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Vivian Beck Agency

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waylander

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Vivian Beck has started her own agency (www.vivianbeck.com) and has requested my full manuscript.
Anyone heard anything about her recently?
 

waylander

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Vivian Beck has updated her website and has a recent sale to Dorchester on it
 

CaoPaux

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Not much. Last word was she sold something to Dorchester.
 
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pepperlandgirl

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I emailed a query letter at the end of last Nov and she responded the next day requesting a partial. She's had it for...10 weeks now (her website indicates 2-4 months for partials).

When she rejects me, we'll know she's legit. ;)
 

clara bow

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My husband has a full with her. Should hear back by March/April (which gives her 3-4 mos). I wish she would update her Web site with recent sales. I'm antsy.
 

waylander

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Vivian Beck took the full manuscript of my fantasy novel last year before Christmas and got back to me after three months with a short letter declining it.
 

victoriastrauss

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Ms. Beck was with the Cheryl Ferguson Agency before setting up on her own just this past fall. I've never been able to confirm more than a couple of sales for the Ferguson Agency, so if anyone gets an offer from Ms. Beck, be sure to ask about her track record.

- Victoria
 

Wesley Smith

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Odd... I stumbled across the AW forums just last night looking for information on Ms. Beck just last night, because she requested a full manuscript from me. If/when I hear anything back, I'll try to pass it along.
 

clara bow

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Surprise, surprise

My husband's book got the boot. Here's the quasi form rejection letter message on his full (a paranormal romance):

Dear (his name)

Thank you for sending (book title) for my consideration. Your work has much to recommend it, but unfortunately, I am not prepared to offer you representation at this time. You tell a good story, but I feel it is not ready for today's competitive market.

Books I'd recommend to help you along your path to publication:

WRITING THE BLOCKBUSTER NOVEL, by Al Zuckerman
THE WEEKEND NOVELIST, by Robert J. Ray

I wish you much success, and thank you for submitting to the Vivian Beck Agency.

Sincerely,

(her actual signature)

Hubby was pretty peturbed by the book recommendations. We both thought this sends a message of, well, if you just learn to write like Stephen King, oh, and then you have to *be* Stephen King, then I will represent you.

To qualify, however, the story does not have the typical HEA ending, and I'm pretty sure that was a significant factor in the rejection.

Also, FWIW, I thought the rejection came back in a timely manner.

Oh well. Onward and upward.
 

rugcat

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I got a similar response via email on my urban fantasy. Note the different book she suggested. I wasn't bothered by the book suggestions; I think it's a bit silly but I'm sure she means well.



Thank you for sending (ms) for my consideration. Your work has much to recommend it, but unfortunately, I am not prepared to offer you representation. This was a hard decision for me, but your project does not meet my acquisitions needs at this time.


Books I’d recommend to help you along your path to publication:


WRITING THE BLOCKBUSTER NOVEL, by Al Zuckerman


WRITING THE BREAKOUT NOVEL, by Donald Maass
 

clara bow

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rugcat said:
I got a similar response via email on my urban fantasy. Note the different book she suggested. I wasn't bothered by the book suggestions; I think it's a bit silly but I'm sure she means well.



Thank you for sending (ms) for my consideration. Your work has much to recommend it, but unfortunately, I am not prepared to offer you representation. This was a hard decision for me, but your project does not meet my acquisitions needs at this time.


Books I’d recommend to help you along your path to publication:


WRITING THE BLOCKBUSTER NOVEL, by Al Zuckerman


WRITING THE BREAKOUT NOVEL, by Donald Maass

thanks for posting. I agree, I don't think she's about scamming or anything, and her intention is to be helpful. What bothers me about these books in particular, though, is that it implies that one can intentionally craft a breakout/blockbuster novel. Seems like the formula is pretty elusive (just take Da Vinci Code and The Notebook...I mean, how divergent are *those* books?).

Basically, the authors of said how to books wrote them to get published and make money. Yes, they probably will help some writers improve the craft and increase awareness of incorporating marketable elements into one's story. If someone shows me that a published author read those books and then had a bestseller/blockbuster, I will gladly shut up. However, I'm not convinced it works that way. I'd like to see an agent recommend Pat Walsh's book with a rejection. Now there's a wake up call!

Sorry for the rant. Last night while my husband was cooking dinner he seemed irritable and almost looked like he was about to cry. I said what's up and he shared his disappointment over the rejection, which I had already forgotten about a mere two hours later. I stroked his ego some, and told him I'd post here to help us vent!
 

rugcat

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Clara Bow -

I agree on your take about "how-to" writing books. They can steer you in the right direction if your writing has serious flaws, but so can a critique group. Otherwise, I think they can well channel you away from the very things that give your writing a unique voice.

I think if you have a truly great book, a work of genius, it will always find a home. For the rest of us, we can have a ms that's better than 90% of the stuff out there and still not be able to find an agent or publisher. It's a matter of luck and timing. I published two books some years ago with little trouble; I was lucky. I can't find a home for my current ms, which I think is a lot better. It sucks, but it's still better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.
 

clara bow

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Atomic Bear said:
What does HEA mean? And what would a HEA ending be?

typically it means that the hero and heroine are happy together in the end. Or there is the promise of such. something like that.
 

Euan H.

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rugcat said:
For the rest of us, we can have a ms that's better than 90% of the stuff out there and still not be able to find an agent or publisher.
According to this essay by Teresa Nielsen Hayden, being better than 90% of what's out there doesn't mean what you've written is publishable. From the stats she gives (only approximate, sure), you'd need to be better than 99.9% of what's out there, which is a significant difference.
What bothers me about these books in particular, though, is that it implies that one can intentionally craft a breakout/blockbuster novel.
I agree; you can't intentionally craft a blockbuster best-seller. But what you can do is craft a book that's more likely to sell and/or become a best-seller.

Someone I know did just this. She looked at market trends, did research on what publishers thought was going to be the next big thing, then wrote a book that fell into that category.

Surprise, surprise, it sold, as did two other as-yet-unwritten books. And it sold for a decent amount of money, too.

So there y'go. :)
 

LindsayP

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It is possible to get published?

So then it is impossible to get published? And I agree that those 'how to books' are a great way for those authors to make money. Do the rest of us stand a chance?
 

LindsayP

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I guess it isn't possible to get published when I can't even write... what I meant to say above was Is it possible to get published?
 

Wesley Smith

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LindsayP said:
I guess it isn't possible to get published when I can't even write... what I meant to say above was Is it possible to get published?
No, it is not possible to get published. I recommend you stop trying and take up another passtime, like needlepoint.

;)

Obviously it's difficult to get a novel published in this day and age, especially with the big houses focusing more and more on platform over plot. But I firmly believe that, with persistance, the good stuff will rise to the top.
 

Tilly

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LindsayP said:
Is it possible to get published?

Yes. Publishers, including the large publishing houses, release books by new authors all the time. It's hard, but it's possible.:)
 

waylander

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Of course it is possible.

Go ask AW member Dragonjax who got a deal just before Christmas
 

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