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Nightshade
07-08-2010, 04:16 AM
Hi, I'm new and I have a question. I'm unsure about where should I post it in the forums, but I decided that the International District might be a pretty safe bet. I'm a Czech gal living in the Czech Republic. I am also in the process of writing a novel in English. It's coming along nicely, so I thought I should try to get it published when I'm done. What should be my course of action when I finish the book? Query an English speaking agent, but from what country? Does anyone have a similar experience or at least any tips? Is being Czech and residing here a big hindrance if I want to publish in English? Any help will be appreciated.

Freelancer
07-08-2010, 04:21 AM
I'm a Hungarian (Hello neighbor. :) ), working with my Canadian co-writer and I'm writing all my works in English. So from my experience I can tell you, you can query anyone in the U.S. and in the U.K. if you want.

I heard rumors from some published writers and friends that sometimes "strange" names, like our ones may scare some agents away, but I never got confirmation regarding this and I really hope this sort of discrimination is not true (Personally I never experienced this.).

Course of action... check agents list, check Preditors and Editors list (Or the bewares regarding some agents) to see who to trust and whom to fear. You should check some basic guidelines, write your query and send a nice salvo to the agents. :)

Good luck!

Eddyz Aquila
07-08-2010, 04:21 AM
I'm from Romania myself, and living in Romania, finished a novel in English, so it's the same thing as yours, different country. :)

It's in English, so query either an American or a British agent. You can find agents on sites like www.duotrope.com and books like Guide To Literary Agents, and even here. Look around, there's plenty of info - the forum Ask an Agent is the perfect place.

No hindrance whatsoever. Or it shouldn't be. Agents are interested in making money, it doesn't matter whether you're an eskimo or you're from the jet set in Monaco, it's still the same thing if they can sell your book.

Good luck :)

Nightshade
07-08-2010, 04:36 AM
Thanks for the fast replies! :) As to the strange names issue, currently my last name is German and easy to pronounce, but after my wedding this august (it's frighteningly close!) agents should beware. The future Mr.Nightshade has a Czech last name with weird characters and a silly meaning. I was thinking I'd choose a pen name exactly for this reason.

I sincerely hope that there is no discrimination involved and think it should not matter where I live and what's written in my passport. But you never know, hence asking.

I've read extensively about querying and rejections, and synopses and all sorts of annoying processes one has to deal with. It's a lot easier for me here. I have an editor and am lucky enough to be friends with a local sf&f publisher for like ten years, and I could get practically anything I can dish out on the shelves. The trouble is I'm not very keen on it, which is why I had quite a pause in writing. The money is ridiculous and even really good writers in the genre have other jobs. It's hard to make a living here as a writer, even in more mainstream genres, and almost no one can afford to focus on writing only. I would also like a larger audience than what I can find hereabouts, hence deciding to give writing in English a shot.

Freelancer
07-08-2010, 04:43 AM
I had the same reasons as we have the same in Hungary. You must pay to being published. I couldn't hold my laugh back when I heard this from a Hungarian publisher. I must pay to sell my novels. It was the joke of the year.

Eddyz Aquila
07-08-2010, 04:51 AM
I had the same reasons as we have the same in Hungary. You must pay to being published. I couldn't hold my laugh back when I heard this from a Hungarian publisher. I must pay to sell my novels. It was the joke of the year.

Same here in Romania. Hilarious. Only established authors are published here and there is virtually no commercial fiction sold, apart from the expensive imports from the US and UK, translated.

It's sad, because Eastern Europe has some amazing literature.

Nightshade
07-08-2010, 04:58 AM
That is even more ridiculous than my situation. I'd get paid for the novel, but like...three months salary? After all that work? Thanks, but no thanks. I have a few friends among the local fantasy authors and I can see how it makes sense for them to publish here. If the book is a thin and classical medieval fantasy/Sapkowski rip off it sells and you get something for it. Elsewhere you'd just get stares. It's wonderful that this publisher offers the opportunity, but if I'm writing an urban fantasy series, it's a bit of a waste to get it published here. Then again, I may feel differently one day after receiving a slew of rejections. :P But a vanity publisher is really bad for you, I'm with you on that one.

SaraP
07-08-2010, 05:00 AM
Hi Nightshade, welcome to AW. :welcome:

A couple of things that might be important to keep in mind:

a) Don't worry too much about agent-searching, query-training and such until you finish your book. It's fine to do some now, but you'll go through phases, namely when waiting for your wip to be read by betas, when you'll have more time to devote to research on how to best market your novel.

b) Beware the differences between UK-english and US-english. Which one are you using?

Also, take a look around the forum. I recommend you start with the Newbie Guide (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=66315), if you haven't read it yet. There's also a TON of great info on the stickies around the different boards, namely Uncle Jim's threads on Novels.

And feel free to introduce yourself on the Hear Ye (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=184717) thread.

Hope to see you around more. :)

Freelancer
07-08-2010, 05:04 AM
Nightshade. And the best is, all of our country has amazing writers. This is how talent is being pushed to the background with corruption (At least this is how we used to call this in my country.).

I also heard the following story from a writer friend; he got a small salary for the rights in advance, and here comes the twist... his work never was published BECAUSE the publisher have bought the rights to simply vanish the competition on this way.

Eddyz Aquila
07-08-2010, 05:07 AM
That is even more ridiculous than my situation. I'd get paid for the novel, but like...three months salary? After all that work? Thanks, but no thanks. I have a few friends among the local fantasy authors and I can see how it makes sense for them to publish here. If the book is a thin and classical medieval fantasy/Sapkowski rip off it sells and you get something for it. Elsewhere you'd just get stares. It's wonderful that this publisher offers the opportunity, but if I'm writing an urban fantasy series, it's a bit of a waste to get it published here. Then again, I may feel differently one day after receiving a slew of rejections. :P But a vanity publisher is really bad for you, I'm with you on that one.

If you were offered a deal, try and broker something better with them - if your book gets accepted by an American publisher, agree with your local publisher (and your agent!!!) the translation rights and that way you get a double deal.

:)

Freelancer
07-08-2010, 05:09 AM
If you were offered a deal, try and broker something better with them - if your book gets accepted by an American publisher, agree with your local publisher (and your agent!!!) the translation rights and that way you get a double deal.:)
Yes. That's an excellent advice. I forgot this. Although many American agents has foreign divisions in our countries, so maybe you don't have to agree with your local publisher at all as your agent's division might do that instead of you.

Nightshade
07-08-2010, 05:14 AM
Thanks for the welcome, Sara.

a) I'm not about to search for an agent until I'm done. I was just curious about whether my nationality and place I reside in influences the agent searching phase, should it come to that. As I mentioned earlier, I do have some writer friends and therefore a few extra pairs of eyes for beta reading, but I would love to find someone here with experience in my genre to check my work out as well.

b) US, since it's where I learned the language.

I've already read some threads as I discovered this forum a while ago, just took my time to register. :) You'll definitely be seeing more of me here, I'm quite excited about this site.

Maxinquaye
07-08-2010, 05:17 AM
Like SaraP says - pick your target well, either the UK market or the US one. You will find that the two operate slightly differently, although one thing will be important - there must be something of interest to the market your targeting. What that interest is, is anyone's guess, but the requirement will still be there.

Second, mind your language. I find that even though I've lived in the UK for years, I still have to watch it to prevent americanisms from sneaking in. On the surface, which is easily catchable I presume, you may use words like 'elevator' in stead of 'lift', or words like 'sweater' instead of 'jumper'. But that's just the surface of it. Much more difficult, and this I struggle with, is the "sound" of the language. That's a big barrier for a person that has English as a second language. It will stand out immediately for any native speaker, but may totally elude one who has learned english in school.

Nightshade
07-08-2010, 05:22 AM
The trouble is that the publisher is small, though specialized in my genre. I can't get more money, as he really doesn't have much more to offer. He also has no experience with any of his writers aspiring to write in English and expand to another market. I'll bring this up with him however, I was going to see him shortly anyway as I wanted him to hook me up with some novel translating for another publisher. He'll be delighted to know I started writing again. I have no idea about how double deals work, it's an uncharted territory for me, as while I always enjoyed writing I didn't really think about publishing when I was younger. Now I've come back to my passion after a long hiatus.

Nightshade
07-08-2010, 05:27 AM
Thanks for the advice Maxinquaye. I sort of semi-lived in the States for ten years, so I haven't exactly learned my English at school.