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Nandi
11-29-2008, 07:04 PM
Hi everyone

I would love to know how you approach the goal of publication.

I have given myself a year, more or less, to contact the 200+ agents I think might be interested in my book manuscript. I'm about 3 months into the task and currently 8 agents are sitting with requested material. Of course, I've also racked up a slew of rejections along the way, too. My plan is that if no agent is interested in representing me, I will move on to approaching reputable independent publishers who accept nonagented submissions. If no indies are interested, I might consider self-publication.

I am in my early 60's and feel I can't afford to wait years and years for nothing. On the other hand, I don't want to short-change the process.

Anyone care to share their own thinking about this?

Susan Breen
11-29-2008, 07:34 PM
Hi and welcome to AW.
You sound like you have a methodical approach. I'm assuming you didn't send out 200 query letters at once? You want to give yourself some time to absorb what the agents say and fine tune your approach, so you don't want to use up all the agents at once. But that's wonderful that you've had requests and the only other thing is that being in your early sixties is not that old. Don't be thinking about giving up when you're only just starting. And keep writing. Good luck!

bethany
11-29-2008, 07:35 PM
I think that's a very logical progression. I personally, wouldn't go for the self publishing route, and at 60 you have time (obviously any of us could be struck by lightning or a bus) plenty of time to publish with reasonable luck.

During the year, while you query agents, take what you learned from the book you are querying, and write another one. A stand alone, and then if it's necessary to move on to smaller pubs, you can be querying agents for book #2. At least that's what I would do. (since that's what you asked :) )

Good Luck!

Nandi
11-29-2008, 07:38 PM
Thanks very much for the encouragement, Susan. No, I didn't query all 200 at once! I'm doing this in chunks of about 15 or 20 a month.

underthecity
11-29-2008, 07:40 PM
Nandi,

Your plan sounds pretty much like many of ours, and it sounds like so far you have good results (eight agents showed interest and asked for more). Are you sending out queries in batches of ten or so? It is recommended that you adjust your query based on the types of rejections you might receive, then send a revised query out to the next set of agents. Also, have you considered posting your query in our Share Your Work forum in the Query Letter Critique? It certainly couldn't hurt.

The plan to approach the smaller independent publishers after not finding an agent is fine and is what a lot of authors will do.

Depending on the type of book you've written it may or may not be wise to consider self-publication. If it's a novel, then no. If it's specialty nonfiction, then maybe. There's more information about these paths on other parts of the AW forums.

Sounds to me like you're well-educated about the publication process and business and are right on track. Nice job, and welcome to AW.

allen

Nandi
11-29-2008, 07:40 PM
During the year, while you query agents, take what you learned from the book you are querying, and write another one. A stand alone, and then if it's necessary to move on to smaller pubs, you can be querying agents for book #2.

That's a good suggestion, Bethany. Thanks very much.

scope
11-29-2008, 09:02 PM
Your plan says very logical, however one year to receve replies from all 200 agents may be cutting it thin. As you probably know, some agents take months, not weeks to respond. That's not necessarily a bad sign. They may just be swamped with work and unable to read unsolicited works received. Also consider that after receiving your query some agents will ask for partials and/or fulls, adding time to their decision making process.

As far as self-publishing is concerned, a process in which I must admit I have no interest, I'm assuming you have the time and money needed to do so, and are well versed in how to run a business, production matters, publicity, merchandising, marketing, distribution, and such. If not, you should really think it through.

Good luck.

maestrowork
11-29-2008, 09:16 PM
Uncle Jim likes to ask: Are you writing your next book?

I think the plan is a little aggressive but doable, especially if you really have a good book, which will eventually find publication.

I gave myself 2 years. I followed a similar approach, but later realized it was really a niche novel, and it would probably be better if I started small, just to get my foot in the door. It took me about 65 rejections and 10 months, and it's relative "quick" in this industry.

Meanwhile, write you next book.

Blueridge
11-29-2008, 10:31 PM
Nandi,

As I mentioned on the introduction thread, you and I seem to be in a similar situation. I am basically following the same route-to-publication you are.

I have a general question which is an extension of yours. If no agents are interested and you decide to approach smaller, independent presses, where are good resources for getting names of such presses? With so many vanity and POD "publishers" out there, are there books or web sites that have lists of the reputable ones?

Nandi
11-29-2008, 10:36 PM
Nandi,

If no agents are interested and you decide to approach smaller, independent presses, where are good resources for getting names of such presses? With so many vanity and POD "publishers" out there, are there books or web sites that have lists of the reputable ones?

Thanks again, everyone. You all are great!

Blueridge, I've not gotten to that point yet, and perhaps you haven't either, but I'd also like to know about such resources. From what I have heard and read about disreputable companies, finding legitimate small, independent presses seems to be a real challenge.

underthecity
11-30-2008, 12:55 AM
With so many vanity and POD "publishers" out there, are there books or web sites that have lists of the reputable ones?

Yeah . . . Dave Kuzminski's Preditors and Editors (http://www.anotherealm.com/prededitors/).

You'll want to start with the latest Writer's Market, and crosscheck everything with P&E.

allen

scope
11-30-2008, 01:04 AM
Nandi,

As I mentioned on the introduction thread, you and I seem to be in a similar situation. I am basically following the same route-to-publication you are.

I have a general question which is an extension of yours. If no agents are interested and you decide to approach smaller, independent presses, where are good resources for getting names of such presses? With so many vanity and POD "publishers" out there, are there books or web sites that have lists of the reputable ones?

Yes there are a slew of websites. Just Google book publishers + independent and/or traditional. However, why not go to your libraries reference section and look at the many books that list names and interests of publishers. With list in hand you have to research each publisher (i.e., how long in business, types of books produced and sold in marketplace, sales stats, names of editors, and so on). Check them out in Predators and Editors and other such sites.

ishtar'sgate
11-30-2008, 01:22 AM
I have a general question which is an extension of yours. If no agents are interested and you decide to approach smaller, independent presses, where are good resources for getting names of such presses? With so many vanity and POD "publishers" out there, are there books or web sites that have lists of the reputable ones?
I can't quite remember how I located the small press that bought my novel. I think I just went to general sites listing publishers of any size and started digging through them. Once I picked out a few possibilities I checked out their websites, their track record with authors and I Googled them for any author warnings.

JamieFord
11-30-2008, 09:22 AM
Sounds like a reasonable plan, but I'd stop before the self-publishing route and start again. Norman Maclean published A River Runs Though It in his late 70s. There's still time.