Author Topic: Authors' Thread (New! Improved! Now With 10% More Questions!)  (Read 28088 times)

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Offline In Exile

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Re: Authors' Thread (New! Improved! Now With 10% More Questions!)
« Reply #175 on: December 04, 2008, 03:21:59 PM »
Stay hooked, Try pitching it now, if you are at least halfway through, although an agent may not go all in until it's finished...

And in this market, not matter how good you are, and how good your book is, no agent and no publisher might bite anyway.  So if you are serious be prepared for this to, potentially, all be an exercise, something you write on your way to writing something that will be published, because, due to no fault of your own, this book may not.  See the book publishing thread on the main journalism page for more.

Wallace

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Re: Authors' Thread (New! Improved! Now With 10% More Questions!)
« Reply #176 on: December 04, 2008, 08:24:01 PM »
Thanks for the advice In Exile.

Like I mentioned in my post, in all honesty, I'm writing this book for me, which is probably a good thing with the current economic climate. But honestly, when I'm sitting there writing, it's for me...if it gets published, hey that's even better  :)

This thread has been invaluable, both for information and motivation.


WaylonJennings

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Re: Authors' Thread (New! Improved! Now With 10% More Questions!)
« Reply #177 on: December 15, 2008, 10:13:55 AM »
The first time I pitched an agent, I think I sent him about five or six possible book ideas. That actually goes against some recommendations I've read, which say that you should have a firm idea in mind. But the problem with that is this, to me - what if the agent likes you, but doesn't like the idea? Then you've done a lot of work for nothing.

The agent liked a couple of the five or six ideas I sent him, then sat on them for a few days. Finally, he picked one out and we got to work. He sent me five or six sample proposals he did with other writers, and I used those as a template. Some of them were books you've definitely heard of and possibly even read. It was interesting to see them in proposal form.

There was, of course, no guarantee that the book would interest a publisher at all, let alone a New York house. And we went back and forth with the proposal for about a year. Sometimes weeks would go by without me hearing from the agent, broken only intermittently by a, "Thanks for your patience!" email.

Having an ego like most writers, and getting little feedback through the years like most newspaper reporters, I couldn't wait until he read my proposal and contacted me back to tell me how it was the most amazing, stupendous, artful piece of writing he had ever read. Wrong. He hated the intro. Thought I had it completely wrong, down to the concept. So we worked, and we worked, and we worked.

Finally, he sent it around. Rejection. Rejection. Rejection.

And, then, like a beacon, an offer.

The manuscript is due in November.

Fenian_Bastard

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Re: Authors' Thread (New! Improved! Now With 10% More Questions!)
« Reply #178 on: December 16, 2008, 01:28:02 PM »
Wallace --
See that last paragraph you typed?
Tattoo that bad boy on your forehead. Set it in pink neon on the lawn. Paint it on the side of your barn. Never, ever, forget it.

Wallace

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Re: Authors' Thread (New! Improved! Now With 10% More Questions!)
« Reply #179 on: December 17, 2008, 02:26:26 PM »
Thanks for the words of advice all. Another question by the novice:

Upon completion of said manuscript, and the time comes to find an agent, what is the initial way to try to 'sell' the book to the agent. Is it in the form of a book proposal-type way, or is it more just talking with the agent, telling them about the book and letting them check out your work? Just curious.

And still going strong on the book. Thanks all.

Offline Appgrad05

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Re: Authors' Thread (New! Improved! Now With 10% More Questions!)
« Reply #180 on: December 22, 2008, 04:59:21 AM »
I have a question for all the published and soon to be-published here.
I believe the team (high school basketball in Indiana) I am covering, and the season it is going through, could make for a nice book.
The question is — do I start proposing and looking for an agent now, or wait until the end of the season? I am doing the leg-work now and starting to think of what parts of the team to flesh out and such, anyways.
Thank you, all yee wordsmiths.
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Offline In Exile

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Re: Authors' Thread (New! Improved! Now With 10% More Questions!)
« Reply #181 on: January 01, 2009, 06:18:38 AM »
First thing: Take a look at all other books on a HS sports season, HS basketball, and Indiana basketball, written over the last twenty years, and look really closely at those written in the last five.  How is yours different? 

Don't move forward until you have answered that question.  If you have an answer, start the process.

Write-brained

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Re: Authors' Thread (New! Improved! Now With 10% More Questions!)
« Reply #182 on: April 25, 2009, 10:36:47 AM »
Why this thread isn't stickied, is beyond me.

Anyway, I just re-read most of it and I can't find an answer for someone I know. She has written a unique novel based loosely on her own personal experiences, and is weighing whether to get it published. She's not a journalist, and doesn't have a lot publishing contacts, so I'm trying to help her navigate the system by asking people who know.

She contacted two agents she found on the internet. One requested to read the work and the other referred her to a publisher. The publisher said authors generally get to keep 19 percent of any profit the book might turn.

Her question is, what percentage of the profit - if any - should an author expect to see after an agent and the publisher has taken their cut?

Thanks in advance.

n8wilk

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Re: Authors' Thread (New! Improved! Now With 10% More Questions!)
« Reply #183 on: July 03, 2009, 08:11:29 AM »
This site (http://writersmarket.com) has helped me in my search for an agent. There's a fee, but it should be tax deductible.

I've finished my proposal and sent queries to a bunch of places. I've gotten a few rejections, but also a few bites as well. My manuscript is just under 60,000 words and it's about as good as I can make it on my own.

Wish me luck.

Offline Double J

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Re: Authors' Thread (New! Improved! Now With 10% More Questions!)
« Reply #184 on: July 04, 2009, 12:45:51 PM »
Good luck! :)
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n8wilk

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Re: Authors' Thread (New! Improved! Now With 10% More Questions!)
« Reply #185 on: July 09, 2009, 11:24:23 AM »
Thanks for the encouragement.

Anyone know what I should be looking/asking for when dealing with an agent? I got word that one is interested in my work.



Offline Andy Dufresne

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Re: Authors' Thread (New! Improved! Now With 10% More Questions!)
« Reply #186 on: July 09, 2009, 08:29:34 PM »
Good luck Ickey! I'm about two weeks away from walking through the lion's den myself. The best advice I've received is this: Treat it like you're looking for a spouse. Don't settle for the first person who comes along and likes your work. Make sure you're comfortable with your agent, and your agent is comfortable with you. It has to be a good fit, a good working relationship with someone you can trust.
Again, good luck, and keep us posted! 
"I'm done. Everything stops. Get someone else to run your scams."

n8wilk

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Re: Authors' Thread (New! Improved! Now With 10% More Questions!)
« Reply #187 on: July 27, 2009, 07:16:22 PM »
Thanks to everyone on board for the advice and encouragement. I have an agent who is willing to represent my book and has sent a contract in the mail. Hoepfully that means this book will get published at some point.

I think, in the end, I will get more joy from the sight of my book on a shelf than I will get from a check for the book. Unless, of course, I get boy band rich and can buy a bunch of Bentleys.

Also, anyone who has experience with literary agents and their contracts please help me out. I want to make sure I don't get screwed over.

Muchas gracias. Good luck to all the other authors. Keep writing.

Offline Colton

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Re: Authors' Thread (New! Improved! Now With 10% More Questions!)
« Reply #188 on: July 28, 2009, 02:37:41 AM »
Ickey: Congrats to you!
You're gonna need a bigger boat

Cut me, Mick!

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Offline Baron Scicluna

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Re: Authors' Thread (New! Improved! Now With 10% More Questions!)
« Reply #189 on: May 16, 2010, 05:25:23 PM »
Reviving this thread because it's been great for browsing, and, in many ways, inspiring.

Because since my schooling's done, and I'm still unemployed, I figure now is as good a time as any in my life to write a book. Like Forrest Gump when he's upset that Jenny left him, and he just started running, I just started writing. I've been doing it to as a way to not get too discouraged about finding a job, and to feel like I'm trying to do something with my life instead of just sitting around and collecting unemployment.

It's a fictional book, in which one sport is prominently involved. I'm kind-of torn between making it a youth novel or more suited for adults (i.e., I'm thinking about having the main guy lose his virginity). I'm over 10,000 words into it already, and I have a good idea on several segments for the middle of the book and how it's going to end.

It's been fun to write, since I've had this idea in my head, although my main issue so far is sometimes getting myself motivated to sit down at the computer and write. Once I write about 100 words, I get in a good groove and I crank out between 1,000-1,500 words in an hour to an hour and a half.

The other thing, I haven't told my wife, or anyone else, that I'm writing it. I don't want them to laugh, or think that I'm just starting something that won't be finished. That way, if circumstances stop me (as in actual employment), I won't feel foolish.

Anyhoo, thanks to all for this great thread, which in the big wide SJ world, I just stumbled upon as I had just started my book. I'll keep you posted.
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Offline Baron Scicluna

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Re: Authors' Thread (New! Improved! Now With 10% More Questions!)
« Reply #190 on: June 13, 2010, 07:35:03 PM »
Almost a month later, I'm up to 36,000 words for my novel, and I still have more material that I'm planning on putting in. I'm still having occasional motivation issues, but once I get cranking, it comes out, roughly 1,000 words in 45 minutes to an hour.

Now, forgive me if this has been broached here already, but is there any standard length that publishers look for in novels?

I've looked up several sites, and they all say that it varies. At first, I thought I would be hard-pressed to get to 40K. Now, that's going to happen. I guess I'm targeting 60K for a goal, but I'll see how it turns out.
"I'm not going to censor myself to comfort your ignorance," -- Jon Stewart

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Offline JR

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Re: Authors' Thread (New! Improved! Now With 10% More Questions!)
« Reply #191 on: June 18, 2010, 05:40:24 PM »

Now, forgive me if this has been broached here already, but is there any standard length that publishers look for in novels?
 
No. It just has to be good.

Sorry if that sounds flippant but writing a 125,000 word novel doesn't give you an advantage over a 60,000 word novel if it's shite.

On the other hand, if you're writing for a particular genre, yes, you should write to the genre.

For example (and I'm not saying this is you) publishers of romance novels like Harlequin want something in the 50,000 word range

If you're writing literary fiction, no one cares.

There's this strange phenom where book publishing is looking like the fast food biz. The bigger, the better.

So, some publishers will take what should be a 300 page book, increase the type size, upsize the gutters, and presto, you have a 400 page book.

The perception amongst certain market segments is that if you have a big fat novel it has to be better value than a slim one.

Good luck and hats off to you for your diligence

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Offline Baron Scicluna

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Re: Authors' Thread (New! Improved! Now With 10% More Questions!)
« Reply #192 on: August 01, 2010, 03:53:11 PM »
So now, I'm basically done with my manuscript. It's over 68,000 words, with a few tweaks that I'll probably end up making. I decided to take a few days off from it to reenergize/pat myself on the back.

I'm sure it's been said before here, but I'll ask it again. I know I should try to get an agent. But how would I go about doing it? Write a proposal? Send e-mails to every agent known to mankind with the first three chapters? Send the chapters with the proposal or just a summary?
"I'm not going to censor myself to comfort your ignorance," -- Jon Stewart

"I'm a troll. It's sort of my job," 3_OCTAVE_FART