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Category Archives: Agents

Want to Write for Glory? Or for Money?

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Writing-Query-to-Publisher
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At a recent meeting of independent writers I met a young women, who told me about an event she wanted to visit: the “path to publishing”.  The highlight will be a literary agent who accepts query letters from participating aspiring writers.  I asked her why she is querying to publishers. “Do you want to write for glory – to see your book for a couple of weeks in bookstores – or do you want to earn money with your writing?”  I admit, a bit provocative.  I explained her what she can expect as “published” author including the minimal royalty of only 8-10% what an author gets – compared to 70% (or almost 100% for sales from the authors website).  
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  1. Having an established platform and an idea how to brand yourself
  2. The first book has to be successful from day one!  Bookstores give only a couple of weeks for success
  3. Expect an exclusivity clause in your contract for series / similar topics
  4. But first of all:  Proof the publisher you and your book will be a success
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There are some questions that trade publishers and literary agents frequently ask writers before they sign them up. The problem is most writers are caught off guard by these questions and don’t always answer them the way they would’ve liked. So prepare ahead of time!
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Why do you want to be published?
Seems like a simple question, right? The agent isn’t just interested in your answer but your attitude. Let’s take a look as how some of your answers COULD be perceived…
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Answer #1: I just want to get my story on paper.
Agent’s reaction:  Then you don’t need me. If you’re not going to take this seriously and consider writing your new career, I’m not interested.
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Answer #2: I want to share my stories with the world.
Agent’s reaction:  Why would anyone want to read your stories? What makes you more special than any other writer out there? If you don’t know what’s unique about you and you can’t sell yourself, how am I supposed to?
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Answer #3: I want to become a bestseller and make a bundle.
Agent’s reaction: Get real.  Do you know how hard it is to become a bestseller? Do you understand how much work is involved? Why do I get the feeling you’re not interested in the writing, just the possible financial benefit.  Oh, did I mention you will make next to nothing with your first book and possibly every book after that? If you want to become a millionaire, buy a lottery ticket. Your odds are probably better.
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Answer #4: I want to be famous.
Publishers reaction:  That’s not going to happen overnight. Are you willing to put in the time and sweat?  What if you don’t amount to more than being a mid-lister?
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Here are more questions, which could come in many forms:

  • What’s your next book about?
  • What else are you working on?
  • Where do you see this series going?
  • What is your blog about?
  • How many followers do you have on your Social Media sites?

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What Are Publishers / Agents Expecting?  They want to know you’re committed, that you understand this journey is hard, long, and not always rewarding. They want you to dream and to set goals, but they need to believe you are willing to work to attain those goals.
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Must-Read Blog to learn more about agents and how to approach them
http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/guide-to-literary-agents
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How to Write a Query Letter
http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/guide-to-literary-agents
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Less than Minimum Wage for Authors?
http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2013/08/15/less-than-minimum-wage-for-authors/
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Successful Query Letters
http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/5-tips-for-successful-book-submissions/

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If you would like to get more support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or to learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer all this and more for only $179 for three months – or less than $2 per day! Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting for writers: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 1,070 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.
Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing

http://www.111publishing.com

http://www.e-Book-PR.com/

http://www.international-ebooks.com/

http://bit.ly/VmtVAS 111Publishing @ Google+

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9 Tips Where & How to Query to Literary Agents

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Literary-Agents-NY
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A typical literary agency receives close to 5,000 unsolicited query letters/book proposals per year – or approx. 150 per working day. On average these agents accept only 10-12 new clients – only one out of every 500 submissions… Do you want to learn how to write a query, and how to approach the agent?
Do you want to get to know more about the person before hand – after all, she or he will be your partner for a long time?  My best advice: Read their blogs to get informed about the process and find out more about how they work and what they are like before you approach them. And have a “business plan” for your book ready: Who will be your readers, who is your competition and how will you market your book. You will be asked for this! Here are some examples of questions you might be asked.
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Rachelle Gardner Rachelle Gardner is an agent with Books and Such Literary Agency, representing both fiction and non-fiction. She offers query tips and book proposal advice.
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Nathan Bransford Nathan Bransford knows a lot about writing and publishing, and offers in his blog advice on: How to Find a Literary Agent, How to Write a Query Letter, The Basic Query Letter Formula, Examples of Good Queries, How to Format Your Query Letter …
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Agent Research Ask them about an agent and they will tell you if he or she has established a public record, and if we have had any negative reports on the agent’s business practices. This service is free.
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Agent Query Agent Query offers the largest and most current searchable database of literary agents on the web—a treasure trove of reputable, established literary agents seeking writers.
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BookEnds Agency BookEnds, LLC, is a literary agency focusing on fiction and nonfiction books for adult audiences. In their workshop Wednesdays everyone can post queries out there and will get comments open, also to anonymous posters.
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Nelson Newsletter Kristin Nelsons blog is a-must-read for every author about to send out a query. Subscribe to the Nelson Literary Agency newsletter.
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Query Shark Send your query in for critique. A wealth of resources and Janet Reid shares them all, she also dissects queries, posting lots of examples what writers are doing right – and wrong!
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Query Wednesday Gabriela Lessa, a Brazilian editor, writer, literary agent assistant and journalist helps you with your query. Have your query analyzed on QUERY WEDNESDAY.
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Call My Agent!
In which a literary agent in Sydney, Australia attempts to decode the world of publishing in order to assist writers. And sometimes to get things off her chest.

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Resources and More Blogs About Literary Agents:
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What Literary Agents Want to Know From You
http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2012/04/01/what-literary-agents-want-to-know-from-you/
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How Agents work and How to work with Agents
http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2011/04/12/how-agents-work-how-to-work-with-agents/ .
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Must-Read Blog to learn more about agents and how to approach them
http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/guide-to-literary-agents
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http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/guide-to-literary-agents
How to Write a Query Letter
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http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/5-tips-for-successful-book-submissions/
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100’s of Links to Publishers and Agents
http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2012/10/10/100s-of-links-to-publishers-and-agents/
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Which Literary Agent is Right for You?
http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2012/03/07/which-literary-agent-is-right-for-you/
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Association of Author’s Representatives (lists agents)
http://aaronline.org/

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For more agent blogs go to the absolutewrite forum: 

http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=37784
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When you check out the agent, you’ll want to contact “Writer Beware
Visit often and get the latest alerts from WRITER BEWARE:
http://www.sfwa.org/for-authors/writer-beware/alerts/
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If you would like to get more support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or to learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer all this and more for only $179 for three months – or less than $2 per day! Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting for writers: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars  Or visit http://www.e-book-pr.com/book-promo/
to advertise your new book, specials, your KDP Select Free Days or the new Kindle Countdown Deals.

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 1,030 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.
Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing

http://www.111publishing.com

http://www.e-Book-PR.com/

http://www.international-ebooks.com/

http://bit.ly/VmtVAS 111Publishing @ Google+

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Best and Worst About Literary Agents

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Literary-Agent-Search
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Most US writers have to go through an agent – over 80% of all publishing deals are made through a literary agency. Publishers in the USA don’t want to deal directly with authors. In Canada, only ten percent of authors / books are agent-ed. Aspiring and established authors successfully submit the majority (10,000 plus) of the titles published every year directly to editors at publishing houses.
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IMPORTANT:
Study the agents’ website and submission guidelines carefully and learn how to write a query.
Be prepared when meeting for the first time with the agent for questions like this, that can make or brake your contract:

  • How are going to market your book?
  • What’s your platform
  • Why do you want to be published?
  • What’s your next book about?
  • What else are you working on?
  • Where do you see this series going?

Even more in your favor will be when you are already working on your second book and have at least the outline for the third. Your manuscripts don’t have to be a part of a series but should be in the same genre as the book the agent will pitch.This will show both the agent and publisher that you have the potential of becoming a career author. Have a sense of how long it takes you to write a book, including all of its editorial stages. This way, you will know what kind of delivery commitment you can make.
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Agent’s Fees
As an author trying to find a literary agent you have heard or read from, is not an easy task. And you might find an agency describing itself as “non-fee-charging” but then nevertheless wants money up-front. Most professional agents’ associations adopted policies prohibiting members from charging fees, called “reading fees” or “evaluation fees”.
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Reputable agents will NOT charge you a fee up front to represent your book. They earn their living by selling your book to a publisher and gaining a commission. That commission is a percentage of the proceeds your book earns. For one thing, this gives the agent an incentive to actually market your book around to various publishers likely to buy it for publication. This is another reason why many agents pick submissions carefully. They know what publishers are looking for and they will not accept anything which is not ready for submission or close enough that a few days of editing will make the difference.
Most agents these days charge 15% commission on domestic sales (North America).
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A literary agent gets his commission AFTER the book contract with a publisher is signed and the first money flows. If they charge reading or evaluation fees or any of the following fees – author beware:

  • marketing fees
  • submission fees
  • travel fees
  • legal fees
  • advance fees
  • or “per hour” fee
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Have a look at the do’s and don’ts of both sides:
Never under any circumstances should you pay expenses or any fees up front: Agents only receive money by deducting his or her 15% commission from your eventual earnings. Should an agent tell new writers that she/he was charging 15% commission plus expenses — that’s a rip-off; don’t agree to it. The Association of Authors Representatives (professional organization of literary agents) also forbids the charging of “reading fees.” If an agent asks you to pay a fee for his or her “evaluation” of your manuscript, refuse!
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So, what could you encounter?
Some agencies pressure authors into various additional services and charge fees for websites, sample cover mock-ups or illustrations or social media listings.
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AgentQuery (Database of Literary Agents) wrote on their website: Industry Red Flags:
“Be wary of any literary agent that contacts you out of the blue, especially if you have not queried that specific agent and do not have a public platform or presence. Fiction writers should be particularly cautious unless the agent has a logical reason to contact you, like you’ve recently won a prestigious writing contest, or they’ve seen your blog or read your published stories, etc..”

“Beware of agents that offer representation for a fixed fee, offer representation only if you pay them money to edit your manuscript, or charge you up-front fees in the range of thousands of dollars to off-set the cost of submitting your manuscript to publishers. These are all warning signs—unethical behavior from an unprofessional scammer. Scammers will tempt you, especially if you are desperate and inundated with rejections. They will tell you how fabulous your manuscript is and you will want to believe them.”

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WRITER BEWARE notes: 
“Not all agents who charge marketing fees are dishonest. Some are simply inexperienced or inept. But scam or amateur, the bottom line for the writer is the same: a lighter wallet and no book contract.”

Remember, that many of these publishers operate under more than one name and as “in-house” referral services. This means they always find a reason to refer you to another company which they also own… Editors Nielsen-Hayden summed it up: “Writing may be an art or a craft (or both), but publishing is a business. It’s best to know the business before diving in.”
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Resources and More blog posts regarding Literary Agents:
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How Agents work and How to work with Agents
http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2011/04/12/how-agents-work-how-to-work-with-agents/
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Must-Read Blog to learn more about agents and how to approach them
http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/guide-to-literary-agents

Database of Literary Agents
http://www.agentquery.com/
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What Literary Agents Want to Know From You
http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2012/04/01/what-literary-agents-want-to-know-from-you/
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How to Write a Query Letter
http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/5-tips-for-successful-book-submissions/
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100′s of Links to Publishers and Agents
http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2012/10/10/100s-of-links-to-publishers-and-agents/
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Which Literary Agent is Right for You?
http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2012/03/07/which-literary-agent-is-right-for-you/
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Association of Author’s Representatives (lists agents)
http://aaronline.org/

Lynnette Labelle Editorial Services
www.labelleseditorialservices.com
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Visit often and get the latest alerts from WRITER BEWARE:
http://www.sfwa.org/for-authors/writer-beware/alerts/
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5 Tips for Successful Book Submissions

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Dictionary

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Don’t give agents or publishers a reason to reject your manuscript submission.  I could write a book and fill it with these dreadful “submissions” that came to my inbox/mailbox in the last years. On one site I feel pity for the sender, on the other hand I just can’t understand why they don’t make the effort to read submission guidelines on publishers websites, get it right and learn how to write submissions to publishers. Why do authors work many months or even years on a manuscript, and then don’t learn how to sell it? There are just a few basics to be familiar with:
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Genre / Category
Most publishers or agents are specialized in certain genres. It also gets harder for authors if they do cross-genres. However, sending a query for poetry to a publisher, who explicitly states on his website under submission guidelines, that they only accept non-fiction and how-to-guides, is a waste of your and their time and money to ask “if they take on poetry”.  Not researching what genres an agent or publisher is interested in, is not only impolite, but will for sure result in rejection.

Many resources such as PublishersGlobal, PublishingWeekly, Writer’s Market or AgentQuery.com will help you to find the right places / agents / publishers for your genre.  Another possibility is to perform a Google search for the words literary agent and your genre. Carefully study your selected agents’ website to find more information.
A word of caution: In former blogs we wrote that – as in many other publishing fields – there are a few “rotten apples”, meaning agents that are charging authors for reading their manuscripts or demand a fee for his or her “evaluation” of their manuscript.
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Follow Submission Guidelines
Not reading and acting accordingly to an agent’s or publishers individual submission guidelines will end your query letter immediately in the recycle bin. Find answers to questions like these in the agents’ guidelines:

  • Do they want a query letter only?
  • Do they want a query with the first pages of your manuscript?
  • Do they want a query and the first three chapters?
  • Do they accept queries via e-mail or via regular mail?
  • Read and follow their guidelines in detail!

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How to Write a Query Letter
First of all: find out the name of the agent or editor at the publishing house you will query. Never, ever, write “To whom it may concern”. It only shows your are not caring whoever will receive it. Maybe the intern … Don’t forget to add all of your contact information: address, e-mail address, and phone number.

The QueryShark advises:

  • “The opening paragraph is meant to make a pitch regarding your protagonist and your book in a way that the agent will fall in love with them.”
  • “The second paragraph provides the synopsis. Do not include every little detail, it is meant to summarize the essence of the obstacles in the story. Stick to the big picture.”
  • “The third paragraph is all about you. What relevant credentials, honors, and awards have you or your books achieved? In other words, why you and not another author should be published.”
  • “The closing paragraph should recognize the agent’s submission guidelines, why you felt they were a good fit for your novel, and an action to take…i.e. requesting the full manuscript.”

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Your Query
You will need a complete book proposal, three sample chapters and a cover letter (the query). A book proposal is made up of several components, such as an overview, competitive titles, marketing of your book, etc., and should be at least 10 pages long – a kind of business plan for your book. BTW: This is something that every writer should do for their work, no matter if they pitch an agent or publisher or if they intend to self-publish their book.

Most writers don’t know that they need only three chapters written, not the entire manuscript when pitching to an agent or publishing house. Once the offer is accepted, the rest of the manuscript has to follow within a certain time frame.
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Spelling and Grammar
When submitting a query letter to agents, ensure that all spelling and grammar issues are resolved. Typos or even shortcuts are a turnoff. Do hire a professional to read your letter!
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Following these tips will help you in landing an agent. Read about all the famous authors who were rejected, but, it was their persistence that paid off in the long run.  Get lots of tips from literary agents here.  Consider not only to submit your manuscript to publishing houses, but to author-publish it, in order to earn more and if successfully, agents and publishers will approach YOU!

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If you would like to get more support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or to learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer all this and more for only $159 for three months! Learn more about this individual book marketing help: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars
Or visit http://www.e-book-pr.com/book-promo/
to advertise your new book, specials, your KDP Select Free Days or the new Kindle Countdown Deals.

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 970 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.
Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing

http://www.111publishing.com

http://www.e-Book-PR.com/

http://www.international-ebooks.com/

http://bit.ly/VmtVAS 111Publishing @ Google+

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Writers Conferences 2014: Meet Publishers, Agents, Editors and Fellow Writers

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One of the main benefits of attending a writers retreat or conference is the opportunity to meet editors, agents, publishers and other writers.  Widening your circle of connections in the literary world can help you mark your own presence as an author, to learn about the publishing industry, and how to get your book published / author-publish.  Learn even more about the craft of writing.

Equally important is gaining understanding of book business realities. For instance, why is the marketing plan so important in your proposal, and what do agents and editors expect to see in yours? Here are just a few of the many writers conferences and retreat offers in the USA for 2014:
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Santa Barbara, CA, June 7 – 12, 2014

http://www.sbwritersconference.com

Program Description
Daily AM & PM concurrent workshops & plenary sessions, evening speakers, panels, Advance
Submission with agents & editors, late-night pirate workshops.
Program Length 6 days
Group Size or S:T Ratio 200
Program Focus:  Autobiography/Memoir, Fiction, Humor, Journalism, Marketing, Mystery, Nature, Non-fiction, Playwriting, Poetry, Publishing, Romance, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Screen-writing, Travel,
Faculty: 30 daily faculty plus evening speakers
Costs   $625 includes barbecue, cocktail reception, awards banquet.
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Santa-Barbara

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Jackson Hole, WY, June 26-28, 2014

http://jacksonholewritersconference.com

Three manuscript critiques with authors & editors. Tracks for fiction, creative nonfiction, magazine, young adult, and poetry; workshops, talks & craft sessions.
Program Length 3 days
Group Size or S:T Ratio 4:1
Program Focus:  Children’s, Fiction, Journalism, Marketing, Mystery, Nature, Non-fiction, Poetry, Publishing, Travel, Young Adult
Costs:   Early bird $365
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Jackson-Hole-Whyoming
Jackson-Hole-Whyoming


Mendocino Coast Writers Conference, July 31 – August 2, 2014

http://www.mcwc.org

Program Description
5 morning workshops with same presenter each day; large forum readings and discussions with editors, agents, & newly published authors; afternoon lecture sessions on craft.
Program Length 3 days
Group Size or S:T Ratio workshops 15:1
Program Focus:  Autobiography/Memoir, Children’s, Fiction, Journalism, Mystery, Non-fiction, Poetry, Publishing, Screenwriting, Young Adult
Faculty 13+ presenters. Includes authors, editors & literary agents.
Costs:   Earlybird $525. $60/consultation. Lodging $55-$250 & camping; hostel-like farmhouse $18-$25/night.
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Mendocino

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Squaw Valley, California  July, August 2014

http://www.squawvalleywriters.org

Morning workshops, afternoon panel discussions, individual conferences, craft lectures, staff readings
Program Length 7 days  Deadline April 1, 2014
Group Size or S:T Ratio 20-124
Program Focus:  Autobiography/Memoir, Fiction, Mystery, Nature, Non-fiction, Poetry and Screenwriting
Faculty 28 instructors for the Fiction Workshop, 5 for the Poetry Workshop, 8 for the Screenwriting Workshop.
Costs:   $840 includes 6 dinners. Shared (single) lodging in local houses & condos arranged for $350 ($550)/week; inexpensive bunk bed available.
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Corte Madera, CA, August 14 – 17, 2014

http://bookpassage.com/travel-food-photography-conference

Travel Writers & Photographers Conference
(Just across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco)
bpconferences@bookpassage.com

Geared to Food & Travel writers and photographers this Conference has an extraordinary, international reputation among publishers, editors, and writers. This four-day Conference offers an array of writing and photography workshops in the morning, a full afternoon of panels and discussions, and evening faculty presentations.
The faculty includes publishers, magazine editors, photographers, travel essayists, food writers, guidebook writers and more.  Price: $635.00

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Key West, FL, every January

http://www.kwls.org
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Key-West-Beach
Key-West-Beach

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4-day seminar includes readings, conversations, lectures, panel discussions. 4-day writers’ workshops feature AM writing sessions (limit 8-12/instructor) and PM individual consultations, talks, open readings.
Program Length Seminar: 4 days / Workshops: 4 days each
Group Size or S:T Ratio Seminar: 350-400 / Workshops: 12:1
Program Focus
Autobiography/Memoir, Children’s, Fiction, Humor, Journalism, Mystery, Nature, Non-fiction, Playwriting, Poetry, Publishing, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Screenwriting, Travel, Young Adult
Costs   Seminar $495; Workshops $450. The next Writers’ Workshop Program will take place between the two Seminar sessions, January 12-16, 2014.
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Conferences offer valuable education for aspiring writers.  Workshops can help with developing writing skills, everything from crafting better dialogue to making clever use of literary devices. Perhaps the most exciting aspect of a conference is the fact that editors and literary agents are there not only to participate and educate aspiring writers, but also to seek out new talent!
For a full list of writers retreats in the North America please go to:  http://writing.shawguides.com

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If you would like to get help in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites: We offer all this and more for only $159 for 3 months! Learn more about this individual book marketing help http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars.
Or visit http://www.e-book-pr.com/book-promo/ to advertise your new book, 99-cent specials or your KDP Select Free Days on Amazon.

Thanks a lot for following:

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A Reason to Cut Royalties in Half?

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Amazon is stepping up its efforts to acquire rights to author’s book content. Just recently Amazon bought world rights to two books by UK romantic comedy novelist Matt Dunn, in a deal signed directly with the author. A Day at the Office,  originally self-published, had reached the Top 10 in the Kindle book chart.

Also in the UK this week, Amazon’s new Thomas & Mercer, a thriller and mystery press, made its first acquisition with two self-published works from Mel Sherratt, Taunting the Dead and Watching Over You.

However, Aubrey Rose, an Erotic Romance author, turned down Amazon’s publishing deal. She wrote on her blog: “I Just Turned Down a Publishing Deal with Amazon.”

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Me-Cinderella“They offered me $5k, with 35% royalties only. My book is already published, and they said they would just transfer it over in October. They were firm on the cover being theirs, something to do with rights.
I sent them a link to the stock photo of my model, but they wouldn’t guarantee me approval power, and some of their covers were so bad I got worried.
I guess the agent stumbled across it, because I did not submit it anywhere, just got an email from them out of nowhere. At first I thought it was spam, ha ha.”

Literary Agent
“The one really nice thing about this was that I was able to get in contact with an agent from the Knight Agency, and she gave me some good, honest advice about what I could expect if I shopped the book around.  Also she read a few chapters of my book and liked it, and said I could send her the next one I wrote – new adult is apparently a hard genre to shop around to traditional publishers, unless you have a ton of sales already, since it is such a new category.

Offer was not favorable
Aubrey Rose, successfully self-published writer, says the offer from the online giant was far LESS than she could make on her own. For every book she sells on Amazon, she receives 70% of the list price – and she can sell her book everywhere else, e.g. on Kobo, B&N, Apple, Sony, Diesel etc. As an Amazon author, the book would have been offered exclusively on Amazon.

The Guardian wrote: “A self-published author of romantic erotica, who had dreamed of being a published author since she was a little girl, has found herself in the unlikely position of turning down a publishing contract with Amazon.com, after it turned out she could make a better living by going it alone.

Rose was only offered $5k, with 35% royalties, a post by the author on Reddit confirmed . But that turned out to be “less than I had made in my first month of sales”, Rose wrote on her blog.

Aubrey Rose, whose  Me, Cinderella?  was self-published in the US on Amazon.com and through Barnes&Noble, was put off by the small sum on offer and by the lack of control she’d have over her book covers – a perennial gripe among many “properly” published authors. On her blog, Rose wrote: “As a writer of big beautiful women romance, I’m acutely aware of the limited amount of cover material available to us and I DO NOT want a thin girl on my cover.”

She added that Amazon “couldn’t guarantee anything – from cover image to pricing to marketing. And I would have to pull my book from every publisher except Amazon.” She added: “It was hard for me to say no. Ever since I was a little girl I’d dreamed about being a ‘published author’ …” One of my writer friends asked, ‘What are they guaranteeing you other than that they will take all the publishing rights and half of your royalties?’

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If you would like to get help in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites: We offer all this and more for only $ 159 for 3 months. Learn more about this individual book marketing help: http://www.111Publishing.com/ Once you are on this website, click on Seminar to register.

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The Smartest Thing You Can Do Today

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Shark

QueryShark

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“The smartest thing you can do today for your career (other than write)”. This is the motto of an amazing blog that I just discovered:  http://queryshark.blogspot.ca

 

You might have realized when reading my blog that I am a big fan of author-publishing and not very fond of traditional publishers.  But not every author is entrepreneurial-minded or has not yet discovered that publishing houses require authors nowadays to be active on social media and that they have to promote their books themselves.

So, if an author wants to go the traditional route, it should be done professionally to avoid too many rejections and frustration.  QueryShark seems to be a great help in writing pitches to agents or to trade publishers. Interesting tweets from their site:  @QueryShark
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How To Write Query Letters …
or, really, how to revise query letters so they actually work. Read the very detailed directions provided to authors on this site, AFTER you went through their other query critiques first!  QueryShark is entirely volunteer. And no queries are posted unless the writer specifically asks the QueryShark to do so.
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Query Shark critiques fiction queries.
You have to send a query to the shark for it to be considered. There is a checklist for how to do that on the post labeled “If You Want Your Query Posted, Read and FOLLOW These Directions”.

Don’t miss to read all the samples of queries that succeeded. Scroll down and find them on the left site of the QueryShark web page. Great samples of how to hook the interest of an agent or a traditional publisher and lots to learn from.  

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More on how to write a query letter – or not:

10 Dos and Don’ts of Writing a Query Letter

Anatomy of a Query Letter

How to Write a Query Letter

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If you would like to get help in all things publishing, have your book heavily promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites: We offer all this and more for only a “token” of $1 / day for 3 months. Learn more about this individual book marketing help: http://www.111Publishing.com/seminar

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No Secrets – Tips from Literary Agents

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Hall of Fame

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Going through a couple of literary agent’s blogs, they generally all write the same:

“The problem is that most publishers will not review unsolicited proposals or manuscripts. They receive thousands every year and simply don’t have the resources to review all of them. It’s like looking for a needle in a haystack.”

As an author, what can you do? In a nutshell, here are some agents advises:

  1. Read blogs written by literary agents. You can get some incredibly helpful advice and straight-talk from people who pitch proposals for a living. Read their useful blogs: Terry WhalinRachelle Gardner, Meredith Barnes or Andy Ross.
  2. Educate yourself. If you want to publish with a general market publisher, read 2012 Writer’s Market by Robert Lee Brewer for writer’s guidelines and submission procedures for publishing houses.
  3. Write a killer book proposal. If you want to write (or have written) a book, get these e-books to find out what publishers want in a proposal:
    – Writing a Winning Non-Fiction Book Proposal
    – Writing a Winning Fiction Book Proposal.
  4. Let someone professional review your proposal, such a friend who teaches English or is a professional editor, ask them to review your proposal.
  5. Find a literary agent to represent you. This is usually the only way to get in the door with a publishing company – at least in the USA. Canada and Europe are different stories. Literary agents do the filtering. If you want a list of general market agents, get the 2013 Guide to Literary Agents, and study carefully their requirements.
  6. Get a professional avatar, a good photo is only a tiny investment – and you need it for your book / website / social media presence etc. anyway.
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Must-Read Blog to learn more about agents and how to approach them
http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/guide-to-literary-agents

How Agents work and How to work with Agents
http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2011/04/12/how-agents-work-how-to-work-with-agents/

What Literary Agents Want to Know From You
http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2012/04/01/what-literary-agents-want-to-know-from-you/

100′s of Links to Publishers and Agents
http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2012/10/10/100s-of-links-to-publishers-and-agents/

Which Literary Agent is Right for You?
http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2012/03/07/which-literary-agent-is-right-for-you/

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I am just wondering if all these time and money investments are paying off, as it can take years until your work is published – if at all. Judging a book is not always an objective process. Read more about this in my next post: 77 Reasons why your book was rejected
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Investing in a good editor, hiring a professional book designer / e-book formatting company, spending time to market your work and selling it as an e-book or print POD might well be as profitable (if not better) than to go through all the hassle and time waste with commercial publishing houses.

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If you would like to get help in all things publishing, have your book heavily promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites: We offer all this and more for only a “token” of $1 / day for 3 months. Learn more about this individual book marketing help: http://www.111Publishing.com/seminar

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77 Reasons Why Your Book Was Rejected

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77-Reasons-Why-Your-Book-Was-Rejected-Nappa-Mike-978140225412377 Reasons Why Your Book Was Rejected

Written by Mike Nappa, available as e-book and print book at Amazon. The author’s experiences as acquisitions editor, marketing copywriter, and literary agent uniquely qualify him to write on this topic. He is also the author of more than 40 books and received more than 2,000 book rejections during his writing career!
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The book is divided into three sections: Editorial, Marketing and Sales Reasons for Rejection.  Starting with: “It takes less than a minute to reject your book” (by big publishers that is) Mike Nappa goes on with all the legitimate and also the silliest reasons your manuscript or book idea might be rejected.

As an author you might be able to work on many, such as marketing and your platform and following, however some of the reasons have nothing to do with the quality of your writing. 

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An editor is going to look at your proposal – and if it doesn’t meet certain editorial standards, it will go no farther. If it passes basic editorial scrutiny, an editor will then consider whether you have done your “marketing” homework — analyzed and defined your audience, established a platform, shown that you know how and why this book will sell. From there, the editor will need to convince the publisher that they can sell this book, and sell enough to merit the investment in its publication.
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Perhaps the clearest message that emerges from this book is that getting published is a lot of work. The job doesn’t end when you finish writing the last chapter. Publishers are in the business of selling a product, and it’s your job to convince them that your book will sell.
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Or maybe you will decide to author publish. After all you have to do your book marketing anyway, even if your book is accepted by a commercial publisher. “Success is the best revenge”  .

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If you would like to get help in all things publishing, have your book heavily promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites: We offer all this and more for only a “token” of $1 / day for 3 months. Learn more about this individual book marketing help: http://www.111Publishing.com/seminar

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What Publishers Won’t Tell You

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book-pile

Book Pile

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Eager looking forward to get a publishing contract or happy you received one? Finding a publisher who will consider your book idea and getting your manuscript published is time-consuming and can often be a frustrating experience.  Going with a big publisher is not easier than author-publishing. You will be surprised to learn about the following facts, sometimes the hard way:
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Your book has three months to fly off the shelves.
If your book does not sell in the first three months of its bookstore life, it will be remaindered and disappears from bookstores and could end up at “A Buck a Book”.  90 to 95% of books don’t pay back their advance. Royalty will only be paid if the advance is paid back. What you get upfront as an advance is usually all you will ever get.
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If you screw up on your first book, you’re out.
If you do well with it, publishers will be eager to see your next title. But if you don’t sell a lot of books, your agent or publisher will not want to read your manuscript when it comes time to offer your second book.
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Traditional publishing is very slow.
Unless you wrote a political tell-all, your book is going to ”be in the making” for two years or longer until it goes into the bookstores. You need to be sure your topic is timeless and that you will be interested in publicizing it years from now.
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Most likely your book will not be published in foreign countries.
Unless you have a savvy agent (preferably speaking several languages) who is trying to sell your book abroad, there is little chance that your publisher actively tries to find buyers in foreign markets.
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Your advance will be the only money you will see.
You can get as little as $5,000 or as much as $500,000, but either way, you’ll pay 15% of this amount to your agent, and the remainder will be paid in thirds or quarters over the next couple of years. So you first need to “earn out” the advance, before any royalties will be paid to you.
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Publishing is the slowest possible get-rich-quick scheme.
Breaking into big money publishing is like becoming a movie star – being talented definitely helps, but luck plays a big role and the odds might not be in your favor.
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Sorry, no publicity.
Until a decade or two ago, publishers did some marketing for books. Now, in the best case, they might send out some galleys and wait to see if anyone is interested. Then they focus all their publicity on the books they expect to be a bestseller. If you want your book to be a success, YOU will have to do ALL the publicity yourself!
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Books don’t sell themselves, as most writers sooner or later find out – often too late.  If you are interested in making money or selling your book for a long time, better consider e-books and self-publishing.  But in any way, marketing skills or at least the willingness to learn about marketing and PR to promote your book, are essential for an author. 

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If you would like to get help in all things publishing, have your book heavily promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites:  We offer all this and more for only a “token” of $1 / day for 3 months. Learn more about this individual book marketing help: http://www.111Publishing.com/seminar

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How to Sell Foreign Book Rights

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RockofCashelIreland

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It is not that easy to sell your foreign rights without an agent or a publisher, but it’s not impossible. Women’s fiction author Kay Raymer did the whole agent query routine in 2000, but nobody would look at her novel, Hannah Street. So she sent the manuscript to her attorney, who happened to know someone at Bertelsmann / Germany. Bertelsmann made an offer on the book, and her lawyer helped arrange the contract. As a result, Raymer’s first novel appeared in Germany in 2001, a paperback original called Das Rosenhaus. Read more in Gwen Ellery’s article.

Most agents charge 20% (or sometimes even 25%) on foreign sales (including British and translations).
This 20% rate is justified because normally two agents are involved (the second one being in the foreign country), and they end up splitting the commission.

You should never agree to be paying over 25% commissions for any type of sale.
Note that your foreign sales will likely be subject to a local withholding tax (10% is common), and that all of that tax burden will be borne by you (that is, the agent will take his or her commission off the pre-tax gross).

If you are not represented already, why not try to find agents or even publishers yourself in other countries, especially if you speak more than one language?
I just found a blog post from a successful writer, who did just that: searched the internet, found contact addresses of agents in other countries and contacted them. He wrote:

“How does one sell rights in the international marketplace?
My first foreign rights sales occurred as a result of Book Expo America, where for a small fee my book was displayed in a co-op booth.  Although the book didn’t take Book Expo by storm — as I somehow thought it would — it received interest from and I sold translation rights to publishers in Mexico, Poland and Nigeria.  If publishers in such diverse countries and cultures wanted the book, I was sure publishers in other countries would also want it.”   
Read the whole article here: http://axiomawards.wordpress.com/2008/09/05/selling-foreign-rights-around-the-world/

Morris Rosenthal gives also great, detailed tips in his article about book contracts.
http://www.fonerbooks.com/contract.htm

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If you would like to get help in all things publishing, have your book heavily promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites: We offer all this and more for only a “token” of $1 / day for 3 months. Learn more about this individual book marketing help: http://www.111Publishing.com/seminar

Please feel free to check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 730 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Chime.in, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.

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Don’t Let it Happen to You… Literary Agents Scams

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Dollar-Sign

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Third in the “Scam Series”: Literary Agents Fee Scams

Don’t let it happen to you…

In Canada, only ten percent of authors / books are agent-ed. Aspiring and established authors  successfully submit the majority (10,000 plus) of the titles published every year directly to editors at publishing houses. US writers have to go through an agent – 80% of all publishing deals are made through an agency. Publishers in the USA don’t want to deal directly with authors.
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As an author trying to find a literary agent you have heard or read from, is not an easy task. And you might find an agency describing itself as “non-fee-charging” but then nevertheless wants money up-front. Most professional agents’ associations adopted policies prohibiting members from charging fees, called “reading fees” or “evaluation fees”.
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A literary agent gets his commission AFTER the book contract with a publisher is signed and the first money flows. If they charge reading or evaluation fees or any of the following fees – author beware:

  • marketing fees
  • submission fees
  • travel fees
  • legal fees
  • advance fees
  • or “per hour” fee

For those writers who might think they need an agent – have a look at the do’s and don’ts of both sides:

Reputable agents will NOT charge you a fee up front to represent your book. They earn their living by selling your book to a publisher and gaining a commission. That commission is a percentage of the proceeds your book earns. For one thing, this gives the agent an incentive to actually market your book around to various publishers likely to buy it for publication. This is another reason why many agents pick submissions carefully. They know what publishers are looking for and they will not accept anything which is not ready for submission or close enough that a few days of editing will make the difference.
Most agents these days charge 15% commission on domestic sales (North America).
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Never under any circumstances should you pay expenses or any fees up front: the agent only receives money by deducting his or her 15% commission from your eventual earnings. An agent telling new writers that she/he was charging 15% commission plus expenses — that’s a rip-off; don’t agree to it. The Association of Authors Representatives (professional organization of literary agents) also forbids the charging of “reading fees.” If an agent asks you to pay a fee for his or her “evaluation” of your manuscript, refuse!
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So, what could you encounter?
Some agencies pressure authors into various additional services and charge fees for websites, sample cover mock-ups or illustrations or social media listings.
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AgentQuery wrote on their website: Industry Red Flags:

Be wary of any literary agent that contacts you out of the blue, especially if you have not queried that specific agent and do not have a public platform or presence. Fiction writers should be particularly cautious unless the agent has a logical reason to contact you, like you’ve recently won a prestigious writing contest, or they’ve seen your blog or read your published stories, etc.

Beware of agents that offer representation for a fixed fee, offer representation only if you pay them money to edit your manuscript, or charge you up-front fees in the range of thousands of dollars to off-set the cost of submitting your manuscript to publishers. These are all warning signs—unethical behavior from an unprofessional scammer. Scammers will tempt you, especially if you are desperate and inundated with rejections. They will tell you how fabulous your manuscript is and you will want to believe them.

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WRITER BEWARE notes:
“Not all agents who charge marketing fees are dishonest. Some are simply inexperienced or inept. But scam or amateur, the bottom line for the writer is the same: a lighter wallet and no book contract.”

Remember, that many of these publishers operate under more than one name and as “in-house” referral services. This means they always find a reason to refer you to another company which they also own.
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Editors Nielsen-Hayden summed it up: “Writing may be an art or a craft (or both), but publishing is a business. It’s best to know the business before diving in.”

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More of our blog posts regarding Literary Agents:
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Visit often and get the latest alerts from WRITER BEWARE:
http://www.sfwa.org/for-authors/writer-beware/alerts/
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How Agents work and How to work with Agents
http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2011/04/12/how-agents-work-how-to-work-with-agents/
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Must-Read Blog to learn more about agents and how to approach them
http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/guide-to-literary-agents
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What Literary Agents Want to Know From You
http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2012/04/01/what-literary-agents-want-to-know-from-you/
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100′s of Links to Publishers and Agents
http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2012/10/10/100s-of-links-to-publishers-and-agents/
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Which Literary Agent is Right for You?
http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2012/03/07/which-literary-agent-is-right-for-you/
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What’s Hot in Young Adult writing:

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Are you writing Young Adult Novels?

Mandy Hubbard, is a literary agent with D4EO Literary, where she represents authors of middle grade and teen fiction, and is an author under the pen name Amanda Grace of Prada & PrejudiceYou WishBut I Love HimRipple, and several other YA novels.
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She lists what’s hot in YA at the moment:

  • Contemporary, MOST ESPECIALLY with a hook. Think: THIRTEEN REASONS WHY, anything By Ally Carter, etc. The usual “coming of age” or romance is tough, but if you can find a way to zero in on a big hook, you’re in GREAT shape.
  • Epic Fantasy – I’m seeing more success stories like Pub Crawl’s own THRONE OF GLASS
  • Horror/Thriller. Editors are looking for this like crazy.
  • Sci-Fi, particularly if it blends Sci-fi with something else – a murder mystery, a thriller, etc.
  • Crossover YA. This is hard, because you can’t write it thinking “I want to appeal to adults and YA equally!” Write a damn good YA novel and adults will love it, but it has to happen organically.

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She also mentioned topics that always work:

  • Intense romance for YAs… MANY of these do really well, but the genre in general don’t go as gangbusters as some of the flashier types
  • Verse novels– these are sort of “sleeper hits” when they do well. They still can be tough, but there are certainly success stories in this subset of YA.
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And her most important advise for writers:
Remember, with ANY book, it’s all going to come down to the writing.  A less timely book with knock-down writing will win people over, but a hook won’t sell if the writing can’t back it up.  

More, and also the topics that are not as “hot” right now in Mandy Hubbard’s blog post “The State of YA Market

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If you enjoyed this blog post, please feel free to check out all previous posts of this blog (there are almost 570 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.

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And don’t forget to spread the word on other social networking sites of your choice for other writers who might also enjoy this blog and find it useful. Thanks, Doris

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Author Brittany Geragotelis: Six-figure Publishing Deal

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Remember the blog post about Wattpad I wrote in January?  This Canadian book “forum” Wattpad has experienced explosive growth since its inception and has become the world’s most popular destination to upload and read e-books.

MacLeans Magazine now wrote about Wattpad: “Could Wattpad be the ‘killer app’ for aspiring writers? On Wattpad, anyone can write and get feedback—just ask Margaret Atwood”.

They explained that Brittany Geragotelis  was an aspiring author who had written six novels – all of them had been rejected by publishers. She worked as an editor at American Cheerleader magazine. In October of 2010, a digital venture from Toronto called Wattpad, asked her if she would promote the company in the magazine. She was a “big book nerd” and Wattpad—an interactive online forum where anyone can upload their own writing, and readers can read, comment on, and even contribute—was compelling. With nothing to lose, she wrote a novel and gave it away, one chapter at a time, for six months.

Within a week, the first chapter of “Life’s a Witch” had been read a couple of thousand times. By the time she finished writing and uploading the entire book, it had been read six million times. Half a year and 19 million reads later, Brittany Geragotelis had a new literary agent and a six-figure deal from Simon & Schuster.
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Wattpad has now 24 million visitors who spend about 2.2 billion minutes on the site each month and 6.5 million “stories”— in 24 different languages—have been uploaded. Recently bestseller author Margaret Atwood joint and published three new poems, Thriller Suite, on Wattpad.  Wattpad received more than US$17 million venture capital, some of that from Yahoo! co-founder Jerry Yang according to a MacLeans magazine article.  Have a look at this YouTube video to learn more about Wattpad in an interview with Ashleigh Gardner, who is the Head of Content at Wattpad.com the world’s largest platform for discovering, reading and sharing stories. Wattpad has 24 million users, the majority are readers, with only 10% authors. It’s not a publishing platform, more of a social network.
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Wattpad’s Numbers
Average session length is 30 mins, and 85% read via mobile devices. Serialization is a huge part of the platform, so you post chapters or new parts of the story. All the followers get push notifications to their phone when new parts are added, plus you can also email followers. Writers across their careers are writing on Wattpad. Established traditionally published authors, such as Margaret Atwood, as well as aspiring writers who are just expressing themselves. There have been book deals out of Wattpad, e.g. Beth Reekles, 17 year old who got a 3 book deal off her Wattpad success. It is a very popular site for teens 13-18, but 35% of the site is 18-30.  If you write YA, Young Adult or New Adult, you should be on Wattpad!  Romance and Sci-Fi communities are very large too. Urban fiction is a flourishing example. 

Calvin Reid from Publishers Weekly wrote: “YA Author with Huge Wattpad Fan Base Tries Self-Publishing” and “Swamped by Offers, Self-Pubbed YA Author Gets Agent and More”.

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advertise your new book, specials, your KDP Select Free Days or the new Kindle Countdown Deals.

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100’s of Links to Publishers and Agents

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Other than in Canada or the UK, where writers contact publishers directly, American writers (mostly) need an agent – if they do not prefer to self-publish.

Most of the “Big Six” American publishers don’t accept submissions from authors, which means searching for a publisher means finding an agent first. Here are some links to agent lists. However, always check the reputation of these agents first before you contact them. And read very carefully their submission rules and check if they really work in your genre.
Beware also of POD’s Publishing-On-Demand.  Rather wait and polish your manuscript ones more than to pay inflated prices for publishing, something you can do yourself.

Literary Agents

  1. Agent Query Comfortably to search with dozens of genres to choose from. Hundreds of links available.
  2. Publishers Global 239 Literary Agency Services Companies in several countries. Think foreign right sales!
  3. http://querytracker.net/literary_agents.php Over a thousand links, sort in genres.
  4. http://www.invirtuo.cc/prededitors/peala.htm Hundreds of listings, sorted by alphabet, not genre. Agents to avoid are flagged. Why do they list them in the first place?
  5. AAR Online Official membership organization for literary agents. However, not all agents are members of AAR. You can search by alphabet or type in the genre.
  6. http://www.pw.org/literary_agents  74 agents currently listed who are working with fiction and poetry.

Publishers

  1. Global Publishers One can sort by country, language, media, genre… among thousands of publishers worldwide.
  2. Duotrope.com. Search for fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Their lists include several thousand publishers and lots of literary publications for book reviews!
  3. QueryTracker Currently 167 publishers listed.
  4. Preditors & Editors. Alphabetically lists hundreds of publishers, often small press; Some of these (bigger ones) are infamous…
  5. http://agentquery.com/publishing_mp.aspx Lists websites with embedded links to publishers’ sites.
  6. Poets & Writers Hundreds of listings for smaller poetry (mostly) publishers.

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Be aware that information for agents and publishers is constantly changing. Editors move on, imprints often open and close to submissions, and even their genres of choice will change regularly.  Check their websites and submission guide lines before sending out any query letters. And now: GOOD LUCK!

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Posted by on October 10, 2012 in Agents, Marketing, Publishing

 

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