Welcome to the AbsoluteWrite Water Cooler! Please read The Newbie Guide To Absolute Write

Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 93

Thread: Will An Agent Accept A Self-Published Book?

  1. #1
    Banned Margarita Skies's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    The Best Place In The World...Absolute Write!!
    Posts
    2,369

    Question Will An Agent Accept A Self-Published Book?

    Hi.


    I recently published one of my novels with CreateSpace, but I then decided that the book was too big and so I took it off of CreateSpace, which is I made it unavailable, because needed to split it in two, so I did that. I then double-spaced the two manuscripts and changed the font to Courier New, the closest thing to Courier. I edited the book and corrected all the grammar mistakes it had. Now I need to know if there's a possibility that an agent will accept the first part of what used to be my book. The first volume of the story actually has almost 141,00 words. What do you all think?


    Thanks
    Magali.


    PS: I hope no one gets mad at me for asking this question like it happened when I asked my last question.
    Last edited by Margarita Skies; 04-07-2010 at 04:55 AM. Reason: Needed to add a very important thought.

  2. #2
    resident curmudgeon
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    25,720
    Considering that history, I'd say an agent would judge the book on its merits, rather than by whether it had been on CreateSpace.

  3. #3
    sky with diamonds
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    179
    I think the word count is going to be a problem.

  4. #4
    Roe Draje Maddie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    lassen on the brain
    Posts
    490
    Many agents seem to prefer books under 90,000 words. Also there seems to be a general consensus about type font being Times New Roman sized 12 when you submit fulls or partials to an agent (upon their request) - double-spaced.

  5. #5
    A Work in Progress aadams73's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    9,902
    Quote Originally Posted by Maddie View Post
    Also there seems to be a general consensus about type font being Times New Roman sized 12 when you submit fulls or partials to an agent (upon their request) - double-spaced.
    Courier/Courier New/Dark Courier are still perfectly acceptable and often even preferable for submission. Any of those or TNR will be fine unless an agent specifies otherwise.
    Last edited by aadams73; 04-07-2010 at 06:44 AM. Reason: Typo

    Website | Blog | Openings That Work | Twitter | Goodreads | Facebook | Google+

    WHITE HORSE, coming April 17 (US/Canada), April 24 (Australia), and April 26 (UK), 2012 from Emily Bestler Books/Atria (Simon & Schuster).

  6. #6
    Banned Margarita Skies's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    The Best Place In The World...Absolute Write!!
    Posts
    2,369
    Thank you very much, everyone. I will reduce the word count by 50,000 words. I am going to do that right now. Thanks, AAdams73 for your reply and yes, I know that most agents accept manuscripts in Courier and Times New Roman but I formatted it in Courier New (my computer doesn't have Courier) just in case. Your advice is very much appreciated. I will be on the lookout for this thread for more advice.

  7. #7
    practical experience, FTW incognitopress's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    121
    the word count depends on what genre the book is. But I think it's not as much of an issue as is having a good story. Period. My word count is way over 140K, and it's not going to get anywhere close to that number even after the most stringent of edits! (But if I had a dollar for every time someone said "OMG, you can't publish if you've gone over 100,000 words!!!!!", I'd be starting my own publishing company, lol)

    The only issue here is that no, to the best of my knowledge, an agent will not generally accept a self-published book if it has been made available somewhere else. That's considered first publishing rights, and they would be gone. I know I reread your original post a couple of times, but I'm not clear if you ever had it available, or even 50% of it available to the public - that would constitute it being published already, and most publishing houses won't buy it because of that.
    Elisa
    Website

  8. #8
    Tonight on Mythbusters BenPanced's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    dunking doughnuts at Dunkin' Donuts
    Posts
    14,513
    If you've been able to sell about 10,000 copies, then an agent or publishing house might be interested in it.
    I still poop rainbows.


    Kitchen Witch is now available!


    I won't steal any of your ideas. I have enough of my own.

  9. #9
    The cake is a lie. But still cake. shaldna's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Belfast
    Posts
    7,478
    Did you take it off before it became available to purchase? By that I mean, did you complete the whole set up process?
    TORCHWOOD - where the slash is canon

    Yes, I read Twilight. Yes, I hate it. No, I don't have to give you a reason why.


    Here be snark : www.clairewriteswords.wordpress.com

  10. #10
    Banned Margarita Skies's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    The Best Place In The World...Absolute Write!!
    Posts
    2,369
    Quote Originally Posted by shaldna View Post
    Did you take it off before it became available to purchase? By that I mean, did you complete the whole set up process?

    I took it off after I made it available for purchase. I guess I'm going to have to delete it from my hard drive if I can no longer publish it and write three brand-new books to replace the manuscript I made into three books.

  11. #11
    A Work in Progress aadams73's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    9,902
    Quote Originally Posted by MagaliFuentes View Post
    I took it off after I made it available for purchase. I guess I'm going to have to delete it from my hard drive if I can no longer publish it and write three brand-new books to replace the manuscript I made into three books.
    No need to be so melodramatic. Take a good hard look at it. Wrangle it into a manageable word count. Make sure it's as good as you can possibly get it. Then query. By the time you're done giving it a serious edit and pruning, it's not even going to be the same story anymore.

    Website | Blog | Openings That Work | Twitter | Goodreads | Facebook | Google+

    WHITE HORSE, coming April 17 (US/Canada), April 24 (Australia), and April 26 (UK), 2012 from Emily Bestler Books/Atria (Simon & Schuster).

  12. #12
    Banned Margarita Skies's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    The Best Place In The World...Absolute Write!!
    Posts
    2,369
    Quote Originally Posted by aadams73 View Post
    No need to be so melodramatic. Take a good hard look at it. Wrangle it into a manageable word count. Make sure it's as good as you can possibly get it. Then query. By the time you're done giving it a serious edit and pruning, it's not even going to be the same story anymore.

    After reading Elisa's reply, I deleted the story along with another story I put on and then took off of CreateSpace, but after reading your reply, I am going to put it back on my computer because luckily, I have it saved on a CD-R. Thank you so, so much. I will, however, try to complete my 7 incomplete stories one by one, so that I have new stories to query just in case.


    Thank you so, so much!!!

  13. #13
    resident curmudgeon
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    25,720
    For electronic submissions, times New Roman is fine, but for print, it's the crappiest font out there. A real pain in the butt to edit.

    But there is NO 100,000 word limit. That's a complete myth, apparently fostered by people who have never been in a bookstore.

    Word limit is, always has been, and always will be, whatever publisher's guidelines say it is for a given genre, for that publisher. Plus a whole bunch more words, if the book is good enough.

  14. #14
    resident curmudgeon
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    25,720
    Quote Originally Posted by BenPanced View Post
    If you've been able to sell about 10,000 copies, then an agent or publishing house might be interested in it.
    You never have to sell that many copies in order to interest a publisher in a book. But in this case, the book as is has never really been published anywhere, self or not.

  15. #15
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    32
    Quote Originally Posted by MagaliFuentes View Post
    After reading Elisa's reply, I deleted the story along with another story I put on and then took off of CreateSpace, but after reading your reply, I am going to put it back on my computer because luckily, I have it saved on a CD-R. Thank you so, so much. I will, however, try to complete my 7 incomplete stories one by one, so that I have new stories to query just in case.


    Thank you so, so much!!!
    I'm not sure I get all these deleting stuff. Why would you? It is not like the MS takes up so much space on your hard drive. And even if it does, at least email it to yourself to a yahoo account or gmail, so that you have a copy for your archives.

    Even if you self published on Createspace, it seems that your ms is sufficiently revised now and is no longer available to the public.

    I think it would be acceptable to query as though it were a new ms. Then, when you sign with an agent, you will be able to tell him or her about the brief stint on CreateSpace. I doubt this will be a problem.

  16. #16
    Tonight on Mythbusters BenPanced's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    dunking doughnuts at Dunkin' Donuts
    Posts
    14,513
    Other people here on AW have told me that if the book has been self-pubbed, you might be able to get an agent or publisher interested in reprinting it if you've sold a large number of copies. In this case, the OP wasn't clear if it had actually gone to sale on CreateSpace.
    I still poop rainbows.


    Kitchen Witch is now available!


    I won't steal any of your ideas. I have enough of my own.

  17. #17
    Banned Margarita Skies's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    The Best Place In The World...Absolute Write!!
    Posts
    2,369
    Quote Originally Posted by Jamesaritchie View Post
    For electronic submissions, times New Roman is fine, but for print, it's the crappiest font out there. A real pain in the butt to edit.

    But there is NO 100,000 word limit. That's a complete myth, apparently fostered by people who have never been in a bookstore.

    Word limit is, always has been, and always will be, whatever publisher's guidelines say it is for a given genre, for that publisher. Plus a whole bunch more words, if the book is good enough.

    The book that I am talking about is romance and it is now 81,646 words exactly. I have read on the websites of three or four agents however, that 200,000 words or more were way too much, and that's what a manuscript of mine used to be, so that's what made me make my manuscripts shorter. I appreciate your words.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jamesaritchie View Post
    You never have to sell that many copies in order to interest a publisher in a book. But in this case, the book as is has never really been published anywhere, self or not.

    Ok, your reply really encouraged me now!! Thank you so, so much!!


    Quote Originally Posted by blackink View Post
    I'm not sure I get all these deleting stuff. Why would you? It is not like the MS takes up so much space on your hard drive. And even if it does, at least email it to yourself to a yahoo account or gmail, so that you have a copy for your archives.

    Even if you self published on Createspace, it seems that your ms is sufficiently revised now and is no longer available to the public.

    I think it would be acceptable to query as though it were a new ms. Then, when you sign with an agent, you will be able to tell him or her about the brief stint on CreateSpace. I doubt this will be a problem.

    No, no, no...it has absolutely nothing to do with my hard drive space. My first computer, which I got brand-new in 1998, it only had 3.25 GB of hard drive space, no kidding. If I were still writing on that computer, I would worry about the size of my manuscripts, but no, that's not it, because now I have 250 GB of hard drive space, which with the installation of Windows 7 and everything, the first time I turned it on, brand-new, and checked, had 223 GB free for me to use. Bottom line, that is not the issue.


    The reason why I decided to make my novels a lot shorter than they used to be, being anywhere over 200,000 words, is because of what I have read in the blogs of 4 to 5 different agents. The first blog I read, the agent said that he or she wouldn't even look at a 200,000-word manuscript. In his or her blog, another agent said, responding to a writer's question, a writer whose manuscript was 280,000 words, (this is an approximation because I don't remember the exact word count) and the writer was asking if his or her manuscript was too long... well, I'll only share the first line of that reply. "280,000 words is not only too long, it is crazy long." When I read that I thought Yikes! and so I decided to split my 239,000-word manuscript into three manuscripts. The first one is 81,646 words, the second one is 78,869 words, and the third one is 79,581 words, and those word-counts are exact, as I have the manuscripts opened in my word-processor as I am typing this. I spent the whole day today editing those manuscripts for spelling and grammar errors, and now they're perfect and clean. I did that with another manuscript which was 220+ words into three manuscripts. The first one is 67,512 words, the second one is 68,149 words, and the third one is 84,331 words. I admit that the first two manuscripts made of the second large manuscript are a little too short, and that I am going to have to work on those. Those manuscripts are not edited for spelling and grammar errors yet. I am going to work on that tomorrow, and I will continue to work every single day until every single finished manuscript is completely free from spelling and grammar errors.


    Wow, this might be the longest message I've typed since I joined these boards! So, that's my explanation. Nothing to do with hard drive space, I just thought that those manuscripts were way too large and they had to be split up.


    I appreciate your advice and everything you've said on your reply to me. Your words encouraged me even more to revive this particular project. And no, this particular project is no longer available to the public, this or any of my manuscripts.


    Sincerely
    Magali.

    Quote Originally Posted by BenPanced View Post
    Other people here on AW have told me that if the book has been self-pubbed, you might be able to get an agent or publisher interested in reprinting it if you've sold a large number of copies. In this case, the OP wasn't clear if it had actually gone to sale on CreateSpace.

    Yes, it was on sale on CreateSpace for a very short period of time, that is, manuscript unedited for errors, the 239,000-word manuscript, as a 707-page book, but I took it off, in other words, made it unavailable to the public. I think I said that. If I didn't, I apologize.
    Last edited by CaoPaux; 04-09-2010 at 12:59 AM. Reason: merging serial posts

  18. #18
    Tonight on Mythbusters BenPanced's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    dunking doughnuts at Dunkin' Donuts
    Posts
    14,513
    P.S.) Would you please consider changing the purple font to black? It's a bit difficult to read.
    I still poop rainbows.


    Kitchen Witch is now available!


    I won't steal any of your ideas. I have enough of my own.

  19. #19
    A Work in Progress aadams73's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    9,902
    My brain just exploded.

    Website | Blog | Openings That Work | Twitter | Goodreads | Facebook | Google+

    WHITE HORSE, coming April 17 (US/Canada), April 24 (Australia), and April 26 (UK), 2012 from Emily Bestler Books/Atria (Simon & Schuster).

  20. #20
    I'm just a float on a bee... KTC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    27,095
    In answer to the question in the thread title only----YES. It happened to a friend of mine. I can't speak to anything else, but I can tell you a friend who self-published was picked up by a New York agent...
    Click on the cover images below to go to my Amazon page:



    I blog

    I Tweet

    "I'll have no truck with plots." ~ Sheldon Cooper

  21. #21
    A Work in Progress aadams73's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    9,902
    Quote Originally Posted by KTC View Post
    In answer to the question in the thread title only----YES. It happened to a friend of mine. I can't speak to anything else, but I can tell you a friend who self-published was picked up by a New York agent...
    Score!

    I've heard of it, but to people who've already sold a significant number of copies. Significant being 5K +

    Website | Blog | Openings That Work | Twitter | Goodreads | Facebook | Google+

    WHITE HORSE, coming April 17 (US/Canada), April 24 (Australia), and April 26 (UK), 2012 from Emily Bestler Books/Atria (Simon & Schuster).

  22. #22
    The cake is a lie. But still cake. shaldna's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Belfast
    Posts
    7,478
    Quote Originally Posted by MagaliFuentes View Post
    I took it off after I made it available for purchase. I guess I'm going to have to delete it from my hard drive if I can no longer publish it and write three brand-new books to replace the manuscript I made into three books.

    Argh. the Drama!!!
    TORCHWOOD - where the slash is canon

    Yes, I read Twilight. Yes, I hate it. No, I don't have to give you a reason why.


    Here be snark : www.clairewriteswords.wordpress.com

  23. #23
    I'm just a float on a bee... KTC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    27,095
    Quote Originally Posted by MagaliFuentes View Post
    The book that I am talking about is romance and it is now 81,646 words exactly. I have read on the websites of three or four agents however, that 200,000 words or more were way too much, and that's what a manuscript of mine used to be, so that's what made me make my manuscripts shorter. I appreciate your words.
    WAIT. in one day you took a 141,000 word manuscript and made it an 81,646 word manuscript? Okay...I thought I was confused by this thread before...but this really confuses me.
    Click on the cover images below to go to my Amazon page:



    I blog

    I Tweet

    "I'll have no truck with plots." ~ Sheldon Cooper

  24. #24
    practical experience, FTW mlhernandez's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    357
    Maybe a better alternative would be to set aside this project and write something new and better and shorter. It sounds like this may be one of your first manuscripts. It's fairly normal to write a humongous manuscript the first time or two.

    Shove those under your bed and begin again. It's part of the learning process.

  25. #25
    Up all night to get Loki Jersey Chick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    in the state of carefully controlled chaos
    Posts
    12,293
    Quote Originally Posted by MagaliFuentes View Post
    The book that I am talking about is romance and it is now 81,646 words exactly. I have read on the websites of three or four agents however, that 200,000 words or more were way too much, and that's what a manuscript of mine used to be, so that's what made me make my manuscripts shorter. I appreciate your words.
    200k words IS too long for romance. Most publishers want between 80k-100k for romance novels (though several HarperCollins/Avon lines go as low as 60k) -

    A notable exception is for Harlequin's category lines, which run 50-65k words.


    Other genres are different, but I don't know much about them. Romance is my thing.
    "Growing old is inevitable. Growing up is optional." ~ scarletpeaches



    My books... Go ahead. You know you want to...


    My Blog Facebook Twitter and last, but not least, my Website

Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Custom Search