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Guest rusticmonk86

Publishing? Publishers . . . Published???

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Guest rusticmonk86

Hey Everyone:

I'm Gabe. I've got tons of short stories, poetry and a few novels and novelas. 'Just been sitting on them, kinda. But I want to publish them. Though I don't really know how the process of publishing works (much less which publishers take honest percentages of sales or which agents won't rob me.)

Can anyone tell me how this process works?

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Hey Everyone:

I'm Gabe. I've got tons of short stories, poetry and a few novels and novelas. 'Just been sitting on them, kinda. But I want to publish them. Though I don't really know how the process of publishing works (much less which publishers take honest percentages of sales or which agents won't rob me.)

Can anyone tell me how this process works?

I have been shot down by a number of major houses. The bottom line is that without an agent you are unlikely to get a fair look by any mainstream press. There are places such as iUniverse which let you do POD. That's easy. However, my personal preference is a real publisher or NO publisher. I have been unsuccesful in my search for an agent. I can go into grusome detail if you have more detailed questions.

-- WBMS

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I understand from a number of aspiring publishees, that the whole publisher/agent conundrum is a bit of a vicious cycle: you can't get an agent, because you don't have an interested publisher, and you can't get a publisher interested because you don't have an agent. it bites.

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Gabe,

From my limited successes thus far in the world of agents and big-house publishers, I've gleaned a pretty good picture of how it works in New York.

Before I go briefly into some of the ins and outs of the publishing world, I'll briefly talk about my "credentials"--ie, the experiences based on which I draw my conclusions on the nature of the biz. I sent out five query letters to agents for What It Feels Like for a Boy (formerly known as Tristan's Redemption) and from those five I have sent out, four agents asked to see it. One took a pass. The novel is currently under review or going out in the mail to three of those agencies. These aren't podunk agencies, either; they're agencies with a proven track record of sales and, in the case of a few, NYT bestsellers.

Anyhow, it seems that agents are willing to consider material that has something new and different going on. If I may be so self-aggrandizing as to say this, I wrote a fairly strong query letter. Think of it like a pitch--you have a paragraph, basically, to sell an agent on your story, so it has to be snappy, attention-grabbing and clever. Then you send them the material and wait.

Anyhow, I'll add more later--right now I am dashing out the door. Good luck and don't worry--not all the news is grim! I'll continue on this vein soon.

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Guest rusticmonk86

:: taps his toes to Tenacious D :: I gather, then, that I should have my work edited before I even consider a publisher. Is this a fair assumption? If it is, what should I look for in an editor, and what should I expect of them?

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:I gather, then, that I should have my work edited before I even consider a publisher. Is this a fair assumption? If it is, what should I look for in an editor, and what should I expect of them?

My answers would be "yes, yes, and hard-to-say."

If you don't already have a publisher, a bona fide freelance literary editor will cost money -- typically several thousand dollars for a typical manuscript. A few I know of include:

http://www.editorsforum.org

http://editorialdepartment.net/

http://mybookedit.com/

http://www.editfast.com

http://www.manuscriptediting.com/

http://www.book-editing.com/

Having a friend read your story to catch typos and problems with grammar are one thing, but they aren't going to necessarily catch or comment on dramatic flaws, structural issues, problems with internal logic, and so on. And to me, those are a lot harder to solve.

A good general book on fiction editing is this one:

Self-Editing for Fiction Writers:

How to Edit Yourself Into Print

by Renni Browne & Dave King

Paperback: 288 pages (2nd edition, 4/13/2004)

Publisher: HarperResource [iSBN: 0060545690]

I personally don't think a beginning writer can edit themselves, because they don't have the skills to pull it off and because they're "too close" to the story to look at it objectively. I also think that getting a second set of eyes (and another brain) to examine a story can be invaluable, simply because it forces you to look at your story from a totally different point of view. I say, if a portion of a story confuses or bothers a single reader, it might do the same for dozens of others, even if it's something you think is fine. So I think the book is useful just in terms of stopping you from making some brain-dead mistakes before they happen.

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