PDA

View Full Version : Need help-query agent or publisher



Josie
07-31-2006, 10:15 AM
Hi

For a few weeks now I've been trying to decide what to do about submitting a completed novel to Red Dress Ink. It's a first person paranormal mystery with a touch of romance. I'd like to submit it to them.

I've heard the slush pile at RDI is huge and even if they ask for the submission it could take years!!! That's what a writer told me anyway.

This story was a rejected full submission from Silhouette Bombshell nearly two years ago.

I've queried one agent and looking at more. That takes ages too if you're not published in novels (I'm not).

Which way should I go? RDI only wants a query letter at first.

:crazy: -That's me

I hate waiting for an agent.

Thanks for any input. :heart: You all are wonderful :)

Marlys
07-31-2006, 04:17 PM
Hi

For a few weeks now I've been trying to decide what to do about submitting a completed novel to Red Dress Ink. It's a first person paranormal mystery with a touch of romance. I'd like to submit it to them.

I've heard the slush pile at RDI is huge and even if they ask for the submission it could take years!!! That's what a writer told me anyway.

This story was a rejected full submission from Silhouette Bombshell nearly two years ago.

I've queried one agent and looking at more. That takes ages too if you're not published in novels (I'm not).

Which way should I go? RDI only wants a query letter at first.

:crazy: -That's me

I hate waiting for an agent.

Thanks for any input. :heart: You all are wonderful :)
I thought Red Dress was more chick lit? Paranormal doesn't seem like their thing.

If you're just targeting Harlequin, you don't necessarily need an agent, but having one would get you looked at a lot more quickly. Might take months to find one, but if you're hearing the slush pile at RDI is that backed up, you won't be losing any time. Plus, it would give the option of sending out to presses that don't take unagented material.

But you want to send out more than one query at a time--make your query letter as perfect as you can (try posting it for help), then send it out in batches of 8-10. If you don't get requests for partials or fulls, the query may need tweaking between rounds.

Good luck with it!

Gillhoughly
08-06-2006, 08:36 AM
What other publishers have recently put out anything similar to what you've finished?

Keep in mind the "new" books on the racks were accepted some 12-18 months ago.

H'quin is VERY specific about their product. One of my buds writes for the Bombshell line and had to trim it to fit, and then got the edit job of a lifetime. You really do have to write to their guidelines; they don't kid around, but the money can be good. On the other hand the shelf life of your book is only 6 weeks, then it's replaced by a new title.

You also have to write FAST for them. If they like one book, they will ask for another one and it will have a scarily short deadline. Be working on that one while the first is making the rounds.

You might consider trying the fantasy and s.f. houses. Urban fantasy is pretty hot now, but that can turn on a dime. However, writers like Vaughn, Gilman, Putney & Kim Harrison are out in front and producing. Just this week a long-time friend with two successful romantic mystery series asked me to check over her werewolf novel. Surprised the heck out of me--didn't know she'd been doing one!

Another ploy is post some of your book up on AW, and get friends beta-read/workshop it for feedback. You may think it's polished and ready, but flaws can pop up that were invisible before. I suffered from not being able to see the forest for the trees until friends told me what turned them off on my first effort.

One thing I learned is always write an opening that will distract a red-eyed, tired-to-the-bone slush, brain-numbed pile reader from a subway full of muggers. If you can do that, then you've got a book someone will want to buy!

Good luck!! :)

Crinklish
08-07-2006, 09:26 PM
Josie, I'd look into Nocturne instead of RDI, if you want to go to Harlequin. (I'm an editor there, but not for either of these lines.) Nocturne is our new paranormal line launching in October, so at the moment they're your best best for quick reading and (with hope) acquisition. See the eHarlequin website for submission details.

Stacia Kane
08-07-2006, 11:33 PM
I was going to suggest Nocturne, too, I know a few people who have books coming out with them and it looks like a really exciting line.

Saraphim
08-08-2006, 04:55 AM
Hi, Josie,

Why not go ahead and do both -- query agents and publishers? The nice thing is, if a publisher nibbles and wants to offer you a contract, it's a great way to get a door opened at an agency. Then you can approach the agent of your choice with an offer on the table and ask them to represent you. (That's what I did and it eventually paid off. You sound like me -- I'm not really patient when it comes to this, LOL.)

Kensington is looking for paranormals, and accepts unagented submissions. Tor just launched a huge paranormal imprint and they accept unagented submissions. Both have guidelines on their websites.

Luna handles sci-fi/fantasy, but yours is paranormal, right?

On the smaller press side, Samhain Publishing is accepting paranormals, too. They're an e-publisher with trade paperback print copies on their longer books (over 50,000 I think). They're not your usual POD, though -- they're through Lightning Source and have distribution. You can find their print books stocked in Waldenbooks and Borders.

Good luck with whatever route you choose! Hang in there and don't give up. I know how frustrating it can be.

Josie
08-08-2006, 09:48 AM
Hey everyone!! Thanks for all your suggestions!!
It will keep me busy.

My novel has been rejected by Anna Geneose at Tor and Julie Barrett at Silhouette Bombshell who asked for a full submission and then it was rejected. It's been going through the mill for two years, revised several times.

The last agent said she thought it was charming but she already had a similar story she was representing. Does that sound encouraging?

It's a strong mystery with romance on the side, a woman realizing what she really wants to do with her life, and it isn't getting married...she's in her thirties.

I don't know if it's for Nocturne, as I thought those stories are dark, and this is definitely not dark.

I don't see why I can't do both, submit it to agents and to one of the lines in Harlequin/Silhouette, ie. Red Dress Ink. They have had some slight paranormals.

I don't really want to revise it any more. As the voice is strong, I am being persistant, as I believe in it. Corny as that sounds.

I've also considered mentioning in the query letter to RDI that Julie Barrett had asked for the full though it was eventually rejected. I thought that might perk the editor's attention at RDI.

I have other novels, two finished and two or three? being worked on.

Thanks, gotta go back to working on a query letter.

Cheers, :D

Marlys
08-08-2006, 03:24 PM
I've also considered mentioning in the query letter to RDI that Julie Barrett had asked for the full though it was eventually rejected. I thought that might perk the editor's attention at RDI.I wouldn't. JB rejected you, after all--why call attention to that?

Susan Gable
08-08-2006, 06:37 PM
Actually, I think most agents don't want to be queried on a project you've already shopped yourself. It limits them. Because say you submit to a house, and it's rejected -- but the agent would have submitted it to a different editor at that house because she knows that ed likes XYZ, and your story had that. They often can't resubmit it.

This might be a good question for the agent section of this board, or for Miss Snark. (Miss Snark might have already covered it, actually. You could check her Snarkives.)

Susan G.

Susan Gable
08-08-2006, 06:40 PM
Oh, and if you submit it RDI, they'll already know that a full had been requested and rejected in the house. They have a computer that keeps track of all that.

Right, Crinklish? :) (I'm sorry we didn't get to meet at the HQ party at the Ritz in Atlanta. I was looking for you and another editor, but didn't manage to meet either of you. Actually, I didn't even manage to find my own editor at the party. <G> But it was a good party!)

Susan G.

Josie
08-08-2006, 07:47 PM
Hmm, I am aware that Harlequin/Silhouette has everyone in the past on their computers, but I don't think (correct me if I'm wrong) they hold it against you if an editor rejects you so that you can't submit it to another line there. And I don't think Harlequin/Silhouette frowns upon submitting the same but edited novel to another imprint.
What do you say, Crinklish? Glad you are here.

I don't mind sending it around myself rather than an agent. I have other novels I need to shop around. I have another in the works for Harlequin Intrigue.

If I ever get the call I could use that one as the bait to get an agent, if I was so inclined.

Thanks again, this is great feedback :)

Cheers :)

mistri
08-08-2006, 08:31 PM
They might not hold it against you, but if JB thought the book was a good fit for RDI, she would've passed it over there herself, or given you a recommendation to do so. HQ editors know a good deal about all their lines. Also, ensure your book fits the guidelines. Am pretty sure RDI doesn't deal with paranormal (unless it was very chick-litty). Admittedly it's been a couple of years since I worked there though.

Another thing to bear in mind is that Harlequin wants authors who can write *many* books (generally speaking). If a book hasn't sold after two years, I'd recommend working on a fresh one. Sure there are books that sell after lots of rejections, but you may find that your work gets stronger with each new book you write.

I'd raise an eyebrow if a book that came to me had been in the system for two years. I'd wonder why the author hadn't done anything new.

Just my opinion :)

Josie
08-08-2006, 08:51 PM
You may be right. A writer friend has mentioned that to me.

However, I'll send it to RDI anyway, and think about your comments after that.

I am dying to get to my other wip's but lately decided perhaps to investigate my whole writing life as to the genres, etc. This is part of the investigating. I'm thinking soon I'll be going into lurkdom (more or less) while doing some heavy writing, the best part of a writing life:).

Thanks.

Crinklish
08-08-2006, 11:05 PM
I've got to agree with the other voices you're hearing--I wouldn't recommend sending this to RDI. You're right, it's not forbidden...but we will look it up and see that one of our colleagues has already rejected it. Then your ms. suddenly has a taint of old fish about it, alas.

Better to shelve this one for now and work on something new, I'd say.