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LloydBrown
06-12-2005, 08:37 PM
I've heard from Michael Stackpole that if you have a contract, you can get an agent. What if the contract in question is through a channel that doesn't normally work with agents, like the RPG industry, and traditionally pays very little anyway?

I have an RPG publisher interested in this title already. I mention that in my cover letter. Saving the other factors for other discussions, how strongly does that mention hook an agent's attention?

Cathy C
06-13-2005, 08:52 PM
Well, it certainly helps. The problem with RPG isn't that it's not a viable market, but usually books based on role playing games are sold for ALL rights. See, someone ELSE has built that world, and you're writing within it. The agent has no way of knowing that you're personally capable of building your OWN world. It's not a negative, but neither is it a positive. When I wrote a television tie-in, (X-Files) several agents liked the plot and the writing, but weren't willing to represent me because of the tie-in issues. They most probably wouldn't represent THAT book, because existing world tie-in novels are very cut and dried in terms of negotiation, so there's little for an agent to do, and they're notorious for being sticklers about the world.


Go ahead and try it, but probably the answer you'll get is "Hey, this writing is good! Let me know when you write something original. I'd be happy to look at it."

LloydBrown
06-13-2005, 09:24 PM
Well, it certainly helps. The problem with RPG isn't that it's not a viable market, but usually books based on role playing games are sold for ALL rights. See, someone ELSE has built that world, and you're writing within it.

Actually, I was a primary developer in this case, so *I* built the world that other writers work in.


Go ahead and try it, but probably the answer you'll get is "Hey, this writing is good! Let me know when you write something original. I'd be happy to look at it."

The one I'm proposing is business-related, not RPG content. In this post, at least, I'm not questioning the viability of the content.

I'm questioning the attention-grabbing ability of the claim that "I have a publisher." I have no doubt that, was this publisher somebody the agent submitted to on a regular basis (like Houghton-Mifflin), the claim would virtually guarantee me representation. Will my claim have equal punch, slightly less punch, more punch with some agents and less than others, or no punch with any agents?

Cathy C
06-13-2005, 10:03 PM
Ah! Whole different scenario with that info, Lloyd! Yes -- having built your OWN universe and getting a publisher will indeed interest pretty much any agent that has heard of RPGs, and most have. If the game is already available, then an agent will want to know sales figures (not what the publisher paid you, but how it's doing in the market.) It will probably at least get your foot in the door for a full ms., which you might not have gotten otherwise. I would probably phrase the paragraph something like this (totally made up info, but you'll get the gist.)


"My credits include creation and publication of the fantasy roleplaying game, Dungeons & Dragons, (Houghton-Mifflin, 1989). Foreign rights are under consideration in France and Germany. Sales to date are 24,820 through December, 2004, and a second edition is anticipated."

If you don't know any of this info, call your editor. S/he will most likely know if any copies have been sent out for foreign publication and will definitely know sales figures and edition number.

Good luck!

LloydBrown
06-13-2005, 11:05 PM
" Sales to date are 24,820 through December, 2004, and a second edition is anticipated."

Really!? It never occured to me to include sales numbers.

The first book sold out its original run of 10,000 in six days. That's worth mentioning, then, I'd think.

LloydBrown
06-13-2005, 11:09 PM
How does this sound for establishing my writing history:

Lloyd Brown III successfully purchased, operated and sold a retail game store at a profit, capping off 17 years in retail. He has written about 40 magazine articles for Dungeons and Dragons, plus several books. The Kingdoms of Kalamar Campaign Setting received a nomination for the industry’s highest honor, the Origins Award, in 2002. The KCS sold through its initial print run of 10,000 in only six days and is currently on its third printing. The follow-up book, the Kingdoms of Kalamar Player’s Guide, received the Origins Award nomination in 2003. A third book, Divine Masters, is under review by the publisher, and Lloyd is developing a fourth title for the same publisher now.

Cathy C
06-14-2005, 12:42 AM
How does this sound for establishing my writing history:

Lloyd Brown III successfully purchased, operated and sold a retail game store at a profit, capping off 17 years in retail. He has written about 40 magazine articles for Dungeons and Dragons, plus several books. The Kingdoms of Kalamar Campaign Setting received a nomination for the industry’s highest honor, the Origins Award, in 2002. The KCS sold through its initial print run of 10,000 in only six days and is currently on its third printing. The follow-up book, the Kingdoms of Kalamar Player’s Guide, received the Origins Award nomination in 2003. A third book, Divine Masters, is under review by the publisher, and Lloyd is developing a fourth title for the same publisher now.

I don't know that the first line is applicable, unless your non-fiction book is on running a business or otherwise related to that info. I can't IMAGINE that you won't find an agent with this pedigree, though. I would suggest that you STATE that the KCS is, in fact, an RPG, since it doesn't say so, and also that you mention the publisher. (I can understand why you didn't post it here, but the agent will want that info.)

Good luck with your proposal! Let us know what happens. :D

LloydBrown
06-14-2005, 01:49 AM
I don't know that the first line is applicable, unless your non-fiction book is on running a business or otherwise related to that info.

;) (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/misc.php?do=getsmilies&wysiwyg=1&forumid=0#)



I can't IMAGINE that you won't find an agent with this pedigree, though. I would suggest that you STATE that the KCS is, in fact, an RPG, since it doesn't say so, and also that you mention the publisher.
Good luck with your proposal! Let us know what happens. :D

I'll do that. Thanks for the advice and for the attaboys. Now if I can quit browsing AWCC long enough to actually do work...

LloydBrown
12-22-2005, 10:12 PM
. I can't IMAGINE that you won't find an agent with this pedigree, though...Good luck with your proposal! Let us know what happens. :D

20 agent proposals later, and I'm going directly to publishers, as we're discussing in another thread.

I think the dollar amounts involved are just too small to interest an agent. Or maybe my proposal isn't as attractive as I think it is.

Sonarbabe
12-24-2005, 02:46 AM
I think the dollar amounts involved are just too small to interest an agent. Or maybe my proposal isn't as attractive as I think it is.

You made my jaw drop, I'll tell you that! (Then again, I'm a diehard D&D fan.) I wish you all the best of luck in finding an angent. You have impeccable writing credits, so I'm certain you'll land an agent soon!

LloydBrown
12-24-2005, 03:51 AM
You made my jaw drop, I'll tell you that! (Then again, I'm a diehard D&D fan.) I wish you all the best of luck in finding an angent. You have impeccable writing credits, so I'm certain you'll land an agent soon!

On one hand, you have D&D: half a million of the current version of the Player's Handbook sold and counting.

On the other hand, you have hundreds of publishers that product D&D-usable D20 product or non-related RPGs. Most of those guys pop open a champagne bottle if they break 10,000 copies sold. Many "popular" RPGs do not sell over 5,000 units.

Besides, I'm not exactly proposing an RPG title. It's "business of RPGs" related.

JennaGlatzer
12-24-2005, 04:29 AM
I agree-- your credentials look great!

Now, about your question: looks like I'm too late for the agents, but I'll say it anyway. I *think* I would have left off the "I have a publisher interested" part, only because it reinforces the idea that this belongs with a small, RPG-related publisher. An agent is going to want to sell to at least a mid-sized house, so you need to convey the idea that general publishers would be interested.

LloydBrown
12-24-2005, 05:16 AM
I agree-- your credentials look great!
:snoopy: Ah, praise from the praiseworthy.


Now, about your question: looks like I'm too late for the agents, but I'll say it anyway. I *think* I would have left off the "I have a publisher interested" part, only because it reinforces the idea that this belongs with a small, RPG-related publisher. Not sure I follow the reasoning, but I'll trust the conclusion nonetheless. I know when to yield to experience.

An agent is going to want to sell to at least a mid-sized house,I hadn't thought about it, but that does make sense.
so you need to convey the idea that general publishers would be interested. I think I did that successfully in my actual proposal. Er, I mean I hope. I tried. Here, let me give an example.

In my section on potential buyers, I started with a figure from the SBA that gave me a figure of 4.5 million potential readers, then narrowed it down to a group of 2,000 or so currently in the industry. This way, I figure I'm making a bold statement and then supporting it by segmenting the market. Would you have presented it in that same order, or gone from a narrow focus to a best-case scenario?