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First Novel Finished!!! (And Some Questions Too...)

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posted on Dec, 18 2006 @ 07:39 AM
I normally hate posting anything that might come off like bragging, but I have to post this. Of course, I now have several questions too, so I guess it's not just some kind of self-promotion/arrogance. Anyways...

Finally, after pretending I'm a writer for ~6 months, I was able to take the time to flesh out a storyline that had been in the back of my mind since June. 41 chapters, 153 pages (single spaced MS Word 12pt), and it's done. Well, the first couple of drafts are--I'm having some family review it for any further changes, but the bulk of the work is finished. Now though...

I have absolutely no clue what to do next. I have my copy of Novel & Short Story Writers' Market 2007, and all I can do is stare at it like an idiot. I've submitted email queries to several agents (all 22 that take email queries, according to said book) and the results have been underwhelming. Of course, I'll never admit that the typing of the words "The End" would be followed by a phone call offering me an advance to rival Bill Gate's monthly interest...

But, as I said, I'm at a complete lost as to where I go from here; I don't even know where to get a review of any kind. I don't know if I should even bother with trying to get an agent and a good deal (key word is "try"; I seriously have little misconceptions about succeeding with that), or if I should just not waste my time on that and try for a small publishing company that's willing to take a risk on an unknown just so I can get my name out there. I know there's the vanity presses, but even without Justin's problems I'd heard plenty enough to keep me away from those (and his thread served to wipe away any lingering thoughts I may have had towards that...)

Or, being the aspiring computer nerd I once was, I feel I also have the option of trying to self-publish an eBook and distribute it myself. I know it'd be a ton of leg work and probably not worth the overall effort, but at the same time it might be a bit easier to get started. The only other problem I have with that is ego--getting published by a reputable market would be more difficult, but it would also show that someone else likes it so much they're going to invest their time and money in it. Self publishing would feel like a cop out, for the first book at least, basically like admitting I'm not quite up to specs for the "real world."

There's also the issue of genre, which seems to be quite important in the industry. Classifying my work--even back when I was trying to do music, something I always considered myself more knowledgeable in, if not better--has never been easy for me. All I know for sure is that it isn't sci-fi, horror, mystery, or erotica. The closest I've come to it is "Literary/Single Title Romance," but it has a plot (something I've heard eliminates it from the literary genre), and while it is a love story, it's also focused on the main character's issues in dealing with his brother's death and his own past.

So, might anyone have any advice in this regards? The whole "where to go" issue? I'd really appreciate suggestions. I also do have a few sample chapters up that I posted in hopes that it would be a fair compromise for a lot of the agents I queried (most of whom won't accept email attachments; including a link to it seemed like it wasn't a terrible idea at the time...) The story does have quite a bit of profanity in it, so I won't post it or a link directly here; however, I'll gladly give it out to anyone via U2U. It's only the first four chapters, I think a total of roughly 9K words and maybe 12 pages via MS Word and standard formatting.

I really look forward to and appreciate any comments or suggestions anyone here may have.

[edit on 12/18/2006 by MCory1]

posted on Dec, 18 2006 @ 09:10 AM
Sadly I cannot offer any advice as I am in the same boat as you. Whatever adivce you recieve I will be listening to as well. If you would please u2u me the sample of your novel. I would like to read it. Thanks.

posted on Dec, 18 2006 @ 10:12 AM
Sent--let me know if you have any problems with it or anything.

I just realized--it would be a bit more fair of me to offer to review others' work as well, I guess
Since we already have a forum for short stories though (on ATS), it might be more appropriate to keep those there, but whatever...

posted on Feb, 19 2007 @ 04:14 PM
if you want to get your book published, you will need a literary agent to get the book read. You can start calling them and asking them if they are taking on clients. You can also do what some have done with great luck and pick your favorite author, pick one who writes in the same genre and send him a copy. They might pass it on to their agent or to their publisher.

No matter what you do, always make sure your story is protected before letting anyone read it. You can do this by sending yourself a certified copy that is postmarked by the p.o. you don't open the envelope. just hold it. it establishes that you had the finished product in your hands at that date. you can probably get it protected thru a writer's guild but I wouldn't know where you can go for that.

I went thru 4 rounds of negotiations with a major publishing house over an instructional book that some friends and I were trying to put together and we ended up splitting up the group over differing opinions but our agent was a good friend of ours who works at william morris.

finding a literary agent is probably your best bet. cold call the big agencies and they might put you in touch with a young, fresh out of the mailroom agent who needs clients. they don't charge if they don't make you money so you have nothing to lose.

posted on Aug, 12 2007 @ 12:40 PM
It's been a while since I've posted on any of the ATS sites, but I figured I'd go ahead and post a follow up here.

I've stopped trying to get this book published -- personal reasons, mainly. However, I'm distributing it in PDF form for free from my blog, and you can download it from here. What I said earlier about profanity still stands, so if linking to it is an issue I'll gladly edit this post and simply send URLs via U2U to anyone who wants it.

There's also PDF's of my short stories there if you look around a little bit. Two of them I'd posted here for the Halloween contest last year; the other three I think would be new to the ATS crowd.

Any questions or comments are appreciated, either here, via U2U, or direct email/comment on the blog.

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