Published Authors

A place for budding and experienced authors to share ideas about publishing and marketing books
 
HomeHome  GalleryGallery  FAQFAQ  RegisterRegister  Log in  Featured MembersFeatured Members  ArticlesArticles  

Share
 

 Querying lots of agents

Go down 
Go to page : Previous  1, 2, 3  Next
AuthorMessage
Al Stevens
Five Star Member
Five Star Member
Al Stevens

Number of posts : 1727
Registration date : 2010-05-11
Location : Florida

Querying lots of agents - Page 2 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Querying lots of agents   Querying lots of agents - Page 2 EmptyFri Feb 11, 2011 4:47 pm

Shelagh wrote:

I put together an anthology by writers from all over the world. Forty-seven contributors were chosen for Forever Friends. The submissions may have looked okay on the senders' computers but they were all over the place by the time they arrived on my computer. Different spacings, tabs, indents, formatting, font types and sizes.
Uh, doesn't that kind of suggest where the problem might be?

I've been dealing with electronic manuscripts as writer and editor for over 25 years. With submissions from all over the world. Believe me, Shelagh, the experience you describe is not typical.
Back to top Go down
http://alstevens.blogspot.com
RetiredName
Four Star Member
Four Star Member


Number of posts : 859
Registration date : 2008-12-29
Age : 50
Location : The Hub of the Universe

Querying lots of agents - Page 2 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Querying lots of agents   Querying lots of agents - Page 2 EmptyFri Feb 11, 2011 5:01 pm

Many epubs says if the formatting comes through wrong, it'll be rejected.
Back to top Go down
Al Stevens
Five Star Member
Five Star Member
Al Stevens

Number of posts : 1727
Registration date : 2010-05-11
Location : Florida

Querying lots of agents - Page 2 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Querying lots of agents   Querying lots of agents - Page 2 EmptyFri Feb 11, 2011 5:37 pm

zizban wrote:
Many epubs says if the formatting comes through wrong, it'll be rejected.
They say that about queries and proposals, and I understand, given the number of submissions they have to process. (See my earlier rant on that topic.)

But once the publishing deal is in place, the contract signed, and the advance paid (showing my age), a production editor must be prepared to flow the submitted text from whatever word processor the author uses into whatever layout program the publisher uses. There are usually conversion programs that understand all the formats and ease the flow.

If an author submits a mansucript with the kinds of formatting problems Shelagh describes (that ** thing), the editor is within her rights to reject it and insist on a more conventional format. Shelagh is just too nice, is all. But things like fonts, spacing, margins, and all that are common variables, and a production editor knows how to normalize the text before plugging it into the system.

There are paramter-driven filter programs that do just that. Unix text processing was based on that concept. Programs such as tex, awk, grep, find, and that ilk were staples in the editor's toolbox. Regular expression parsers. Ah, those were the days. These kids nowadays. What do they know? tongue

I'm familiar with Quark, which was the industry standard for years, but Indesign is the hot new one or so they tell me.

It would be unreasonable to expect every author to have those expensive programs just to save layout time for the publisher. Much less, expect them to be able to use them. I don't know about inDesign, but QuarkXPress has a steep learning curve.

For my last couple of books, the publisher provided a Word template into which I had to flow my manuscript, which essentially shifts to the author some of the work previously done by the publisher. Even so, there was always a lot of layup work for the publisher to do before the thing was ready to go to the typesetter.
Back to top Go down
http://alstevens.blogspot.com
dkchristi
Five Star Member
Five Star Member
dkchristi

Number of posts : 8594
Registration date : 2008-12-29
Location : Florida

Querying lots of agents - Page 2 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Querying lots of agents   Querying lots of agents - Page 2 EmptyFri Feb 11, 2011 5:40 pm

My experience with editors and publishers is that they require the submission in a particular format. I know E. Don Harpe put together 19 stories from everywhere for our anthology, the World Outside The Window. He didn't mention his trials and tribulations in putting that together. I know it had lots of author errors because I did a review and found so many errors in some stories it was like rewriting them.

I know my publisher fixed quite a few tense issues and a "sex change on a horse" in one short story submittal of mine.
Back to top Go down
http://www.dkchristi.webs.com
Al Stevens
Five Star Member
Five Star Member
Al Stevens

Number of posts : 1727
Registration date : 2010-05-11
Location : Florida

Querying lots of agents - Page 2 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Querying lots of agents   Querying lots of agents - Page 2 EmptyFri Feb 11, 2011 6:00 pm

dkchristi wrote:
I know my publisher fixed quite a few tense issues and a "sex change on a horse" in one short story submittal of mine.

Doing a sex change on a horse would definitely be a tense issue.
Back to top Go down
http://alstevens.blogspot.com
LC
Five Star Member
Five Star Member
LC

Number of posts : 5044
Registration date : 2009-03-28

Querying lots of agents - Page 2 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Querying lots of agents   Querying lots of agents - Page 2 EmptyFri Feb 11, 2011 6:13 pm

My understanding is that the production department deletes all formatting upon acceptance of the manuscript; I remember there was even an option for that in Word 2002 (which I can't find in Word 2007). Then the production department applies its own formats. I was never asked to do anything besides double-space my manuscript. I didn't indent or apply any other formatting. Ok, I italicized some words.
Back to top Go down
dkchristi
Five Star Member
Five Star Member
dkchristi

Number of posts : 8594
Registration date : 2008-12-29
Location : Florida

Querying lots of agents - Page 2 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Querying lots of agents   Querying lots of agents - Page 2 EmptyFri Feb 11, 2011 6:39 pm

I was asked to submit my novel manuscript as an MS Word doc., period. No other formatting requirements were made.

Some short story contests, however, asked for double space.

One submission asked for single space after sentence periods.

There have been some little quirky things along the way, none significant.
Back to top Go down
http://www.dkchristi.webs.com
Al Stevens
Five Star Member
Five Star Member
Al Stevens

Number of posts : 1727
Registration date : 2010-05-11
Location : Florida

Querying lots of agents - Page 2 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Querying lots of agents   Querying lots of agents - Page 2 EmptyFri Feb 11, 2011 7:03 pm

dkchristi wrote:
I was asked to submit my novel manuscript as an MS Word doc., period. No other formatting requirements were made.
L&L is unique. They actually want Word documents as attachments, whereas others won't even look at a submission that includes attachments. One of the L ladies told me it was so they could quickly put things into various e-reader formats. They review submissions on e-readers. Forward thinking, I calls it.
Back to top Go down
http://alstevens.blogspot.com
Al Stevens
Five Star Member
Five Star Member
Al Stevens

Number of posts : 1727
Registration date : 2010-05-11
Location : Florida

Querying lots of agents - Page 2 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Querying lots of agents   Querying lots of agents - Page 2 EmptyFri Feb 11, 2011 7:04 pm

LC wrote:
My understanding is that the production department deletes all formatting upon acceptance of the manuscript; I remember there was even an option for that in Word 2002 (which I can't find in Word 2007). Then the production department applies its own formats. I was never asked to do anything besides double-space my manuscript. I didn't indent or apply any other formatting. Ok, I italicized some words.
That's how it's supposed to work. Traditional publishing at its traditional best.
Back to top Go down
http://alstevens.blogspot.com
Shelagh
Admin
Admin
Shelagh

Number of posts : 12600
Registration date : 2008-01-11
Location : UK

Querying lots of agents - Page 2 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Querying lots of agents   Querying lots of agents - Page 2 EmptySat Feb 12, 2011 3:17 am

Once the selection process has taken place, it's the editor's job to reformat the manuscript. However, agents and publishers receive hundreds of submissions per week. If they were sent electronically, many attachments would not open unless saved on the receiving computer. Many would not open full stop. Many would go straight to the spam folder. Agents and publishers give detailed guidelines but submitters do not follow them.

In 2005, I befriended a self-published author, Jeff Rivera, on a teenage website (we were both plugging our books!). We stayed in contact and I wrote an article about his success in finding an agent who sold his book to Warner Books. Jeff now runs a business helping authors find agents. Today, I received an email with information about a new private social media community for book publishing professionals and some new "can't be missed" articles on landing an agent. Check out the articles here:

http://www.howtowriteaqueryletter.com


_________________
Querying lots of agents - Page 2 41ZdcL0lV7L._SL125_ Querying lots of agents - Page 2 41C9GeFDNWL._SL125_ Querying lots of agents - Page 2 41%2BmGkZJdOL._SL125_ Querying lots of agents - Page 2 51eDGllZXhL._SL125_ Querying lots of agents - Page 2 41y7VHKoszL._SL125_ Querying lots of agents - Page 2 51Zs4N4T4eL._SL125_
Amazon Author Central: Shelagh Watkins
I shall never be old. It doesn't suit me -- ©️Shelagh Watkins 2017
Back to top Go down
http://shelaghwatkins.co.uk
Al Stevens
Five Star Member
Five Star Member
Al Stevens

Number of posts : 1727
Registration date : 2010-05-11
Location : Florida

Querying lots of agents - Page 2 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Querying lots of agents   Querying lots of agents - Page 2 EmptySat Feb 12, 2011 7:58 am

It isn't just that they might get incompatible file formats and document formats. A Word document is a Word document, and changing its format to what you want with this kind of text is no big deal. Normalize it to one style then click the few styles you use. But, you are right, they shouldn't be asked to do that for queries.

Their big concern about attachments is (or ought to be) embedded malware. There are holes in Word's macro facility that allow vandals to insert code that does bad things, and the sender might not even know about the infection.

Even though Microsoft plugs the holes when they find them, lots of older versions of Word are still in use.
Back to top Go down
http://alstevens.blogspot.com
Al Stevens
Five Star Member
Five Star Member
Al Stevens

Number of posts : 1727
Registration date : 2010-05-11
Location : Florida

Querying lots of agents - Page 2 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Querying lots of agents   Querying lots of agents - Page 2 EmptySat Feb 12, 2011 8:01 am

Shelagh wrote:
In 2005, I befriended a self-published author, Jeff Rivera, on a teenage website...
Are you saying you were a teenager in 2005? I can believe it, but it makes me feel old. That's the year I went on medicare. No
Back to top Go down
http://alstevens.blogspot.com
Shelagh
Admin
Admin
Shelagh

Number of posts : 12600
Registration date : 2008-01-11
Location : UK

Querying lots of agents - Page 2 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Querying lots of agents   Querying lots of agents - Page 2 EmptySat Feb 12, 2011 8:32 am

No, unfortunately, I was not a teenager. I was treated to the honest feedback you only receive from thirteen and fourteen-year-olds. They told me that they would not buy my book. They enjoyed reading the free chapters I provided, but they were very rude to me for invading their territory to plug my book!

_________________
Querying lots of agents - Page 2 41ZdcL0lV7L._SL125_ Querying lots of agents - Page 2 41C9GeFDNWL._SL125_ Querying lots of agents - Page 2 41%2BmGkZJdOL._SL125_ Querying lots of agents - Page 2 51eDGllZXhL._SL125_ Querying lots of agents - Page 2 41y7VHKoszL._SL125_ Querying lots of agents - Page 2 51Zs4N4T4eL._SL125_
Amazon Author Central: Shelagh Watkins
I shall never be old. It doesn't suit me -- ©️Shelagh Watkins 2017
Back to top Go down
http://shelaghwatkins.co.uk
Al Stevens
Five Star Member
Five Star Member
Al Stevens

Number of posts : 1727
Registration date : 2010-05-11
Location : Florida

Querying lots of agents - Page 2 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Querying lots of agents   Querying lots of agents - Page 2 EmptySat Feb 12, 2011 10:41 am

That age group is a tough crowd. It's all about peer approval. They look to their leaders to see which way to lean. Win over the hippest dude or doll, and you've got the crowd. Not always possible.
Back to top Go down
http://alstevens.blogspot.com
LC
Five Star Member
Five Star Member
LC

Number of posts : 5044
Registration date : 2009-03-28

Querying lots of agents - Page 2 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Querying lots of agents   Querying lots of agents - Page 2 EmptySun May 08, 2011 9:51 pm

I spent this whole weekend -10 hours both Sat and Sun - hammering out a query letter, outline, preface and partial chapter (very partial). Then I went to agentquery and looked around for the first time. There sure are a lot of choices. Many seem to want hardcopy queries, not email. That's fine with me. I just mailed two queries out: one directly to a publisher, one directly to an agent. That will do for now. I have more work to do on the textbook tomorrow, so I wanted this done and out tonight. All work on the text has to be finished this week for it to be in stock by the end of June.

If I don't get a response I'll try a few others, then quit. This was an off-the-cuff nonfic idea and I don't care if it flies. If it does, it will be my summer project. I'm done with classes in two weeks and have three months of free time. No book under contract for the first time in five summers.

About the submission guidelines. I didn't notice any saying they'd throw it out if something were misspelled. I did notice them detailing out what I thought were reasonable requests -e.g., why am I the best person to write the book, why are you querying this this agency, who is your audience, etc. Nothing I haven't had to do with my other books.
Back to top Go down
Shelagh
Admin
Admin
Shelagh

Number of posts : 12600
Registration date : 2008-01-11
Location : UK

Querying lots of agents - Page 2 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Querying lots of agents   Querying lots of agents - Page 2 EmptyMon May 09, 2011 12:54 am

Are you going to query your fiction stuff?

_________________
Querying lots of agents - Page 2 41ZdcL0lV7L._SL125_ Querying lots of agents - Page 2 41C9GeFDNWL._SL125_ Querying lots of agents - Page 2 41%2BmGkZJdOL._SL125_ Querying lots of agents - Page 2 51eDGllZXhL._SL125_ Querying lots of agents - Page 2 41y7VHKoszL._SL125_ Querying lots of agents - Page 2 51Zs4N4T4eL._SL125_
Amazon Author Central: Shelagh Watkins
I shall never be old. It doesn't suit me -- ©️Shelagh Watkins 2017
Back to top Go down
http://shelaghwatkins.co.uk
LC
Five Star Member
Five Star Member
LC

Number of posts : 5044
Registration date : 2009-03-28

Querying lots of agents - Page 2 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Querying lots of agents   Querying lots of agents - Page 2 EmptyMon May 09, 2011 7:55 am

What fiction stuff? lol. If I ever get any fiction stuff worth querying, yes, I'll send it out, too. I'll work on fiction all summer if the nonfic query goes nowhere. The nonfic is a weird idea, so I'll defer to the agents and publishers if it's marketable or not.

I love my summers off!
Back to top Go down
sirx16

sirx16

Number of posts : 15
Registration date : 2011-05-30
Age : 37
Location : Shreveport, La

Querying lots of agents - Page 2 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Querying lots of agents   Querying lots of agents - Page 2 EmptyMon May 30, 2011 7:22 pm

I just sent out 8 queries. Hoping for positive feedback! - On the subject of AW's forum. Honestly I found them to be a bunch of Naysayers! They didnt have anything positive to say to me at all. Admittedly, I made some mistakes but there was not one positive thing they had to say about me, my website, or my book! I think one person may have said something to the effect of " your covers cool but covers don't sell books!" My fiancee is an 4.0 grad student in the English department at University Lafayette Louisiana and it was she who told me to stop talking to them. I was beating myself up and second guessing myself because of what they were saying and I think it may be the best advice I have ever gotten. My book is finally out and I've gotten nothing but positive feedback so far! Still, I'm the new kid!
Back to top Go down
http://www.sinexia.net
LC
Five Star Member
Five Star Member
LC

Number of posts : 5044
Registration date : 2009-03-28

Querying lots of agents - Page 2 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Querying lots of agents   Querying lots of agents - Page 2 EmptyMon May 30, 2011 7:40 pm

What did you send out queries for? It appears that you now published your book.
Back to top Go down
sirx16

sirx16

Number of posts : 15
Registration date : 2011-05-30
Age : 37
Location : Shreveport, La

Querying lots of agents - Page 2 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Querying lots of agents   Querying lots of agents - Page 2 EmptyMon May 30, 2011 7:50 pm

Yes, but I'm looking for an agent to represent me for the duration of the series I'm writing.
Back to top Go down
http://www.sinexia.net
LC
Five Star Member
Five Star Member
LC

Number of posts : 5044
Registration date : 2009-03-28

Querying lots of agents - Page 2 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Querying lots of agents   Querying lots of agents - Page 2 EmptyMon May 30, 2011 8:01 pm

I presently only write nonfiction, and the process for finding an agent is different. My understanding is that for fiction you need a complete manuscript. There are a lot of agent blogs out there, are you currently reading any?
Back to top Go down
sirx16

sirx16

Number of posts : 15
Registration date : 2011-05-30
Age : 37
Location : Shreveport, La

Querying lots of agents - Page 2 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Querying lots of agents   Querying lots of agents - Page 2 EmptyMon May 30, 2011 8:08 pm

Yes, I've been taking their advice.
Back to top Go down
http://www.sinexia.net
LC
Five Star Member
Five Star Member
LC

Number of posts : 5044
Registration date : 2009-03-28

Querying lots of agents - Page 2 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Querying lots of agents   Querying lots of agents - Page 2 EmptyMon May 30, 2011 8:33 pm

How so? Is the next book in your series finished?
Back to top Go down
Al Stevens
Five Star Member
Five Star Member
Al Stevens

Number of posts : 1727
Registration date : 2010-05-11
Location : Florida

Querying lots of agents - Page 2 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Querying lots of agents   Querying lots of agents - Page 2 EmptyMon May 30, 2011 8:49 pm

sirx16 wrote:
On the subject of AW's forum. Honestly I found them to be a bunch of Naysayers! They didnt have anything positive to say to me at all. Admittedly, I made some mistakes but there was not one positive thing they had to say about me, my website, or my book!
I just had quite the opposite experience over there. They were complimentary about my 1st chapter and gave helpful criticisms.

Perhaps you ran into a different bunch. I have noticed that they can chill over if you disagree with a criticism.
Back to top Go down
http://alstevens.blogspot.com
LC
Five Star Member
Five Star Member
LC

Number of posts : 5044
Registration date : 2009-03-28

Querying lots of agents - Page 2 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Querying lots of agents   Querying lots of agents - Page 2 EmptyMon May 30, 2011 9:00 pm

Quote :
I have noticed that they can chill over if you disagree with a criticism.

I don't understand the point of disagreeing (which is basically being argumentative) with a criticism. A criticism is an opinion. You aren't going to argue it away, and if you have to explain/defend it, then it's still problematic.
Back to top Go down
Sponsored content




Querying lots of agents - Page 2 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Querying lots of agents   Querying lots of agents - Page 2 Empty

Back to top Go down
 
Querying lots of agents
Back to top 
Page 2 of 3Go to page : Previous  1, 2, 3  Next

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
Published Authors :: Authors and Books :: Agents-
Jump to: