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Ageless Stranger
08-09-2008, 03:02 AM
Hope I've posted this in the right thread.

Looking over publishers, it seems few, if any, accept unsolicited manuscripts, meaning you either have to query first or, in some cases, you must get an agent (am I right on this point?)

Is this true right across the board? And is the same true of agents?

Mr Flibble
08-09-2008, 03:07 AM
It depends on your genre, and what type of publisher you are aiming for. The biggies dont't generally take unsolicited ( again that depends on genre) but smaller ones definately take unagented queries. Or do you you mean acually sending the full out of nowhere?

check out the genre forums, and the beware forum. You may well find something to submit to. Just make sure the are a) legit and b) they have like actual sales

You don't necessarily need an agent to sell an MS.

Ageless Stranger
08-09-2008, 03:12 AM
It depends on your genre, and what type of publisher you are aiming for. The biggies dont't generally take unsolicited ( again that depends on genre) but smaller ones definately take unagented queries. Or do you you mean acually sending the full out of nowhere?

check out the genre forums, and the beware forum. You may well find something to submit to. Just make sure the are a) legit and b) they have like actual sales

Well my genre tends to be crime/dark epic fantasy and I'd be happy with a publisher that would get my book out there and treat me/my work decently. It just seems, as a brit, that the market is smaller, especially taking into account my genre. Or perhaps this is just me.

I shall have a look around directly. :D

Mr Flibble
08-09-2008, 03:17 AM
Oh the Uk market is waaaay smaller. Like 12 agents who handle fantasy? Tell me, I've been there. How many publishers? About 5 or 6 and all but one don't take unagented subs ( and the one( ??) that does often takes a year to reply. Poor buggers, must be snowed under) How many debut fantasy authors a year at the top house for it? 5. If you are really lucky, and if you are writing precisely what they are looking for and if.....

It doesn't stop you looking elsewhere ;) I did, and I got lucky. Try. You can only not succeed.

Good Luck

PS - a list of SFF agents (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=42019) you might want to try.

Ageless Stranger
08-09-2008, 03:24 AM
PS - a list of SFF agents (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=42019) you might want to try.

Aw shucks. Thanks for this. I smell a rep point. . .

It just doesn't seem right that the same country that three of the greatest fantasy writers hail from (Michael Moorcock, Neil Gaiman and China Mieville) has such a small market for Fantasy.

Ageless Stranger
08-09-2008, 03:31 AM
I was looking through a list of agents provided by Bloomsbury and saw this one at the top of the list. . .

A & B Personal Management Ltd
Suite 330, Linen Hall, 162-168 Regent Street, London, W1B 5TD
Tel No: 020 7434 4262
Fax No: 020 7038 3699
Email: billellis@aandb.co.uk
Directors R.W.Ellis, R.Ellis
Full-length MSS. Scripts for TV, theatre, cinema; also novels, fiction and non-fiction (home 12.5%, overseas 15%), performance rights (12.5%). No unsolicited material: write first before submitting synopsis. No reading fee for synopsis, plays or screenplays, but fee charged for full-length MSS. Return postage required. Founded 1982.

Would I be correct in thinking that this is wrong?

Puma
08-09-2008, 04:41 AM
Yes, you would be correct thinking that was wrong. Legits don't charge reading fees for any length.

If you're not familiar with Preditors and Editors which is a wonderful website listing publishers, agents, and even scams, you should become familiar with it (do a Google search for Preditors and Editors). Also the Bewares and Background checks just above this forum has a good list - but go to the main sticky first to look through it, if the publisher or agent you're trying to find isn't there try the search feature, and if all else fails you can post a new thread asking whether anyone has information. One of the rules of this business is "the money flows to the author". Good luck in your search. Puma

Ageless Stranger
08-09-2008, 04:49 AM
Rather shocked to find that they are recommended on a list by Bloomsbury. Thanks for the info.

JeanneTGC
08-09-2008, 09:33 AM
Ageless, why aren't you trying for agents or publishers in the U.S.? A good book is a good book, regardless of where it was written (many times BECAUSE of where it was written). Agents are looking for great books -- where said books came from doesn't matter nearly so much.

And, AgentQuery is a wonderful resource for agent hunting.

maestrowork
08-09-2008, 01:47 PM
But what's wrong with a query?

Nowadays, there just aren't that many publishers and agents who would read full mss. without knowing anything about it first (queries, synopsis, samples, etc.). I mean, if you were an agent or editor, would you?

Ageless Stranger
08-09-2008, 07:37 PM
God I'm going to sound like an idiot here but. . .

Is it okay for me to send my work to an american publisher even though I'm in the UK?

Maestrowork, you have a way of explaining things very concisely. If I was an agent, I probably wouldn't read hundreds of full MSS or want them clogging up my office. I suppose the problem is that I've been studying writing itself so much that I kinda forget I want to try to sell this later on and I'm not too clear on a lot of this. Now I understand the proper purpose of a query and why everybody places such importance on them.

Thanks all :D

Mr Flibble
08-09-2008, 07:38 PM
Is it okay for me to send my work to an american publisher even though I'm in the UK?

Oh yes. Where do you think I'm getting published? ;) There are loads more agents / pubs that deal with fantasy, and they think we're quaint. :)

Ageless Stranger
08-09-2008, 07:57 PM
Oh yes. Where do you think I'm getting published? ;) There are loads more agents / pubs that deal with fantasy, and they think we're quaint. :)

Quaint? Like a damned hobbit?

This is very cool, there are quite a few publisher/agents who deal with fantasy in the US. Neat.

JeanneTGC
08-09-2008, 09:45 PM
God I'm going to sound like an idiot here but. . .

Is it okay for me to send my work to an american publisher even though I'm in the UK?

Maestrowork, you have a way of explaining things very concisely. If I was an agent, I probably wouldn't read hundreds of full MSS or want them clogging up my office. I suppose the problem is that I've been studying writing itself so much that I kinda forget I want to try to sell this later on and I'm not too clear on a lot of this. Now I understand the proper purpose of a query and why everybody places such importance on them.

Thanks all :D
I'm still unclear on one point -- why aren't you willing to try the agent route, first? You query agents, and of course American agents can, will and do take clients from outside the US, all the time.

And, yes it's okay to send your work to a publisher in the U.S., but your work will have a lot better chance of being published if you have a good, legitimate agent who's the one so sending, instead of you tossing it over the transom.

waylander
08-09-2008, 09:51 PM
Ageless, have you considered going to a convention like FantasyCon to meet publishers? The UK market may be very tight, but publishers like Pendragon and Immanion Press (who publish dark fantasy) have people that regularly go to Cons.

Ageless Stranger
08-09-2008, 10:02 PM
Oh I am going to try agents, I'm just lamenting a little because it seems like publishers use agents to cut the wheat from the chaff and dislike reading things themselves, though I can understand why.

I shall google this thing you call FantasyCon waylander, sounds very interesting. Cheers.

waylander
08-09-2008, 10:23 PM
FantasyCon is run by the British Fantasy Society
http://www.britishfantasysociety.org/

JeanneTGC
08-10-2008, 01:03 AM
Oh I am going to try agents, I'm just lamenting a little because it seems like publishers use agents to cut the wheat from the chaff and dislike reading things themselves, though I can understand why.
They do. They do indeed. Instead of spending energy lamenting the way the business works -- and it DOES work -- spend that energy in creating a corker of a query letter, in finding the right, legitimate agents to query, and then querying them.

Publishers love reading good books, and they love publishing them. What they hate, and don't have time for, are crap books. Most of the slushpile? It's crap and they KNOW it. Most of what comes to them from good agents? It's good, and they KNOW it. It might not be their cuppa, they might not like or want it, but at least an agent with business acumen and experience has looked at it first and pronounced it good.

Publishers don't have any more hours in the day than the rest of us. Why would a publisher want to lower their chances of finding gold every day by NOT looking at agented work first? So, increase your chances of being looked at by doing the work to get a good agent.

BardSkye
08-10-2008, 08:03 AM
Quaint? Like a damned hobbit?



But look how much money has been made from hobbits.

And just think, if you get a chance to talk to them the accent alone will do half your selling job.:D

blacbird
08-10-2008, 08:48 AM
un-so-lic-i-ted adj. Unwanted. Not desirable. Not welcome. A thing to be thrown in the bin as soon as received.

-- Blacbird's Unabridged Dictionary, 2008 ed.

caw

timewaster
08-10-2008, 12:17 PM
Oh I am going to try agents, I'm just lamenting a little because it seems like publishers use agents to cut the wheat from the chaff and dislike reading things themselves, though I can understand why.

I shall google this thing you call FantasyCon waylander, sounds very interesting. Cheers.

It is harder to get an agent than publisher and not uncommon to do it the other way around.

Deccydiva
08-10-2008, 01:30 PM
Well my genre tends to be crime/dark epic fantasy and I'd be happy with a publisher that would get my book out there and treat me/my work decently. It just seems, as a brit, that the market is smaller, especially taking into account my genre. Or perhaps this is just me.

I shall have a look around directly. :D

Try Ireland!:Shrug: On the other hand, don't! You will only need the fingers of one hand to count them... and one major player has no presence in the UK, so I'm told. I have only found two Agents I can query for women's fiction, one of those won't take certain types and you are only allowed to query one at a time. On the other hand, querying two in succession shouldn't take too long! :ROFL:

Nakhlasmoke
08-10-2008, 03:21 PM
Okay, I know your question about whether or not you can query an American agent has already been answered, but I just thought I'd throw this out for people in situations like yours or mine.

My country is not big on publishing sf/f or horror (that seems to be changing now, but too little too late) and if i did somehow slip past that and get published with Struik or whoever, my audience would be pretty much limited to South Africa.

Not good enough, I'm afraid. I want to be read by more than a handful of people.

I looked at what country had the most publishing clout when it came to fantasy and decided that I would most likely have to find an American agent.

It took me a good three or four years, but I did succeed, so I just want people to know that it's perfectly okay to query outside their home country, although it may take a little longer.

Deccydiva
08-10-2008, 07:36 PM
Regarding romance/women's fiction though - I have perceived differences in style/language/vocabulary between Countries though, would this help or hinder publishing in another Country? Or would it make no difference whatsoever? Sorry if this sounds like a sweeping statement, it's based on a fairly narrow range of novels I have read over the years.

Nakhlasmoke
08-10-2008, 07:57 PM
In some books the dialect will be toned down a bit or "translated" (think faucet for tap) but as far as I'm concerned it's such a minor issue that I wouldn't worry about it.

Deccydiva
08-10-2008, 11:25 PM
Thanks, that's given me something to think about. Who knows, I might even fulfil my life-long ambition to visit the States one day...

priceless1
08-10-2008, 11:39 PM
unsolicited manuscripts, meaning you either have to query first or, in some cases, you must get an agent (am I right on this point?)
It's sorta right, Ageless. "No unsolicited manuscripts" means that editors will invite an author to send in their full based upon reading a query and maybe the first chapters.

"Agented only" means that the publisher will only accept queries from agents, and authors need not apply.

Does that help?

KikiteNeko
08-11-2008, 05:50 PM
When I explain writing to non-writers, I explain it like this "To publish a book, you need an agent. Just like to sell a house you need an agent... unless you happen to be an expert at selling houses."

Most publishers probably won't look at an unsolicited script, but some might. It could be a long, painful process. And if your story can't get an agent, it might be worth looking over it and figuring out why, and then tweaking it or even writing something new entirely. Because as hard as it is to get an agent, it's that much harder to shop an unsolicited ms around to publishers.