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12

Most important part is, reducing the story to the core plot. Some say you should only need three pages to summarize your story, some say one page should be enough. But if you can reduce its core to three sentences, then you are on the right track. Impossible? Only three sentences? Imagine a friend asks you to summarize the Lord of the Rings for him. He ...


12

Unless you are already an established name in the industry and one known for timeliness and reliability, you will have a hard time shopping around an unfinished book. There are a tremendous amount of finished manuscripts piling up on agents and editors doorsteps already. But keep in mind, the publishing industry is a slow moving machine in general. Consider ...


11

Generally 90 days is the standard wait time before sending an inquiry. You might want to check the agent's website and see if they have something in their submission guidelines that says how long you should wait before sending an inquiry. Generally a simple email asking the status of your submission is acceptable. It may be that they just haven't gotten to ...


10

It's perfectly reasonable to follow up at this point. I've read numerous agents' and editors' opinions on this, and never have I seen anyone claim you should wait longer than three months (one such example). I'd suggest you follow up with an email, reminding the agent of your previous correspondence and asking politely when you can expect a response. Email ...


9

Your query is meant to introduce the book and make clear why it's compelling. That doesn't require you to explain its plot in detail, particularly if the plot isn't the compelling aspect of it. On the other hand, you can't just write "My novel is called [TITLE HERE], it's very funny, you should totally check it out." So you need a core aspect of your novel - ...


8

It's true. It should be completed, polished, and ready to go. This is because: A) it's nearly impossible for you, a first-time novelist, to know how much more time you need until you've got the project as good as it can be. Writing a book to a publishable level is a lot more than just finishing the first draft. Before you submit your work to an agent ...


8

The place to start when checking out agents is Absolute Write. In particular, I'd start with their Bewares, Recommendations & Background Check forum. Another good resource is Preditors & Editor's list of Literary Agents. If there's an agent that the folks there haven't heard of, it's likely that that person won't be able to be much help to you (or ...


7

No you can't shop an unfinished novel. Almost everyone has good ideas- for movies, books, businesses, but very few have the discipline to stick to their idea and produce something useful. Many get bored and stop half way. In books, very few people even finish the 1st draft. Those who do, never get around to revising it and producing something professional. ...


7

Agents generally do nothing for short stories. I have never heard of an agent representing a short story to a literary journal of any kind, since the 15% that they get from a sale would be too trivial of a sum to be worth their money. There are two things that an agent could potentially do for you at this stage in your career: Help you publish a short ...


7

I have to add a few things to Randomman's answer: If you have that list, check if the agents are reputable! Google them. There are a lot of black sheep out there. Go to the homepage of authors of the same category you write in. Some are mentioning their agents. Follow Vatine's advice in his comment to Randomman's answer. If you do not find a guideline, do ...


7

So what is the highlight? Is it a character study of lunatics? A farce? A satire of a particular genre? A giddy romp across space and time? A surreal exploration of the absurdities inherent in our classist political system? A synopsis for a cover letter is really your elevator pitch — boil your book down into the fewest words which describe it, not ...


6

I wasn't going to post an answer for this, but I've got to disagree with Joshin. You're in a business relationship with your agent. You're entitled to respectful business communication. There's a vast difference between you needing your hand held and you needing to know what your business partner is up to. Months of silence seem out of line. That is, ...


6

If you rush your novel, it will be crap. You're better off taking you time and making sure you do everything correctly. You can't just pump out a first draft and send it off to publishers. They'll laugh at you. Instead take your time; publishers will still be there when you finish the book. Only established authors can shop unfinished manuscripts. ...


6

This question is crying for a link to the Sacred Cows of Publishing Killing. Finding a publisher is not their main task (at least it wasn't). They negotiate contracts. That's what they are/should be good at, but most authors probably not. They watch for irregularities in the publisher's payments (and you should watch the agents). They also give advice what ...


6

Try and find a list of agents who write in your genre. Check out their websites! Find out if they are accepting new clients. If they aren't, then check out another agent. But if they are, try sending them a few chapters from your story, a brief and a short cover letter, asking them to represent you. In the cover letter mention your previous publication ...


6

From my own experience to discover a black sheep: If you've found and agent, google him. Google harder! If you think, he is reputable, change your keywords and google again! No, not kidding. I found an agent who was very promising. Professional homepage, listed all the things you look for (you have to pay no money, best publishers, etc.) I googled him ...


5

You can hire a literary agent if you have an offer from a publisher and need someone to negotiate the contract. But for that it's cheaper to hire a literary lawyer. First question: Why do you want to hire an agent? You have already published your book. It's available for free on your website. Do you want to make money with your book? Then why have you ...


4

First: you can't just "hire" a reputable agent. The only agents that allow you to buy representation outright are effectively running a scam to defraud new writers of their money, and you should not go to any of them. Instead, you query agents and tell them about your novel, and if they're interested they will offer you representation. The process of ...


4

Probably not a professional one. All agents are hired - they take a percentage of whatever contracts they get you (or which they negotiate for you). You're asking if you can pay extra for an agent to represent an author or an MS which they'd otherwise turn down. Here's the thing: an agent represents what s/he thinks s/he can sell. If they don't want to ...


4

If there were a golden way, everyone would do it. They do not want that everyone does it. You can use a literary agent. If they make a deal, they take around 15-20% of what Hollywood will pay you. Google them, google their reputation. Be aware of the indirection. You first have to convince the agent, the agent has to convince the Hollywood guys. And the ...


3

An immensely helpful resource on this topic is Writer Beware, a volunteer organization associated with the SFWA and MWA. Their essay on warning signs of questionable agents answers your question in great depth. For completeness, I'll summarize the main points here - but do read the entire article... A reputable agent charges NOTHING but a percentage An ...


3

This may not be an exact answer to your question, but: Don't forget that you don't always need an agent (in fact, depending on the agent and your situation, it can be a lot worse than having no agent). You need to read a bit about what exactly an agent can do for you and decide what kind of agent you want to hire. Also be aware that some "agents" ...


3

When your authors began working with their respective agents, they would have had to sign a contract explaining the bounds of the agency. That contract will explain the ins and outs for common situations such as dual representation, entering markets outside the agent's bailiwick, and so forth. I would be surprised if 'Collaborative Works' wasn't mentioned ...


3

Have you considered self publishing? If you are looking for inspiration, read Joe Konrath's blog, available here. Read through his back posts, and you may find some interesting stuff. One of them talks about his book, the list, that was rejected by all the publishers, and is now a bestseller. One of the comments to that post is worth reading: My favorite ...


3

If they want the information in the synopsis, then put it there. I also see no problem mentioning it in the cover letter additionally, but you don't need it there when it is in the synopsis. If you do not have a writing career (yet), then your age (or date of birth) and current profession should be sufficient. Tell them, why you are in expert for children's ...


2

In response to your question, the answer generally is "no". You can attempt to hire an agent to represent you, but the agent has the right to refuse if they don't feel you have anything they can actually sell. Your first priority, therefore, would be to make sure you have something to sell. I can appreciate the fact that you have gone to the trouble to ...


2

I've never been published. I've never contacted an agent. But I'll tell you this: I can't even count on sixteen hands the number of times I've read something JUST like this-- "Twilight was initially rejected by 14 agents, however, eight publishers competed for the rights to publish Twilight in the 2003 auction." [From Wikipedia] And obviously we all know ...


1

From the perspective of a reader, I see no issue with it as long as the story is good; I've read a number of books written by multiple authors, but these are written by known authors. Still this implies that there is no particular issue with multi-authored novels. A few examples: The Empire Trilogy by Janny Wurts and Raymond E Feist Good Omens by Terry ...


1

The trick is probably to get yourself an agent first of all, as any decent operation will have contacts in other markets. However there are large international agencies for which this would be a more natural fit: http://www.andrewnurnberg.com/ spring to mind.


1

As I see it from here, your question itself looks like a potential solution. Yes, I mean, if you could reword it and include bits from your work itself, in a creative way, that should really impress any literary agent. Look at it this way: giving away much in a summary/ abstract has never been a good idea anyway. Even as it serves to arouse curiosity, it ...



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