• U.S. members: The Federal Government is offering each household in the United States four (4) free at-home Covid-19 test kits. https://www.covidtests.gov/

Publisher/Editors responses to agent pitches/proposals

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

J.A.Nielsen

Super Member
Registered
Joined
Nov 24, 2021
Messages
64
Reaction score
50
Location
by the water, in the trees
She is by all accounts a lovely person. I know she has good taste. :)

But back to my previous point - the marketing on that book was dreadful, and it really never had a chance. Which I suppose isn't quite my previous point - but the truth is it's the publisher's marketing machine that determines how successful a book is going to be.
Sigh.
And here I was hoping that the strength of the story might play a small part...;)

But, no, of course I'm not that naive. We all know gems we've discovered by weird happenstance that were released independently, by a small press, or a biggish, but not BIG press that are lovely, but don't make a huge splash in the sales department because...marketing. And there are just as many head scratchers that make the lists.

And then, I guess, I have to decide what defines "success." It seems that's different for every author and maybe even every book.
 

J.A.Nielsen

Super Member
Registered
Joined
Nov 24, 2021
Messages
64
Reaction score
50
Location
by the water, in the trees
Wow, this is an OLD thread! None of the full requests from the first time I went out on submission panned out. I had a revise and resubmit from one that was still declined, but their feedback led me eventually to a massive rewrite that added 50k words to the MS. We just went out on sub again in late October and got two full requests fairly quickly. One has already declined. I think I'm dangling with six or seven publishers right now, including the two-year slush pile at Baen :sleep::unsure:
Oh, wow!

(Well, I'm new and catching up...to the degree that I can.)

Absolute best of luck to you with the remaining subs--you only need one, right?
 

lizmonster

Possibly A Mermaid Queen
Absolute Sage
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Jul 5, 2012
Messages
9,678
Reaction score
6,004
Location
Massachusetts
Website
elizabethbonesteel.com
Sigh.
And here I was hoping that the strength of the story might play a small part...;)
Wouldn't that be nice? :)

Publishing is a crap shoot. We do what we can to set our stories up for the best possible roll of the dice, but after that, we have zero control.
 
  • Like
Reactions: J.A.Nielsen

Harlequin

Eat books, not brains!
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Nov 21, 2010
Messages
4,516
Reaction score
1,247
Location
The land from whence the shadows fall
Website
www.sunyidean.com
I know this is an old thread but just popping in to note that when you go on submission through an agent, it is the norm for most or all of the editors to request the manuscript. Depending on your agents' relationships with certain editros, they may attach the ms in the pitch email. Whether they respond to that ms or not, who the heck knows.

For debut authors writing adult sff, who have been picked up by the big 5, I would say it's not uncommon for advances to run 7k-25k per book at midlist level, atm anyway.

If you're lead title, much higher. Indie presses, much lower, whether you're lead or midlist with them (not all will differentiate.)

But I've also met folks offered less than 5k per book even with a bigger press, so it always depends as ever.
 
Last edited:

lizmonster

Possibly A Mermaid Queen
Absolute Sage
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Jul 5, 2012
Messages
9,678
Reaction score
6,004
Location
Massachusetts
Website
elizabethbonesteel.com
I know this is an old thread but just popping in to note that when you go on submission through an agent, it is the norm for most or all of the editors to request the manuscript.

Yes. Most will be rejections, typically. An agent with the right contacts should know who is more or less likely to like the book, which can increase your odds by a lot. (Insert "a bad agent is worse than no agent at all" here.)

Even with that tailored help, you're still ultimately at the mercy of both subjective opinion and publishers' budgets/projections. It's not enough for an editor to fall in love with the book - the publisher has to believe they can make the balance sheet work.

The last few years have been weird. A lot of stuff has sold, and sold well, but things have been very unsettled. Publishing is, I think, a volatile industry at the best of times, and these aren't the best of times.
 

J.A.Nielsen

Super Member
Registered
Joined
Nov 24, 2021
Messages
64
Reaction score
50
Location
by the water, in the trees
Yes. Most will be rejections, typically. An agent with the right contacts should know who is more or less likely to like the book, which can increase your odds by a lot. (Insert "a bad agent is worse than no agent at all" here.)

Even with that tailored help, you're still ultimately at the mercy of both subjective opinion and publishers' budgets/projections. It's not enough for an editor to fall in love with the book - the publisher has to believe they can make the balance sheet work.

The last few years have been weird. A lot of stuff has sold, and sold well, but things have been very unsettled. Publishing is, I think, a volatile industry at the best of times, and these aren't the best of times.
Again, thanks for the perspective. It's good to manage expectations and to be especially grateful when things do work out.
 

Elizabeth George's book Write Away