Where to send that fantasy novel you just finished

Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Russ, Apr 19, 2017.

  1. Russ

    Russ Istari

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    The Quora question in Amazing stories this month is:

    Question: I’m finishing the final draft of a fantasy novel. What’s the best way to submit it to a publisher?

    The answers from a number of sources (including my friend Robert J. Sawyer who I think gives the best answer) can be found here:

    WRITING 101: WHERE DO I SEND THE SF/F BOOK I JUST WROTE? - Amazing Stories
     
  2. Michael K. Eidson

    Michael K. Eidson Scribal Lord

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    Just what I needed today, something else to make me feel even more depressed about my chances of becoming a big-name author.
     
  3. Russ

    Russ Istari

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    Yeah, but just think of the massive bragging rights you will have when you succeed.
     
  4. Michael K. Eidson

    Michael K. Eidson Scribal Lord

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    I've about had it with positive attitudes. Wallowing in self pity seems so much more fun. I'm not even going to stick a smiley emoticon on this post.
     
  5. Russ

    Russ Istari

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    I think if you write about self pity there would be one hell of a market :)

    Unfortunately I am a relentless optimist.
     
    Aryth likes this.
  6. Michael K. Eidson

    Michael K. Eidson Scribal Lord

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    "Self Pity for Fun and Profit" - I like it!
     
    Russ likes this.
  7. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Valar Lord

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    I note that most of the SF authors in the linked article stated their experience was decades out of date and possibly misleading. Most of the rest looked like a summary of the standard online submission forms. There was also commentary about things changing, and not for the better.

    Taken collectively, it seems almost like an argument for the self-publication route. We have had a number of writers on this site who have become 'successful' (depending on ones definition of success) via this route. Of course, we also have plenty of others who count themselves lucky to have sold a hundred copies of their novel over a years time.
     
  8. Russ

    Russ Istari

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    There is no doubt that the invention of the word processor and e-mail has made it harder to sell your work to the biggest traditional publishers. It really depends on how you set your goals and how you think about your writing and how well you understand yourself as to whether traditional or indy publishing is right for you.

    There is still plenty of room for success in traditional publishing, despite the fact it is hard. I have maybe a dozen or more friends or acquaintances who have had their first sale to a traditional publisher in the last three years or so. I am even married to one! There are also plenty of agents looking for clients to represent, as well as editors looking for good work to buy. I know one senior editor who got fired from a good position less than five years ago for not buying enough new books!
     
  9. T.Allen.Smith

    T.Allen.Smith Staff Moderator

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    A note on agents/editors - Over the past year, I've started attending conferences with the primary goal of learning advanced craft techniques from professionals. However, one of the most valuable secondary things I've learned is the value of professional relationships in this business.

    Take what I'm saying here with a grain of salt, as I won't be trying to put this into practice for about another 6-9 months, but during these conferences I've met several agents and editors that have been more than willing to strike up conversations about their businesses and writing in general. Let me stress, for a moment, that I did not verbally vomit my WIP concept onto them, nor did I run around frantically spewing elevator pitches at anyone who looked in my direction. I talked about THEIR business and discussed writing how THEY viewed craft. We talked about their lives and what is important to them, and in genuinely interesting conversations. I learned a lot.

    I mentioned relationships before. Professional relationships are like any other. There's a meeting, followed by a connection and/or interest, followed by a building of respect and trust. One of the common things agents and editors I've met at conferences have repeated is the value of recognizing your name and recalling a conversation you had with them along with the knowledge that you met them at a conference or course.

    Why are these important?

    First, one of the more well-known agents I've connected with told me she once received over 2,000 queries in a single day. Yup, that's right! 2,000.

    With that kind of volume, how do you get noticed?

    First, understand that she has several agents working at her agency. It's not her alone sifting through that pile, though she did say she tries to sort through as many as she can. Second, she told me that if I titled the submission in a way that let her know we'd met previously at a conference (or I took one of her courses), or if she recognized my pen name (Twitter is a good tool in this regard), she would be much more likely to read my submission.

    Why would she be more likely to read my submission?

    Simply this: The fact that I attend conferences (that she also attends and teaches at) tells her I'm serious about writing. Further, taking the time to get to know her, in a non-pestering manner, helps even more.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2017
  10. Chessie

    Chessie Guest

    Um...the only thing that stood out to me in this article was the mention that going Indie means an author is competing with thousands/millions of "novice" authors.

    So...not sure where the author got that B.S. from but MANY Indie authors are either hybrid, formerly trad published, been at this game for a long time and hitting Best Sellers Lists, etc. To say that we're novice is highly insulting. I bust my butt on a daily basis and have been for years in order to write professionally and to be called a novice makes me want to FUS RO DAH this mofo off a cliff for Indies everywhere. This is the problem between these stuck up authors who think we Indies are the scum of the literary world.

    *end rant*
     
  11. Penpilot

    Penpilot Staff Article Team

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    I think you're reading too much into that comment. It does not say that all people indie publishing are novices. Most, but not all is what IMHO is what they mean. And what they probably mean is that you'll have to fight through the static of that vast number of authors to be heard.

    If Stephen King went indie, it doesn't not mean he somehow reverts back to novice, but it means he, a veteran author, will be competing with thousands/millions of novices, which is true. But obviously, he'll bet competing with other experienced authors and everything else in between.
     
  12. Chessie

    Chessie Guest

    But the thing is that you're not competing with anyone outside your genre, really, your sub-genre/niche. So to say that you're competing with 100s of thousands/millions of authors is a false claim to begin with. And you're also only competing with authors in it for the long-term, not anyone who is in it to get rich quick or puts out one book and gives up because the book doesn't sell (yes, there are many Indies like this that I've seen come through FB groups and other Indie hangouts). Stephen King wouldn't be competing with anyone, as an author with an already established fan base. Visibility is what all authors compete for, novice/trad pubbed/Indie etc. Big name authors already have visibility.
     
  13. Michael K. Eidson

    Michael K. Eidson Scribal Lord

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    The quote from the article:

    It appears to me that this whole column was directed at novice writers, not people who already know what they are doing. And the inclusion of the parenthetical "it seems like" should have bought the writer some leeway.
     
  14. Chessie

    Chessie Guest

    That's not how I'm interpreting it. But everyone is entitled to their own opinion. No one has to agree with me. I'm used to that by now. :)
     
  15. Michael K. Eidson

    Michael K. Eidson Scribal Lord

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    Yes, a person is allowed to get upset over anything anyone says, regardless of any ill intent or the lack thereof on the part of the speaker. That is not on the speaker, but on the one allowing oneself to become upset, when the statement can easily be interpreted in a way that is not demeaning.
     
  16. Chessie

    Chessie Guest

    You mean, me. Am I not allowed to speak my mind on a public forum? What's that about?
     
  17. pmmg

    pmmg Scribal Lord

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    Well, in fairness, I too read 'novice' as the author calling the reader who is thinking that route one of the novices. But so what. Maybe just a careless choice of words on his part. Hardly the worst thing that has ever happened. And it is certainly true there are more untested writers in the indi space than in traditional publishing. I think that was really the point.

    I would question the competition part. Its not a competition at all. Its not like my success depends on others not getting as noticed. We can all get noticed together and the playing field can just keep expanding. My success depends on me, and I don't have to make sure other people lose to make sure I get ahead. I just have to do the best I can, keep the right attitude and stay at it. If I get into the pool, the pool can accommodate.

    The whole point of a writing community such as this one is to try and help everyone to succeed.
     
    Michael K. Eidson likes this.
  18. Michael K. Eidson

    Michael K. Eidson Scribal Lord

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    I didn't say that. I said just the opposite.

    I don't like seeing people stressing out for what I believe is a bad reason. But they are certainly free to do so. I could be wrong about the reason being bad, but if I think it's a bad reason, shouldn't I be allowed to say so?
     
  19. Penpilot

    Penpilot Staff Article Team

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    I think you're splitting hairs, especially when the article's author specifically states their knowledge of indie publishing is out of date. Combine that with the general tone of the piece, who the intended audience is, and sprinkle in a dash of occam's razor, to me, it's pretty obvious the statement was not meant to disparage indie authors.


    I think you're misinterpreting things again. Nobody is saying not to speak your mind. People are just saying to reconsider your stance based on the reasons stated in this thread. That's what discussion is about, no?

    If you have counterarguments, please share them. If not, fine. You're entitled to feel how ever you feel regardless.

    But for myself, there's so much to be angry about in this world. I'm not going to waste any of my anger on anyone unless I'm sure they deserve it. And I'm pretty sure the author of this article didn't mean to say anything disparaging, so IMHO doesn't deserve what's being thrown their way.
     
  20. Chessie

    Chessie Guest

    @Penpilot, I did share a counterargument, which you then quoted above. It's almost as if you're trying to get me to agree with you...however, I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt because you're right, I could be misinterpreting everything. What I don't like, or agree with, is being treated as if I'm an angry individual for my comment. You don't have to like what I'm saying or agree with it. It matters little to me. And I've always been respectful to you and others here so to be dismissed as "you're splitting hairs; you're misinterpreting; etc" is condescending. Seriously. I'm bowing out of this discussion and going back to writing. It's shit like this that makes me not want to come back to these forums time and again.
     
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