PDA

View Full Version : Literary Agent: History Book MA



sagean27
08-04-2008, 01:21 AM
Hello,

I am new to his forum and I had a few questions not sure if I am in the right section. My father recently published two books; "Portugal's Golden Years: The Life and Times of Prince Henry the Navigator" as well as "Lusair" about the first international commercial flight to the Azores. He is having some difficulty getting his book "out there". I have been looking up local literary agents and was not sure if anyone had any referrals or great agencies we should look into.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I am a 24 year old single mom and just want to make my father's dream come true.

-Catarina

Puma
08-04-2008, 05:41 AM
Hi Catarina - you say your father published - as in self-published? That's the first question and your answer to that will make a big difference in the types of suggestions you'll get. Can you expand a bit on what you meant by that? Puma

Momento Mori
08-04-2008, 02:18 PM
Hi, sagean27 and welcome to AW.

It looks like one of your dad's books has been published with Dorrance (I could find it in E-book format), so I'm presuming that's also the case with the other one.

I'm very sorry to be the one to tell you this, but I think that you need to take a look at this thread (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8500&page=7) because Dorrance is an expensive vanity publisher. As a result, they are not going to do anything to help get your dad's book out on the market and they certainly won't help to get it in bookstores. It's probable that he will spend more money trying to do so than he could ever hope to receive back in sales.

The worse news is that because your dad's books have been published, it's going to be very difficult to find an agent or other publisher willing to take them on. This is because publishers rarely take on books that have been vanity or self-published unless they have very good sales figures (and such sales figures only ever come about because people have spent a lot of money and an awful lot of time doing the publicity and marketing and getting bookstores to stock them).

To be honest, I think your dad needs to read his contract and see about terminating it.

MM

Marian Perera
08-04-2008, 03:02 PM
Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I am a 24 year old single mom and just want to make my father's dream come true.

What is your father's dream? What kind of distribution or sales does he want?

donroc
08-04-2008, 03:30 PM
If he writes in Portuguese, he might consider finding a publisher in Portugal and Brazil as well.

sagean27
08-05-2008, 08:22 AM
Hi MM. Thank you so much for doing a little research for me. I was speaking with my father about the Dorrence Publishing issue. As I have been looking online for literary agent I found that his contract has already ended with Dorrance. His original idea was to get the book published and all things would fold together..which in this business it doesn't work that way. I was not sure if the Literary Agents would be interested in promoting a book that has been published or if there is a possibility of having their company re-publish his manuscript. I am lost in this venue. I have a list of 7 agencies that seem reputable from the research I have done on then. I am not sure if I am going about this the right way. I need direction...

sagean27
08-05-2008, 08:28 AM
Hi Catarina - you say your father published - as in self-published? That's the first question and your answer to that will make a big difference in the types of suggestions you'll get. Can you expand a bit on what you meant by that? Puma

He went through a company called Dorrence Publishing. From what I take on it he paid $2000 to get the copies made and for every book sold he gets a kick back of $6. He is foreign from Portugal and came to this country to complete his dream in letting my generation have knowledge of our ancestors. He is a brilliant man who knows over 7 languages and is getting his PH D at Harvard's Graduate School in European History. I want to do everything I can to help this and make it a bonding experience..I love him so much and he has put so much into it I dont want him to give up..that's why I am doing this for him But when it comes to the mechanics of promoting books we are both lost.

sagean27
08-05-2008, 08:32 AM
If he writes in Portuguese, he might consider finding a publisher in Portugal and Brazil as well.

His first book "Portugal's Golden Years: The Life and Times of Prince Henry the Navigator" is written in english and he is working on translating to english. He also has a book called "Lusair" about the first International flight from Boston, Ma to the Azores. This book has two sides front is in English..you turn the book over and it is in Portuguese.

sagean27
08-05-2008, 08:37 AM
What is your father's dream? What kind of distribution or sales does he want?

His dream is to have these books available to my generation so that they do not forget the Portuguese culture and where we came from. That Prince Henry was a teacher for Columbus. There are great stores, and tales of Portugal. We are having a difficult time to get the Library's to take them they say we need to contact certain people who are never around. I even stated I would give them two copies and they should display them as my father was in the local Sun Chronicle front page and all over New Bedford and Fall River newspapers, as well as in Lisbon, Portugal and Canada. There is a need there and a want for his books but we don't have any idea about how to talk to distribution or if we need an agent and what type..I'm really lost...I am so proud of him...I am 24 and have accomplished nothing he has gone to school and written 2 books another on the way. I want people to remember his books and his love for the country.

sagean27
08-05-2008, 08:52 AM
Hello,

My name is Catarina. I am 24 years old. My father recenlty came to me in a sad way stating he was going to give up his dream of getting his book out there. We are having some difficulty getting his book "out there". I have been looking up local literary agents and was not sure if anyone had any referrals or great agencies we should look into.

His book was published with the Dorrance Co. about two years ago. I am not sure if I can send a query to a Agent on a book that has already be published or if they re-publish since his contract has ended. I am looking for an agent that has a love for History as my father and especially the Portuguese History.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I am a 24 year old single mom and just want to make my father's dream come true.

-Catarina

DeadlyAccurate
08-05-2008, 08:55 AM
I was not sure if the Literary Agents would be interested in promoting a book that has been published or if there is a possibility of having their company re-publish his manuscript.

A literary agent is a writer's link to publishers. They help the writer by selling the book to the publisher, negotiating the contract, and various other tasks related to being a mediator between the writer and publishing house. They are not publishers or publicists themselves.

Birol
08-05-2008, 08:58 AM
Catarina, you started a very similar thread yesterday evening in the Roundtable. We generally discourage starting multiple threads on the same topic and you're getting responses there, so I'm going to merge this thread with your original one.

ideagirl
08-05-2008, 06:55 PM
I was not sure if the Literary Agents would be interested in promoting a book that has been published or if there is a possibility of having their company re-publish his manuscript. I am lost in this venue. I have a list of 7 agencies that seem reputable from the research I have done on then. I am not sure if I am going about this the right way. I need direction...

The first thing you should do is read through threads on this forum about agents and publishing. It sounds like you don't have a good grasp of how publishing works (in America, anyway--I have no idea how it works in South America or Portugal). What makes me say this is your reference to agents "having their company re-publish his manuscript." Agents do not publish anything. Agents help writers sell their manuscripts to publishing companies.

So, try reading through threads--that will answer at least some of your questions.

Marian Perera
08-05-2008, 07:08 PM
His dream is to have these books available to my generation so that they do not forget the Portuguese culture and where we came from.

Available where and how? In libraries, for people to borrow? In bookstores? By special order from the author or the author's representative, available to people whom the author has personally reached or contacted?

If you want stores to stock them, you have to compete with the other books on the market - books that will have had more quality control and editing, books that may be more cheaply priced, books that are returnable and discounted, books by more popular authors.


We are having a difficult time to get the Library's to take them they say we need to contact certain people who are never around. I even stated I would give them two copies and they should display them as my father was in the local Sun Chronicle front page and all over New Bedford and Fall River newspapers, as well as in Lisbon, Portugal and Canada.

I personally wouldn't tell a library (or any institution, for that matter) that they should do anything. They have policies and guidelines for the books they display or carry. Do your father's books have LOC CIP numbers, for example (I think that's what they're called)?

Your love for your father and your admiration for his accomplishment are evident. But when you're dealing with distribution and marketing and sales and libraries and agents, you need to talk business and do more research. For example, you mention your father was in the front page of the local newspaper - well, local newspapers may feature local authors prominently, even if the author was published by a vanity press. Doesn't mean the books get greater distribution. Doesn't mean libraries will carry them. And most of all, doesn't mean that agents can do anything with them.