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Out of My Wheelhouse...

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Editing for authors: because every writer needs a good editor.

oldhousejunkie

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Hi all,

It's been couple years since I was a regular visitor to the AW forums. Originally, I was looking for representation of a historical fiction novel I completed. I'm now kicking around an idea for a non-fiction book--actually it has the potential to be a series based on a podcast that I've been doing for a couple months. I know the ins and outs of fiction but non-fiction is...well out of my wheelhouse. If I remember correctly, the process is a bit different from fiction. I've heard that proposals are the way to go and then I've seen that you should have three chapters completed. Is it the same idea as fiction with a query to an agent or do you submit directly to publishers? My background is academic and I have published works of research (on a small scale), so I feel like I'm a bit ahead of the game than when I was trying to publish fiction. Is that something I should mention in a query or is it laughable?

Any advice is appreciated. Thanks so much!
 

Siri Kirpal

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Proposal + 3 chapters -- first 3 if narrative, include at least one chapter in the middle if it's not.

Tell the agent it's based on a podcast. You don't need to mention the academic papers...unless those papers are relevant to your current project.

You can contact agents if the work is likely to have a largish audience. If it's really niche, then contact publishers in that niche directly. If you're not sure, try the agents first.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal
 

oldhousejunkie

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Thanks so much Siri!

I've been on the fence about playing up the podcast because it is in its infancy and I don't have a strong audience yet. I know it's out there, but I've got to cut through the clutter to get it in front of people. So I'm afraid of having to divulge the numbers which aren't great...yet. Perhaps I should wait a bit more before pitching the project?


Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

Proposal + 3 chapters -- first 3 if narrative, include at least one chapter in the middle if it's not.

Tell the agent it's based on a podcast. You don't need to mention the academic papers...unless those papers are relevant to your current project.

You can contact agents if the work is likely to have a largish audience. If it's really niche, then contact publishers in that niche directly. If you're not sure, try the agents first.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal
 

Siri Kirpal

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See what you can do to increase podcast attendance. Then write the proposal and query. That might work better.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal
 

shootseven

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If the work is geared toward a university or academic press, if interested, they'll likely want you to submit the entire manuscript. Then, if the editor thinks it's worth publishing, you're probably looking at it going out to two readers for peer review (depending on the publisher) before it's accepted.
 

Elizabeth George's book Write Away