PDA

View Full Version : Question about submitting agented questions



AndreF
12-22-2013, 10:21 PM
I know the title seems really weird but that's what this question is about. I came across a company that states all submissions and inquiries must be submitted by an agent. These people won't even answer the simplest of questions. If you ask any questions you get "all inquiries must be submitted by an agent."

All I know about agents is that they really don't like talking to you unless you're really good, have a completed book that's really good, or you're really famous and a book consisting of a compilation of tweets and facebook updates would even fly off the shelves.

Agents don't deal with people otherwise.

So how can I ask an agent to ask a question?

Of course you may ask Andre do you have a book ready?

My answer no. Why? Because the moment I write the story it will automatically become the intellectual property of another much larger company. So large in fact they can take the book I wrote tweak it and put one of their favorite authors name on it and sell it ... its not stealing from me because they already owned it the moment I wrote it.

I'd like to have a few questions answered before I invest a lot of time into the project.

Do I send a small package containing a sealed letter that an agent can shove in a manilla envelope? Do find a lawyer buddy to create a "literary agency" and correspond with the company that way? What can or do I need to do?

Thank you.

cornflake
12-22-2013, 10:24 PM
I'm so confused.

You're in 'Ask the Agent.' Why not try that?

Kerosene
12-22-2013, 10:38 PM
I know the title seems really weird but that's what this question is about. I came across a company that states all submissions and inquiries must be submitted by an agent. These people won't even answer the simplest of questions. If you ask any questions you get "all inquiries must be submitted by an agent."
By "company" I'm guessing you mean a publisher. There's quite a lot of publishers that only do not allow unagented submission. Yes, they will not take in your submission or speak to you because if they did they would have to hire people to work with the thousands of emails like yours, and ultimately it would be a waste of resources and their time. It's not being mean, but that's business.


All I know about agents is that they really don't like talking to you unless you're really good, have a completed book that's really good, or you're really famous and a book consisting of a compilation of tweets and facebook updates would even fly off the shelves.

Agents don't deal with people otherwise.
Agents represent writers, and many, many, many newbie writers get agents. You don't have to established at all to get an agent, but you do need to be a decent enough writer because the agent's job is to sell your work; if your work isn't marketable, then they don't make money.
Essentially, agents work for the writer and are reliant on selling the writer's product. They won't limit themselves to famous people, or BS social media hype.



So how can I ask an agent to ask a question?
You get an agent to represent you. Though, why kind of question are you wishing to ask a publisher who doesn't wish for you to contact them?


Of course you may ask Andre do you have a book ready?

My answer no. Why? Because the moment I write the story it will automatically become the intellectual property of another much larger company. So large in fact they can take the book I wrote tweak it and put one of their favorite authors name on it and sell it ... its not stealing from me because they already owned it the moment I wrote it.
I don't know where you're hearing this from, but you don't give up your rights to a publisher without knowing every detail of their actions. You don't just sell your book to a publisher who does what they wish; you are selling them a product, and ultimately you have total control of everything up until you sign the contract--and the contract dictates what they can and cannot do.


I'd like to have a few questions answered before I invest a lot of time into the project.
So you haven't written the book because you want to have questions answered by a publisher who otherwise doesn't want you to contact them?


Do I send a small package containing a sealed letter that an agent can shove in a manilla envelope? Do find a lawyer buddy to create a "literary agency" and correspond with the company that way? What can or do I need to do?
No, no, no, no. They'd probably trash it right away. They still won't speak to you as you would not know anyone who works there--agents get into contact with publishers through their connection; if you don't have them, you can't contact them. You can't do anything if the publisher doesn't wish to speak with you.



What are you wanting to ask them?
EDIT: And what publisher, or "company"?


Sorry, but this reads like you've been fed misleading information or just have a lot of lines crossed in the wrong areas.

AndreF
12-22-2013, 10:58 PM
I'm wanting to write a Star Trek book ... featuring some things they haven't explored yet.

Paramount Studios (the company) owns Star Trek The moment Star Trek is on or in the story that book becomes the IP of Paramount they own it. Period. (or so I've been told.) Pocket Books (which is division of S&S which is owned by CBS) only deals with agents.

I understand a person simply can't whip out a Star Trek book because there's lore and lore and more lore and a lot of resource materials a writers has to use. In addition to that there's whole keeping up with the vast timeline. I'd like to know if they'd be interested in the direction I'm looking to go in. But according to the info I have once I write the story its owned by Paramount.

jvc
12-22-2013, 11:04 PM
What you're writing is fanfiction, which some people do. And there's a site somewhere on the internet where people post fanfiction for other people to enjoy.

If you want to publish it (as in self-publish) so you're making money from it, then no. You are not allowed to do that. So don't.

If you want to ask the company if they want to see your Star Trek book, so they can publish it and offer you a contract etc so you can make money from it, then no. They will ignore you. And no agent is going to take you on if you query them a Star Trek novel.

They find their own writers to write for contract a Star Trek book. Usually they are writers who have all ready published books, and tend to have published sci-fi books.

Undercover
12-22-2013, 11:10 PM
Yeah, if it's a publisher you're referring to, Andre and they only want agented work or only deal with the agent with any questions you may have, it's very very difficult to communicate that way. Although, not impossible, though not recommended either.

Maybe we could help you with those questions here?

And as far as fiction goes, most if not all the time it needs to be a completed work. For non-fiction is different. You can send them a proposal (the publishers accepting unagented submissions) and tell them what you'd like to write and if they're interested, you go on to writing it from there.

But for fiction they want it done beforehand.

AndreF
12-22-2013, 11:11 PM
What you're writing is fanfiction, which some people do. And there's a site somewhere on the internet where people post fanfiction for other people to enjoy.

If you want to publish it (as in self-publish) so you're making money from it, then no. You are not allowed to do that. So don't.

If you want to ask the company if they want to see your Star Trek book, so they can publish it and offer you a contract etc so you can make money from it, then no. They will ignore you. And no agent is going to take you on if you query them a Star Trek novel.

They find their own writers to write for contract a Star Trek book. Usually they are writers who have all ready published books, and tend to have published sci-fi books.

Oh. Good thing I haven't written anything then. That's why I wanted to ask before I wrote something well back to my own universe.

Thank you for your help everyone.

Undercover
12-22-2013, 11:11 PM
oh, goodness, i'm quite slow today.

AndreF
12-22-2013, 11:13 PM
oh, goodness, i'm quite slow today.

Oh you're fine. I do thank you for taking the time to help out though. I really appreciated that.

Undercover
12-22-2013, 11:15 PM
Oh you're fine. I do thank you for taking the time to help out though. I really appreciated that.

Cool, cuz you know how we go way back. hehe

Glad you got your answers bud.

cornflake
12-22-2013, 11:24 PM
I'm wanting to write a Star Trek book ... featuring some things they haven't explored yet.

Paramount Studios (the company) owns Star Trek The moment Star Trek is on or in the story that book becomes the IP of Paramount they own it. Period. (or so I've been told.) Pocket Books (which is division of S&S which is owned by CBS) only deals with agents.

I understand a person simply can't whip out a Star Trek book because there's lore and lore and more lore and a lot of resource materials a writers has to use. In addition to that there's whole keeping up with the vast timeline. I'd like to know if they'd be interested in the direction I'm looking to go in. But according to the info I have once I write the story its owned by Paramount.

A-ha. You can't whip out a Star Trek book (well, I mean you can if you have no intent for it other than for it to sit on your computer - if you've any interest in having it published or disseminated I'm talking about) because the ST world is someone else's creation.

If you're a writer with relevant publishing credentials, you can probably pitch ST novels, though I don't know through what avenues. You'd also probably need more than one idea. If you don't, that'd be a hard nut to crack, I'd think. I dunno what their submission guidelines are, if they have any, or how many they produce a year now - maybe you can find that stuff out.

Kerosene
12-23-2013, 12:05 AM
Fanfic, huh.


They find their own writers to write for contract a Star Trek book. Usually they are writers who have all ready published books, and tend to have published sci-fi books.

What he said.

There's millions of Star Trek fans, and I bet thousands of them have stories already written and have tried pitching them and ended up failing. The fact of the matter is: It's not that they won't don't want to speak to you about it because you don't have an agent, or that you're not famous, or that you're not a good writer, or that you don't have the greatest idea in the world, but they have their own writers who have major track records to rely on. God honest truth.

Tromboli
12-23-2013, 01:45 AM
Jumping in to add that a lot of ideas that started out as fan fiction have turned into a new original works, some of which have done very well. Work on the world building and characters and come up with your own ideas. It doesn't matter where the inspiration came from. If you want to write it, write it. It'll just be a new scifi book.

I can't say that it will definitely sell. No one can. So if you don't want to bother if you won't get paid, well then don't bother. But you can do it if you decide its worth it to you.

CaoPaux
12-23-2013, 05:26 AM
One our resident tie-in writers (for Star Trek, as it happens) breaks down the process here: http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=241477