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Q: How to get a first novel published ( Answered,   2 Comments )
Subject: How to get a first novel published
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: lancasterad-ga
List Price: $25.00
Posted: 08 Jun 2005 13:14 PDT
Expires: 08 Jul 2005 13:14 PDT
Question ID: 531032
I have written a good novel which was a top 20 pick in a field of over
300 books in a recent contest. I have even been rejected by two
publishers. However, progress is slow and I wonder if there is a
quicker, better way to get my book noticed.  I need a publisher but
few accept unsolicited manuscripts. What is the best way to get a book
published these days (please note: I do not one to self publish).
Subject: Re: How to get a first novel published
Answered By: hummer-ga on 09 Jun 2005 07:44 PDT
Hi lancasterad,

"What is the best way to get a book published these days"

"Find a good agent."

Following are some websites with good sound advice for finding a
literary agent to help you get your book published. I've copied and
pasted relevant sections but please click on the links to read full
details and find more links.

ABCs of Publishing: About Agents 
"While there's no Golden Rule to "Being Published"; it appears the
only way to get your foot in the door is to have a respected literary
agent hold it open. (I can't count the number of times my toes, and my
ego, have been smashed.) Most of the large NY publishing houses don't
accept unagented queries, and those that do will assign assistant
editors to muck through the slush pile. A good literary agent has
spent years in the publishing business, building relationships with
editors, studying the market, knowing what editors are looking for and
which publishers specialize in specific markets or genres. They will
be your guide and your advocate to the publishing world."...
"Do you still wonder whether or not you need an agent? I guess the
question to you would be: "Do you want to be a writer, or do you want
to be an agent?" Lisle offers the final bit of advice on the subject:
'Good agents do much more than find homes for manuscripts. If he (or
she) did nothing more for you than remove bad clauses from contracts,
the agent would be worth his ten or fifteen percent.'"


Hunting for a Literary Agent: Which to Keep and Which to Shoot
   1. What is an agent and why do I need one?
"An agent is a writer's business representative. His job is to market
your book, negotiate a deal with the publisher, keep track of rights
sold, and generally handle the business end of things so that the
author can concentrate on writing...."
            - A good agent knows what editors are looking for.
            - Many publishers don't accept unagented submissions.
   2. When do I need an agent?
   3. How are agents paid?
   4. Where to I find information about agents?
   5. How do I choose an agent?
   6. How do I contact an agent?
   7. How do I create an outline and sample chapters?
   8. What happens if I don't get an agent?

The Safest Way to Search for an Agent
     1. Begin with a couple of good market guides.
     2. Use the information in the guides to make a list of agents who
are appropriate for your work.
     3. Expand your list by picking books you think resemble yours,
and finding out who agents them.
     4. Obtain the membership roster of the Association of Authors'
Representatives (US) or the Association of Authors' Agents (UK).
     5. Place a question mark beside any agent who isn't a member.
     6. For agents with a question mark, do any or all of the following:
        * E-mail me... I'll go through Writer Beware's complaint
archives, and let you know what I find.
        * Check the agent listings at Preditors & Editors....
        * For US writers: use Agent Research & Evaluation's free agent
verification service...
     7. Some additional recommendations:
        * Don't use the Internet as your primary source of information...
        * Learn the warning signs of a questionable agent...
        * Read trade publications. Knowledge is your best defense..

11 Ways to Find the Agent or Publisher You Need
     1. Your Networks
     2. The Association of Authors' Representatives (AAR)
     3. Writer's Organizations
     4. The World Wide Web
     5. Directories
     6. A newsletter
     7. Literary events
     8. Magazines
     9. Publishers' catalogs
   10. Books
   11. The media you get

Common Questions Writers Ask Me About Literary Agents by Jeff Herman:
Q: Is it more difficult to get an agent than it is to get a publisher?
  A: I believe it's substantially easier to get an agent than it is to
get a publisher...
Q: Is there anything I can do to improve my odds of getting an agent?
  A: Yes...
Q:  Should I query only one agent at a time?
  A: Some of my colleagues disagree with me here, but I recommend
querying five to ten agents simultaneously, unless you already have
your foot in the door with one...
Q: How do I know if my agent is working for me? When might it be time
to change agents?
  A: As I explained earlier, agents don't necessarily sell everything
they represent, no matter how persistent and assertive they may be...

Targeting Agents by Ethan Ellenberg


The Association of Authors' Representatives
"Welcome to the online home of the Association of Authors'
Representatives, Inc. (AAR), a not-for-profit organization of
independent literary and dramatic agents."


SoYouWanna write a query letter to a literary agent?

Hunting for an Agent (with Sample Synopsis)


"Never, under any circumstances whatsoever, pay money to an agent."

Literary Agents: Writer Beware

Twenty Tips from Jim Fisher: Beware of agents who...


1) Jeff Herman's Guide to Book Publishers, Editors and Literary Agents 2005

2) Writers' and Artists' Yearbook 2005

3) The Writer?s Handbook 2004. Barry Turner (Editor)

4) Literary Agents: What They Do, How They Do It, How to Find Work
with the Right One for You by Michael Larsen

5) Lmp 2005: The Directory of the American Book Publishing Industry
With Industry Yellow Pages

6) 2005 Writers Market by Kathryn S. Brogan (Editor), Robert Lee Brewer (Editor)

7) 2005 Guide to Literary Agents by Kathryn S. Brogan (Editor)

8) 2005 Novel & Short Story Writer's Market by Anne Bowling (Editor),
Michael Schweer (Editor)

9) 2006 Novel & Short Story Writers Market by Lauren Mosko

10) Shortest Distance Between You and a Published Book by Susan Page

Additional Links of Interest:

Writin A Query Letter About Your Novel

Book Marketing and Promotion 

Publisher's Weekly

Publishers Marketplace

I hope I've been able to get you off to a good start. If you have any
questions, please post a clarification request *before* closing/rating
my answer and I'll be happy to reply.

Thank you,

Google Search Terms Used: literary agents
Subject: Re: How to get a first novel published
From: pinkfreud-ga on 08 Jun 2005 17:05 PDT
Do keep in mind that multiple rejections are the norm for new writers.
Isaac Asimov had an entire wall in his apartment that was papered with
hundreds and hundreds of rejection notices.
Subject: Re: How to get a first novel published
From: lavae-ga on 20 Jun 2005 10:39 PDT
I would recommend (

You can post your book online for reviews. Every chapter will receive
reviews. I find that it is a very useful way to improve your book
prior to submitting to to a publisher.

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