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Kat
02-19-2005, 02:12 AM
Im in the middle of trying to find an agent. I was wondering, when writing chapter summaries, is there a hard and fast rule on how long each summary should be?



Also, how does it effect an authors chances of being accepted by an agent if they have self-published their work?



Thank-you for your help,

Kat
PS I hope I did this write...

victoriastrauss
02-22-2005, 05:57 AM
Since no one has jumped in here yet, I will...

I've never done chapter summaries, but I'd imagine they should be as brief as you can make them.

Are you trying to find an agent for your self-published book? Unless you can cite significant sales (several thousand copies within the first year of release) I don't think it's very likely an agent will be interested. Fairly or not, agents (and editors) tend to assume that self-publication was the best you could do, especially if sales are average for a self-pubbed book (which is to say, a few hundred copies at most).

If you're trying to market a different book, I wouldn't mention self-publishing--unless, again, you can cite big sales.

- Victoria

Kat
02-22-2005, 09:26 AM
I was starting wonder why no one was answering. Maybe mentioning self-publishing scared him off. Whereas I would think that shows that I'm serious about what I'm doing. But I see your point; I've read some not-so-good self-published stuff.

If I had huge sales, I wouldn't need an agent would I? I guess it's a matter of, You need experience to get a job, and you can't get a job without experience. :Shrug:

I appreciate you taking the time to answer Victoria. You have given me something to think about. Thanks!! btw, I am trying to find an agent for the book I have done as well as the follow-up which isn't done just yet. Trying to promote on my own doesn't leave much time for writing.:Headbang:

Kat

victoriastrauss
02-23-2005, 03:43 AM
I guess it's a matter of, You need experience to get a job, and you can't get a job without experience.
It's not that, so much as the fact that a stigma attaches to self-publishing. Unless, again, you can cite big sales, which impresses an agent or editor because they know how very, very hard this is to accomplish with a self-pubbed book.

If you approach a reputable agent as a previously unpublished author, you're not at a disadvantage, as long as you have a marketable work. Not having published before won't count against you.

- Victoria

Kat
02-23-2005, 05:43 AM
Since no one else is answering ... let me ask you one more question. If I query an agent, and not mention the book has been self-published, what will they think when they find out it has been?

Are there any agents who would look at my work knowing I've self-published?

Ok, that was two questions but I couldn't help myself. :)

Thanks,
Kat

victoriastrauss
02-24-2005, 03:11 AM
Since no one else is answering ... let me ask you one more question. If I query an agent, and not mention the book has been self-published, what will they think when they find out it has been?
They'll be angry you deceived them. If they were interested in representing you, you'll jeopardize the relationship. Full disclosure is a must.


Are there any agents who would look at my work knowing I've self-published?
I'm not saying you shouldn't try. But based on everything I've seen/heard/read, a successful agent is unlikely to be interested in a self-pubbed book unless it can show good sales.

There are plenty of marginal/amateur/scam agents who'd be thrilled to represent you, usually for a fee. They won't sell your book, though.

- Victoria

Kat
02-24-2005, 06:46 AM
Thanks for your time Victoria...:thankyou:

RicMarion
03-02-2005, 01:30 AM
Kat,

Chapter Summaries - I assume you are writing a non-fiction book - usually the only time those are asked for.

That said, I did have an agent request chapter summaries for a novel. It allows them to see the progression towards the climax. Synopsis is supposed to do that and agents all seem to want to see different lengths of those - from one page to five.

Doing the chapter summary was actually pretty instructive. Just three or four lines for each chapter moving the plot forward. A padded chapter will show up since you are attempting to show how the plot progresses - if the chapter doesn't contribute to the book, then you're doing something wrong.

I would imagine for a non-fiction book, they are looking for whether or not you have enough material to put a book together, are different chapters going to be interesting to different people, and is there a continuity to your narrative.

Michael Larsen of Larsen-Pomada Agency has one of the better books for non-fiction proposals.

Hope this helps,

Ric