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Carole
07-27-2005, 03:55 AM
The more I learn, the more I think I will never know it all!

I have pretty much completed my first attempt at a query for my non fiction book and now I am working on a proposal. I've wrestled with the bio issue and I think I have that figured out, but now I am confronted with something I have no clue about. Promotion. YIKES!

Sifting through all I can find online regarding the *promotion* section of a proposal, I realize that not only do I have no previous contacts to fall back on because I am unpublished, but also that I don't even know what is expected.

It's certainly not that I am unwilling to go out there to promote my book. It is that I don't have any idea how it is done and what is successful. Anyone have any guidance?

Thanks!
~~Carole :)

Andrew Zack
07-27-2005, 06:02 PM
It's funny...I just wrote an article for THE WRITER on this. It's in the September 2005 issue. Should be on stands now or shortly.

Carole
07-28-2005, 06:13 PM
Thanks! I'll be sure to check that out. :)

Rather than post another thread, I thought I'd just ask another question here since it also has to do with a proposal.

When submitting sample chapers, should those chapters be sequential? This is a non fiction book. Although it does roughly follow a story of sorts, each chapter could easily be read independently without confusion about the book's topic. I am significantly happier with some chapters as opposed to others, so I just wonder if I need to polish 1, 2 & 3 and submit those rather than sending only the chapters I am happy with at the moment.

Thanks!
~~Carole :)

Andrew Zack
07-28-2005, 06:18 PM
I could argue this either way when it comes to nonfiction. If going to use non-sequential chapters, I'd put in some kind of "introduction" that brings the reader through them and gives some info on why you included each chapter.

Carole
07-28-2005, 06:24 PM
That was quick! Do you have your coffee I.V. going like I do? :Coffee:

Thanks for the advice!

~~Carole

Andrew Zack
07-28-2005, 06:49 PM
I wish! No, I just get an email from the site telling me when there's a new post. It's pretty easy to pop over and do a quick answer.

Carole
07-29-2005, 06:07 PM
When I popped in this morning and read this little thread again, another question came up. It seems like an awful waste of space to post a new thread for a question that is on a similar topic, so here goes:

There is so much talk of slush piles and rejections based only on the fact that Susie Q. Writer hasn't followed the guidelines. How common is it for an agent to receive exactly the opposite of what he or she asked for, and how common is it for an agent to receive unsolicited submissions? In the long run, does a writer stand a better chance of being accepted by following procedure to the letter or is every submission considered in time?

Before I found this forum (Big kudos, by the way. Talk about an informative place to visit!!), I didn't have a clue and was only writing...and writing...and writing. There is so much to learn about finding an agent and there are so many varying opinions. One thing I have decided, at least for now, is that being a renegade is certainly not for a newbie like me.

~~Carole :)

Kasey Mackenzie
07-29-2005, 06:58 PM
Agents and publishers get SOOO many submissions that it is the wisest course of action to follow their guidelines to the letter. Publishing is a business, and businesspeople want to work with others who are going to act just as professionally as they do. Why would you want to purposely risk antagonizing someone and encouraging them to toss out your submission without even glancing at it when looking up and following their guidelines is a relatively simple thing to do? In fact, some agents and publishers are just looking for an excuse to cull their slush pile, so those submissions which don't follow their guidelines are immediately chucked.

This isn't to say that you should stress out if you inadvertently sent your submission in with the margins .1 inch off or something similar, but it IS to say that you should do your best to follow an agent's or publisher's guidelines as closely as possible. Both you and your submission deserve the best chance you can get, so don't shoot yourself in the foot before you even get off home plate.

Carole
07-29-2005, 07:12 PM
Oh, I think maybe you misunderstood. I wasn't asking so that I would know if I could get away with doing my own thing. That's why I said that I believed being a renegade wouldn't be the best thing for a newbie like me.

I guess I am just trying to get a better understanding of how everything works, really. I'm trying to see where my solicited submission would stand compared to unsolicited material, and if everything eventually gets considered anyway.

Andrew Zack
07-29-2005, 07:18 PM
If you query an agent and they ask for your submission, then your submission is solicited. Queries are not submissions. They are queries and all of those are unsolicited. If you query an agent and get back "no unsolicited submissions," she is saying she isn't interested.

Kasey Mackenzie
07-29-2005, 11:43 PM
Oh, I think maybe you misunderstood. I wasn't asking so that I would know if I could get away with doing my own thing. That's why I said that I believed being a renegade wouldn't be the best thing for a newbie like me.

I guess I am just trying to get a better understanding of how everything works, really. I'm trying to see where my solicited submission would stand compared to unsolicited material, and if everything eventually gets considered anyway.

Ah...sorry, that's really not how I interpreted your question. =) From everything that I've seen agents and publishers post online, a solicited submission definitely gets more consideration than an unsolicited submission. Especially from those agents/publishers who don't even ACCEPT unsolicited submissions. (Like Mr. Zack, for example.) I think the only exception to this would be an agent or publisher who DOES accept unsolicited submissions and has a choice between an unsolicited manuscript that zings and a solicited manuscript that just doesn't quite live up to the expectations raised in the query letter and synopsis.

Sorry that I can't give you any figures or direct examples. This is just what I've gleaned from observation!