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Querying and self-publishing


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#1 TheJaded

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 12:16 AM

Hello.

 

I have a question that's probably been answered someplace, but I couldn't find it. I am starting to query agents concerning a manuscript. Also I have another manuscript that I'm considering trying self publishing through createspace and such. Would it be somehow abnormal etiquette in the writing/publishing world to do both of these simultaneously? They are both similar in genre and target audience. YA Fantasy.

 

One of the main reasons I want to self publish is that it was originally a piece of a much longer manuscript. I realized that as a whole the 800+ page monster would never publish. So I split it into three books (which are now all 300ish pages) and so the entire story is not told unless all 3 books are published and I don't know how to go about that. All three (Since they were part of one) are complete, though the first one is the most edited. There are three other books in the series besides the first three as well so in total it's a six book series. And it's very important to me that all six get published as they tell one overarching story. 

 

Anyway, thank you for your time.



#2 LucidDreamer

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 07:00 AM

If you have another book to query (other than the one that you split into 3 parts, I mean), simply query that one for now.

 

After snagging an agent, you can discuss your 3-part book with them. Agents often like to know that you have other material, and they might be able to help you hone this other book into something that they can pitch to publishers (as well as pitching your first book).

 

Do NOT self-publish anything unless you know for certain that you really, really, want to self-publish -- and NOT just because you are afraid a book can't be sold, etc.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with self-publishing, but it is very much a business and you need to study up on how to do it well, invest money in good editing, formatting, and covers, etc.  Don't do it just based on thinking a certain book might not sell to pubs. (You don't know that yet). Self-publish only if you are committed to seeing it through like any other small business requiring a great deal of time investment and not insubstantial monetary investments.  (Trust me, I have learned this the hard way).

 

I would suggest patience. Query the book you feel is the best possibility for grabbing an agent's attention and/or is the most marketable. Then wait until you get an agent to decide what to do.

 

BTW, my agent actually suggested that I self-publish a couple of things (to finish out a series we pulled from my first publisher) so that is something that can happen as well. (But later).



#3 TheJaded

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 12:52 PM

I need to add a few more questions.

 

It's not really that I don't think my manuscripts will publish. I swing between thinking they will, and they won't. I have no confidence but I really want them to succeed, so hope sometimes takes the lead. Much of it has to do with how hard it is to wait! I have been writing a long time, and only now trying to look into publishing and so I have a bunch of manuscripts I want to get going. I have roughly 80+ stories/manuscripts/ideas in various stages (none queried up to this point because of the no confidence thing). The other part that makes me want to self publish is, to me, it seems less terrifying. 

 

So, just in theory, let's say an agent accepted the book I'm querying currently, how long before I can ask them about the second book? And let's say the first book is a lighthearted YA fantasy and the second book (the one that is the first segment of the 800+ page monster) is not lighthearted, but a more serious YA fantasy, would that matter in asking the same agent? Let's say there is a third that is a dystopian YA sci fi, would I want to look into a different agent than the one for the lighthearted fantasy? 



#4 LucidDreamer

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Posted 22 June 2017 - 07:31 AM

These are all things that you can discuss in the telephone call you would have with any agent offering representation. Usually, an agent will even ask you if you have other completed manuscripts, but you can certainly tell them you do if they don't ask. Also, most agents will represent various types of books from an author, if those genres, age categories, etc. are not TOO different. In your case, you have only mentioned YA speculative fiction (scifi, fantasy, dystopian, etc.) so that really isn't so different. Now, an agent may decide to sub only certain of your books to publishers, but that would be true no matter what.

 

As for waiting... Publishing is all about waiting, I'm afraid. Even after you get an agent and/or a deal, there is a lot of waiting. So that never goes away.



#5 TheJaded

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Posted 26 June 2017 - 04:57 PM

I have another question, and then I promise to go away. :) 

 

Let's say I had to get a different phone and the number I had on my query letter won't work anymore. What do I do then?



#6 LucidDreamer

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Posted 26 June 2017 - 05:51 PM

Normally an agent will contact you first by email, then set up a phone call. They don't typically just call you out of the blue. So change it on future queries, but don't worry too much about the ones you've sent out.



#7 TheJaded

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Posted 26 June 2017 - 10:50 PM

Ok. Thank you. I was worrying, but now I can relax! :)






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