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View Full Version : Anyone Experienced in Getting a Novel Published?



jeffg-body
01-20-2012, 12:50 AM
I have recently completed the writing of a noval that took 5 years to complete. I am a bit skeptical of publishers that want you to pay for everything up front and was wondering if anyone on PD has experience in this area. I would really like to do something with it rather than having the 758 pages just sitting in the file cabinet. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

SoupIsGood
01-24-2012, 03:15 PM
Yeah, don't pay anyone to publish your book. If they're not assuming some kind of financial risk, they're not going to care enough to polish and market your book enough for it to sell well.

I mean, if you want to look at forms of publishing that involve you bearing the publishing costs, consider converting the book into ebook format yourself and selling it online at, say, 3-6 bucks. I haven't looked into this extensively but some of my best buds are doing it right now, and I understand Amazon has some kind of self-publishing distribution method. You can also try selling directly from your own site.

But unless you're really into doing all the formatting, editing, designing, and marketing yourself it'd probably be best to look for an agent. Try to figure out the agents of writers you like and pitch your book to them (so that presumably your tastes and the agent's match). Sometimes you can find this info on agencys' websites, and sometimes the writer will thank their agent within the acknowledgments section. Pitch your novel to them and pitch it to a lot of them. Even with a really awesome book, it takes a long time to find a buyer, so have that thing passing in front of a lot of eyes. Some people find it handy to have a set number of pitches "in action" or "in circulation," and when x number of rejections come in they send out x number of new pitches. What exactly your pitch should include probably varies with what kind of novel it is, so google around for some examples of good pitches.


If you earn a contract make sure it's not one where they can take unearned parts of an advance back, or one where they can count unearned advances against the advances of any of your future books with that publisher. I can't remember the technical terms for these things, but a good agent would know. And a good publisher wouldn't offer such a contract anyway, unless maybe they thought you were easily bamboozable.

And finally, some books--especially first books--just never sell. Many great writers have had to eat their first five manuscripts. (I have a buddy who I think is a wonderful novelist, but so far his first seven manuscripts haven't sold. Though admittedly his first three manuscripts were written when he was probably not the wonderful novelist he is now, and they probably deserved to bite the dust, based on the bits I've seen.) Try your hardest to sell it, but if you can't, don't sweat it. It's normal. Writing good novels is hard, and it's a learning process. Maybe the next book will be the one.

jeffg-body
01-25-2012, 01:47 AM
Yeah, don't pay anyone to publish your book. If they're not assuming some kind of financial risk, they're not going to care enough to polish and market your book enough for it to sell well.

I mean, if you want to look at forms of publishing that involve you bearing the publishing costs, consider converting the book into ebook format yourself and selling it online at, say, 3-6 bucks. I haven't looked into this extensively but some of my best buds are doing it right now, and I understand Amazon has some kind of self-publishing distribution method. You can also try selling directly from your own site.

But unless you're really into doing all the formatting, editing, designing, and marketing yourself it'd probably be best to look for an agent. Try to figure out the agents of writers you like and pitch your book to them (so that presumably your tastes and the agent's match). Sometimes you can find this info on agencys' websites, and sometimes the writer will thank their agent within the acknowledgments section. Pitch your novel to them and pitch it to a lot of them. Even with a really awesome book, it takes a long time to find a buyer, so have that thing passing in front of a lot of eyes. Some people find it handy to have a set number of pitches "in action" or "in circulation," and when x number of rejections come in they send out x number of new pitches. What exactly your pitch should include probably varies with what kind of novel it is, so google around for some examples of good pitches.


If you earn a contract make sure it's not one where they can take unearned parts of an advance back, or one where they can count unearned advances against the advances of any of your future books with that publisher. I can't remember the technical terms for these things, but a good agent would know. And a good publisher wouldn't offer such a contract anyway, unless maybe they thought you were easily bamboozable.

And finally, some books--especially first books--just never sell. Many great writers have had to eat their first five manuscripts. (I have a buddy who I think is a wonderful novelist, but so far his first seven manuscripts haven't sold. Though admittedly his first three manuscripts were written when he was probably not the wonderful novelist he is now, and they probably deserved to bite the dust, based on the bits I've seen.) Try your hardest to sell it, but if you can't, don't sweat it. It's normal. Writing good novels is hard, and it's a learning process. Maybe the next book will be the one.

Thanks a ton for the advice. I have had this Novel that I spent six years making and I am hoping to just see what would happen. I also think it is the perfect timing for this novel because it is a novel about Veterans coming back to society with PTSD. Some autobiographical and some fiction. I have a place that I am going to send them the first chapter and they will contact me after they review my work. Wish me good luck because I will need it.

jeffg-body
02-08-2012, 02:20 AM
I found an agency in New York that specializes in new writers. They asked for a copy of my first five chapters. I sent that out today. The good thing was that they didn't ask for any money to review it.