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38

Agents Typically, you would begin querying agents. Agents offer a number of benefits: Some will help you polish up your novel further They know the marketplace and have access to editors at publishing houses. Many publishing houses these days refuse to look at unsolicited manuscripts sent by the author. If they're good at their job, they'll have an ...


25

To answer your question literally: most novels that are written will never be published. Thousands of people write a novel every year, and probably less than 1% of those novels are ever read by anyone other than the author's friends and family. Publishers and agents turn down many thousands of manuscripts a year. However, it does not follow that publishing ...


24

Fictionpress is a popular website that allows anyone to upload stories, read those stories, and comment. As the site is wide open, the quality of comments varies wildly, along with the quality of stories. Earlier in my life, I frequented the site, but I eventually left, as I wanted more constructive feedback than I tended to get there. It does have the ...


24

Anyone who actively pursues publication can get published. Sometimes it can happen easily, other times it may take month or even years. Just because it's well written and is a decent novel, doesn't mean every publisher wants it. It may not be right for some publishers, and others may not think they can market a certain novel well. But if you keep trying, ...


23

On evaluating a good publisher: Your publisher shouldn't charge you anything, period. Your publisher should explain exactly what your contract terms are, then give them to you in writing for your lawyer / best friend / psychic / mom / whomever-you-like to review before you sign. Your publisher should have a verifiable list of successful titles with a ...


22

This article shows an example breakdown of the costs involved in making a hardcover book: Based on a list price of $27.95 $3.55 - Pre-preduction - This amount covers editors, graphic designers, and the like $2.83 - Printing - Ink, glue, paper, etc $2.00 - Marketing - Book tour, NYT Book Review ad, printing and shipping galleys to journalists ...


19

If the publisher does not want to publish your story, then at least one of these is true: The goodness isn't in the text. The text is good, and the publisher doesn't recognize it. The publisher's idea of "good" differs from yours in ways that matter. The publisher has reasons that outweigh the goodness of your story (e.g. more than enough stories that ...


18

We now offically allow writing critique questions here: Policy change: Writing critique questions now welcome Provided: It is your actual real world writing You provide context for the writing critique. That is, you must tell us: what you were shooting for when you wrote that piece specifically what kind of critique feedback you are looking for ...


17

I'm a huge fan of self-publication and small-press publication, and I think the stigma attached to both is fading. (It's worth noting that my only experience being published is non-fiction with a big publisher, but a girl's gotta start somewhere, and I do a lot with self-publishers in my job as head of a web development shop focused on small business.) ...


17

The problem is that there are so many people out there trying to get published who ARE good at grammar. If an editor is looking at your MS and at an MS with an equally good story, characterization, writing style, etc., but with better grammar, the editor is going to chose the story with better grammar. So before submission, you could try to find an editor ...


17

I think its just negativity. People ask "Whats the secret to getting published", as if there was some secret sauce! While its true there are thousands of potential authors, its also true that: a. Most of them(Ive heard figures like 90%) never finish their 1st draft. b. Of those who do, a huge percentage are unpublishable - either their grammar is bad, ...


17

Writers being paid 'by the word' is kind of a misnomer. Many writers are paid more for longer pieces - reflecting the author's investment - but writers are never paid to pad or extend their work. The confusion seems to be mostly relevant to journalism, where word count is important because space in a magazine or newspaper is literally limited. When an ...


16

Well, having asked the question I then went to Bing.com to investigate further. I was surprised to find the answer quickly. I found it here: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/oldnewthing/archive/2007/04/10/2065727.aspx and I reproduce it in this way: In the row of numbers, the smallest number shown tells you which printing of the book you have. For example, if ...


15

I work as an editor for three different houses and also have books published with two houses, so this question is right up my alley! When it comes to an author's style, you have a lot of leeway. When an editor reads over the manuscript, they're going to make sure that what you've written is understandable and isn't going to throw your readers for a loop. If ...


15

This is basically a question of marketing strategy. The major pro of DRM is that it helps avoid pirating; the major con is that it limits accessibility and portability, and can annoy readers and users. So it seems to me that the primary consideration should be: "Is pirating going to cost me so much, that I'm better off risking limiting and annoying ...


15

That depends entirely on a number of factors: What's your motivation? (Thanks, Steven Burnap for this one.) Do you just want to get it out there to share your knowledge? Or are you looking to make money (hint - you probably won't make much money off your first book, no matter what route you go)? Dead tree? Ebook? Both? Something else? This is going to ...


14

Why not just write the story the way the story needs to be written, and then worry (if at all) about if it's palatable to some hypothetical publisher?


13

Editors don't get involved until a contract is assigned and your manuscript is sent to them for editing. The amount of leeway you have regarding their changes is going to vary on a couple things. The first being your reasoning. Why don't you want to go with their change? If you have a justifiable reason (ie not "I just don't like it) then they'll most likely ...


13

As Mike Scott says above, publishers and editors solicit favorable quotes from popular authors of work broadly similar to the book at hand. But that's not where all those quotes on book covers come from. Some are simply quotes from things authors have said in other public venues, like in the course of a review. For instance, there's a quote from Stephen ...


13

Don't worry about them stealing your idea. Ideas are cheap. Publishers care less whether your idea is original than whether you can execute well on your idea. Here is an excellent article about the topic. And another from O'Reilly books. So I'd say that you should reveal as much about the book as you need to in order to impress the publisher. You have ...


12

It means that a book has been - for any length of time - on the New York Time's Best Seller's List. This list aggregates sales data from thousands of venues in the United States for several different genres of books. It gathers data weekly and the data is published two weeks after data gathering (so the November 28 print edition contains the November 14th ...


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

The truth is that most novels never will be published by another party. There are a limited number of publishers in the world and only a very few books will be selected to be published. As an alternative in the last few years self-publishing - particularly in e-books - has become a viable and cost-effective measure for new writers to ge their works out to ...


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

I would recommend JA Konrath's blog on this. While he hasn't abandoned print publication, he sees e-books as a very valuable way to not only make money, but get your work out quickly and with more control over it. Here's a good take from him on publishing: http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/2010/08/changing-face-of-publishing.html The biggest thing is that you ...


11

Honestly, outside of romance novels, things like this are best left to the reader's imagination. There are exceptions (a traumatic rape being one that I can think of, and even then you would want to focus on the emotions rather than the actions), but for the most part, the scene will come out better having left it vague than being explicit. I know this ...


11

Absolutely. Agents specialize in the genres where they know editors (or they specialize, SO they know editors) and of course some publishers don't publish fantasy at all, while others focus on it. You can get basic information on this by looking at the books you think yours resemble. You can generally find an author's agent just by googling the author's ...



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