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Novel Complete - Now What?


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#1 RG Christmas

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 02:10 PM

Hello All,

 

First, I would like to say thanks for letting me into this fantastic group.  When I came across this site the other day, I was impressed with what I had found.  Apparently, my internet searches were not as thorough as they needed to be two years ago when I started my writing adventure, or I would have found this site sooner. 

 

I retired from the real working world about two and a half years ago and discovered I had all kinds of time.  Free time was something I was not accustomed too back then.  I had always wanted to write a novel and figured what better time than now.  Fast forward two years and a ninety-seven thousand word novel, and suddenly, I realize I am in a new real working world.  Quite possibly harder than the one I spent the last thirty years navigating.

 

This adventure started out as a bucket list item.  I have now fulfilled that, but I have enjoyed the creative side so much I just may write another.  But first, what do I do with this one.  I have read Self-Publish - You keep most of the royalties.  Get an agent, but it may take two years before my book hits the shelves - assuming an agent or publisher would even take me on.  What about editors, what should one of the thousands that are out there, do for me..  What about book design, cover design. 

 

Oh my goodness, what have I done.

 

This is my goal - Get it into book stores and sell thousands of copies - Aim high right.

 

Any thoughts or guidance in the right direction would be much appreciated.

 

Quick summary of the book:

Benjamin Franklin accidentally travels forward with two 16 year old fraternal twin brothers and he discovers what electricity has done for society. But his five letters, describing his electrical experiments that lead to him flying the kite and his notoriety have been stolen and history must be corrected.



#2 Thrash

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Posted 17 June 2017 - 07:37 PM

Hello and congrats on your first novel!  You're in the right place, and you have a lot of factors to consider in terms of decisions of whether to self-publish versus and agent. I'll just share, personally, why I'm holding out for an agent: I want a writing career.  To make that happen, I want someone who will be essentially my business manager and industry expert while I focus on the creative side. 



#3 MEVasquez215

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Posted 22 June 2017 - 11:18 PM

I'm also new to this group! I'm excited to have a space to discuss what the next steps are. I finished the revisions of my fiction novel and am now trying to figure out what to do next. The research I've been doing suggests that its best to send out a query letter to agents... and then from there send a proposal if requested.... any suggestions? Is this the best way..... and if so where can one go to research/ meet potential agents?



#4 mwsinclair

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Posted 23 June 2017 - 01:31 PM

"fiction novel" ohhhh, please don't use that in your queries. A novel is fiction. Period. "Fiction novel" is redundant and, from all reports, irks agents to no end.

 

Obviously, if you write a novel that needs more genre-specific description, like YA novel or historical fiction, that's totally appropriate, but please nip "fiction novel" in the bud early.

 

With regard to querying and sending proposals, etc., you've come to the right place. My recommendation is to read through the forums and threads about queries and proposals -- and participate, especially in the queries. A lot of newcomers can be timid because they feel they don't know enough yet, and I understand that sentiment since I had it too. But you're actually a great person to react, because you'll be able to say with an unjaded view whether something works or not at the outset.

 

To research agents, dive into the database at agentquery.com. It's one of the most valuable resources on the industry out there because it has great information and costs nothing but your time and diligence. I'd recommend that when you find agents you think would be appropriate for your manuscript, also check their websites to see if they still are looking for your genre, because sometimes that changes.

 

On the whole, welcome!



#5 RG Christmas

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Posted 26 June 2017 - 02:02 PM

"fiction novel" ohhhh, please don't use that in your queries. A novel is fiction. Period. "Fiction novel" is redundant and, from all reports, irks agents to no end.

 

Obviously, if you write a novel that needs more genre-specific description, like YA novel or historical fiction, that's totally appropriate, but please nip "fiction novel" in the bud early.

 

With regard to querying and sending proposals, etc., you've come to the right place. My recommendation is to read through the forums and threads about queries and proposals -- and participate, especially in the queries. A lot of newcomers can be timid because they feel they don't know enough yet, and I understand that sentiment since I had it too. But you're actually a great person to react, because you'll be able to say with an unjaded view whether something works or not at the outset.

 

To research agents, dive into the database at agentquery.com. It's one of the most valuable resources on the industry out there because it has great information and costs nothing but your time and diligence. I'd recommend that when you find agents you think would be appropriate for your manuscript, also check their websites to see if they still are looking for your genre, because sometimes that changes.

 

On the whole, welcome!

Thanks for the advice from all.  As I indicated I am new to the writing world.  I have completed this lengthy novel and have indulged a lot of time with its editing - 6 complete drafts.  The first few drafts were ensuring the story arc is complete and makes sense.  I believe the characters work very well for the story and I have corrected most of the grammatical errors.  The story flows well and a few beta readers have indicated the writing is good and makes sense.  They have also commented on one section of the book, which is the foundation of the book, but is a bit experimenty - Benjamin Franklin Electrical experiments, but they are necessary to the story.

 

My question:  Should I go to an editor and have them review or maybe copyedit before I send to Agents, or move forward with queries and let the agents determine the editing process.  I don't want, to piss off any agents, but I don't want to throw away unnecessary money either.  Experienced advice is preferred.

 

Thanks Again for any help.



#6 mwsinclair

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Posted 27 June 2017 - 06:47 AM

You could send it out to agents if you feel confident in what you have already written and self-edited. I'm glad to see you already ran it past some beta readers.

 

You say you have corrected "most" of the grammatical errors. I suspect you're adding an unnecessary qualifier here: if you know there are errors, fix them. If you have just a couple questions, perhaps you can even share them in an area here on AQC -- the writing forum strikes me as the place to try that, though I don't honestly know for sure if we have a thread for that.

 

I'm not one who advocates spending money unnecessarily. Editing is absolutely necessary, but I've not read your work or know how well your beta readers have advised you; you may have a well written manuscript already.

 

Regardless, I recommend polishing up your query, which is a challenge in its own right.



#7 Niambi

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Posted 27 June 2017 - 12:08 PM

I always say do both if you can. Work on your query, and while that's happening send your work off to a professional/semi-professional editor. Spend some coin on at least an experienced English teacher/professor you or someone knows. The last thing you want is to have your work turned down because of something your Beta didn't catch, or wasn't aware of.

#8 RG Christmas

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Posted 27 June 2017 - 02:07 PM

You could send it out to agents if you feel confident in what you have already written and self-edited. I'm glad to see you already ran it past some beta readers.

 

You say you have corrected "most" of the grammatical errors. I suspect you're adding an unnecessary qualifier here: if you know there are errors, fix them. If you have just a couple questions, perhaps you can even share them in an area here on AQC -- the writing forum strikes me as the place to try that, though I don't honestly know for sure if we have a thread for that.

 

I'm not one who advocates spending money unnecessarily. Editing is absolutely necessary, but I've not read your work or know how well your beta readers have advised you; you may have a well written manuscript already.

 

Regardless, I recommend polishing up your query, which is a challenge in its own right.

 

The Grammatical errors is just a qualifier.  I can't say I am 100%, because it would not surprise me if someone found an apostrophe missing or in the wrong place or something minor like that.  But I really think it is very close. I may send it to an editor for proof reading and some thoughts.  I will work on the Query.  Sounds like the next challenge to this grand adventure.  Thanks for answering my questions. 






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