Tag Archives: approaching an agent

E-publish and be damned?

Will it be frowned upon?  I’m thinking about this because I’ve just submitted to another agency, Wade and Doherty, mainly because I liked them.

This is the only submission I have in, at the moment.  I may do some more but I need to find a tactful way to explain that, due to my advanced age, I must approach more than one agent at a time in order to find one before I die…

Meanwhile the paid editor is launching into the third section of my novel.  She’s managed to cut it to 101,744 words… if I can get it down to 99,000 I’m sure it will improve my chances of publication.  Hoping having it edited will help, too.

Which leads me neatly onto my most recent topic for research.  Should an author e-publish a novel they are trying to sell to a publisher?  Does it reduce their appeal and make them look desperate or, if they’ve managed to sell some copies on the back of their own marketing efforts, does it help to prove their work is saleable?

I want to e-publish for three reasons:

  1. I want people to be able to read my book.
  2. I think the crest of the e-publishing wave is pretty much now – or possibly a month or two ago – and for once I want to be reasonably early to market.
  3. If it sells I can present it to an agent or publisher as something that is already known and successful (albeit in a small way).

If I e-publish, am I about to shoot myself comprehensively in the foot?

I’ll get back to you with more information about this as I uncover it.

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Advice re agents…

Here’s an excellent piece of advice I was given about finding an agent, today.  Find the agents which fit your writing/genre, then look down your shortlist and apply to new agencies, ie anything under 5 years old.  The bonuses are clear…

Most new agencies are started up by experienced agents from larger agencies gone solo.  As an unknown, fledgling writer, you won’t get a graduate trainee or somebody with one year’s experience.  If they take you on, your agent is likely to be a great deal more knowledgeable than anyone you’d get at a larger agency.

They’ll try harder, they are out there to make a name for themselves as well as you.

They will be less well known so you may only be up against a thousand or so other writers pitching for that one slot rather than the two or three thousand you’ll be up against pitching to a larger agency.

This advice came from a London publisher – he publishes text books but he’s still a publisher.  He also recommends writing consultants, you pay but they, too, are often go-it-alone publishing professionals with excellent contacts among agents and publishers.

Food for thought, anyway.

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Filed under Finding an agent, Good Advice

A little babychaos

A week ago, having finished my submission for a literary agent, honed it, toned it and generally agonised over it my Sister In-Law – who works in publishing – kindly volunteered to read it.

Seeing the enormous size of my synopsis – it’s a complicated plot – she recommended I ring the agency I was approaching to check if they had any particular length in mind when they said “short”.

Eventually I took my courage in both hands and did. It rang, somebody answered and before either of us could say anything Mini Me shouted.

“NANG!!!” At the top of his voice.

There was a surprised silence.

“I’m sorry, this isn’t a prank call. That was my son. He’s a baby.” I said.

Oh happy day when she laughed! Luckily they are happy with a longer synopsis, the point is that it should be free from waffle. If there’s lots to say, that doesn’t matter.

Phew again.

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Filed under Finding an agent, General Wittering