Saturday, August 12, 2006

big plans shot down a dose of 'reality check'.

I guess there are a lot of little things I need to answer before I can move on with my 'big plans' (namely, getting The Illusionist ready for eBook publishing in October and having EB ready for print submission).

First: when you submit something without any pro sales to list in a letter, should you have the whole thing already written, or can you sell based on 'three chapters and a synopsis'?

Second: straight to the publishers, or do you look for an agent first? Is there some advantage or disadvantage to doing one or the other first?

Third: if you go with an agent, should you have a completed manuscript first? (Same questions as the publisher, I suppose).

Fourth: is there a big advantage to having shorts sold to pro markets when trying to get something else published, even if you don't excel at the short story format?

I'm certain there are more questions rattling around in my brain, but for now, these are the most prominent ones. And, I'm not really expecting any life-altering answers here; I accept that I've just opened up a huge need to do more research into something that -- even with a lot of excitement to fuel it -- isn't going to be a simple process!


Blogger Liz said...

I needed a break from my NaNo today, so I decided to pop over for a visit. ;-)

First, there is no telling what will sell. A friend of a professor of mine, from back in college (and I wish I didn't suck at remembering names), who had never sold any writing and had no portfolio to speak of, sent in an idea--just an idea--to a publisher, and managed to get a book contract from that.

Some things are enough to make you at least a little jealous, aren't they?

Most of the sites I have checked mention to send in three chapters and a synopsis. I think it would be a good idea to have at least the fisst draft of your novel finished, and then those first three chapters revised, before sending them in: if they accept your novel for publication, you might find yourself scrambling to meet a deadline. Having at elast the roughs ready would make things a little easier on you.

There are publishers who will not look at any manuscripts from unagented writers. They will usually tell you this in the guidelines. There are actually agents who will look at unpublished writers, but you have to check their guidelines, for their rules.

I haven't done any of that myself (yet), but I have done a lot of reading on writer's boards. The most I have published, thus far, are short stories.

Still, it never hurts to be prepared.

2:52 PM  

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