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[Contest] Search For A Bestseller / Richard and Judy Book Club

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Mr Flibble

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So, if you don;t know who Richard and Judy are, they are TV presenters who run a televised book club kinda thing. If they say they liked it, sales of that book go up. A lot afaia.

And they're looking for the next bestseller. Yay! Right?

Only I'm not 100% sure tbh. I mean, yes who doesn't want a 50K deal? With a massive built in platform (The bookclub)

Only some of the T&C's seem a bit...off to me. So I thought I'd post here, because maybe I'm wrong (in which case UK/RoI writers have a new contest to go in for!) or maybe I'm not and it might not be worth the entry.

Here is the entry form with T&C

Here's a few things that puzzle me

1.4: have not previously submitted your partial novel (the “Extract”) to a publishing company or literary agency, and have not previously had a novel published or released into the public domain in any format, including but not limited to the internet;
So you basically cannot have subbed this, anywhere, for it to be eligible. Not even to agents. I'm not sure whether this also means you can't sub to agents after you sub here, but before the results are announced, ie while the contest is ongoing (it seems implied, but not outright stated so I'm not sure). The shortlist in to be announced next March, and the winner next September. Which, if you can't sub elsewhere in the meantime, means you've got a six-twelve month exclusive out there. And it's not like at an agency, where if they love two authors, they'll probably take on two authors -- only one MS will win.

Then the prize. 50k deal with Quercus, which would be pretty cool tbh. Oh and you get an agent (what if they aren't the agent for you? hmm. Anyway).

I've got a few other little niggles (you get the agent you are given for this book and your next work of fiction -- what if you can't stand them? -- the contract will include unspecified ancillary rights) but I'm not sure how much of an issue they'd be -- maybe none to some, maybe a lot to others.

Anyway, just thought I'd pop it out there as an opportunity if I'm being paranoid, or for others to look over and help people make their choices if I'm not.

I mean, if I was eligible, I'd be tempted by a legit agent/publisher/50k/Richard and Judy love. But maybe not tempted enough for a 6 month exclusive
 
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Pisco Sour

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I agree with you on this one. I'm just a newbie though, so what do I know? I do however, often go straight to the R&J picks when I re-enter civilization and stock up on paper novels.
Love, love, love my kindle, but get high on the smell of paper and ink ... :)
 

usuallycountingbats

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The Ts&Cs say only unagented authors are eligible, so there's no real point in subbing to anywhere else before the shortlist is announced.

I know you say they're only going to take one book as the winner, which is true, but I would hazard a guess that it will pan out much like TV talent shows - only one singer 'wins', but a whole slew more get recording contracts if they're good enough.....
 

seun

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Good luck to whoever wins, but I suspect this will attract a load of beginner writers who think the only way to success is to have the next 50 Shades in the same way the X Factor crap attracts people who think the only way to get a record contract is shout karaoke versions of awful songs.

The publicity for the winner will eclipse anything they come up with for a second book.
 

Mr Flibble

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I know you say they're only going to take one book as the winner, which is true, but I would hazard a guess that it will pan out much like TV talent shows - only one singer 'wins', but a whole slew more get recording contracts if they're good enough.....
Possibly, but given that the agency involved doesn't (or at least doesn't say it does) rep my genre, I wouldn't expect an offer*, even if R&J do sometimes pick books from that genre (Quercus is different -- one of their imprints does do my genre, so I suppose there might be that, but will the editors from that imprint be reading?)



*And if I won, and I'm tied to them for my next book, will they have the contacts to sell it?

I'm not saying that I think no one should go for it -- as you say it might pan out for some of the shortlisted too. But it's definitely worth thinking about if it's worth it for you, individually

Good luck to whoever wins, but I suspect this will attract a load of beginner writers who think the only way to success is to have the next 50 Shades in the same way the X Factor crap attracts people who think the only way to get a record contract is shout karaoke versions of awful songs.
I don't envy the slush readers.
 
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usuallycountingbats

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Possibly, but given that the agency involved doesn't (or at least doesn't say it does) rep my genre, I wouldn't expect an offer*, even if R&J do sometimes pick books from that genre (Quercus is different -- one of their imprints does do my genre, so I suppose there might be that, but will the editors from that imprint be reading?)



*And if I won, and I'm tied to them for my next book, will they have the contacts to sell it?

I'm not saying that I think no one should go for it -- as you say it might pan out for some of the shortlisted too. But it's definitely worth thinking about if it's worth it for you, individually

That's true. I just think with all these things, if anyone spots anything where money can be made, they'll likely latch onto it! I guess given the fact they've said 'any genre', the agency is either looking to broaden it's repertoire or may use it to hook someone who does represent that genre into working for them? After all, I'd say they're quite right that whatever book they sign will be a bestseller, because the marketing machine behind it is as slick as they come!
 

waylander

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Unpublished I can see as a reasonable condition but to disallow a work that has ever been subbed anywhere??
How are they going to check anyway?
 

Mr Flibble

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Unpublished I can see as a reasonable condition but to disallow a work that has ever been subbed anywhere??

Bit of a boggler.
How are they going to check anyway?

I wondered that. Considering how many they're going to get....I don't think they ring all the agents and give them a list of ten thousand MSs to see if they've had them! But if you make it to the shortlist and then they find out it has been subbed, looks like you might get DQd
 

usuallycountingbats

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I guess they figure it'll be self-policing - anything good enough to be short listed will likely have been snapped up by an agent if its been subbed already, and if it hasn't because the query is rubbish, then I think they reckon agents will be aware of the comp and will check if a name/title rings a bell?

I think they're probably relying on inherent honesty as well? Plus I guess what they're trying to avoid is a short listed book being offered representation etc before the end of the competition, so I'm guessing if you've subbed elsewhere and had no bites, then they don't actually care as long as noone else kicks up a fuss. (Note: this is not to say I advocate breaking the rules!)
 

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