/about_us.html

Natanya Wheeler of Nancy Yost Literary Agency- http://www.nyliterary.com/www.nyliterary.com/__Natanya_Wheeler.html

Verse

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Re: Publishing/Querying
« Reply #27 on: April 16, 2015, 07:57:15 pm »
My latest and now my absolute favourtiest rejection:



Dear Phong,

Thank you for thinking of XXXXX XXXXXX and submitting Bone Balustrade.  We appreciate all the work that authors send us and your patience while we reviewed your work.  While you have an interesting premise, unfortunately we have to pass on this project because of the subject matter.  None of our agents are currently looking for books regarding vampires, so we feel it would be better represented elsewhere.

We wish you all the best,




Now that would make more sense if you knew what I was sending people. Here's the tagline

A vampire love story without vampires, for the grown-up heart and stomach.

Ara

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Re: Publishing/Querying
« Reply #28 on: April 17, 2015, 08:15:28 am »
Verse, you're so brave!

Beau, I still want to hear more about your editing experience. And I'm not exactly stalking you, but I do have the lyrics of One Way or Another going through my head while I read this anthology.


ps. this is me trying to look 'up to no good'.

Beau

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Re: Publishing/Querying
« Reply #29 on: April 17, 2015, 03:49:29 pm »
Ah, the editing experience....

I'm a believer in trusting professionals.  This is a rather twisted saga that extends over 5 years.  There was a website for freelancers where I found my first editor.  I'd have to dig for the name and I'm not sure its still there, but the principle was that you let them bid on your work scope - then hire and pay using paypal basically.   My first editor was fantastic.  But, but the time I finally got through all the recrafting she wasn't available any more so she referred me to her friend who was probably about 80% as good, but sort of forgot about me.  Six months later I hadn't done anthing and she let me know she could read, so she did and I got the manuscript back -- six months later I'm almost done with edits.

I asked for more than a redline edit.  She offered suggestions that have actually impacted the style of description and dialogue.  A good thing in a way, and in another it makes me nervous because the writing feels less mine -- but it's taught me some interesting stuff particularly about printing style guidelines (margins, font, italics) and when to use certain words (like "said").

Pricey - $50=60/hr isn't uncommon.  Basically I paid $2000 for 75K words.

(reviews prior posts) ___ thanks all for the links.  They keep saying the publishing business has changed, but the unfortunate thing is I've heard of all those names, and I think I've sent an earlier version to all (around 2008) --- I wonder...might send again and see what happens but...yeah....sooooo not feeling it....
« Last Edit: April 17, 2015, 03:51:56 pm by Beau »