Ellen Thorp


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The Best Way To Sell Your Novel With No Literary Agent

By Reviewer | December 17, 2010

In spite of what you hear about publishers accepting submissions only from agents, and about what an agent can do for a writer, there are nonetheless many situations during which you don’t essentially want an agent. This is excellent news at a time when it appears fewer agents than ever are open to new talent.

Small or Specialised Publishers

The smaller publishers-and at the moment there are greater than ever, most of them outside New York City-are often perfectly joyful to simply accept submissions straight from writers. In fact, I have discovered that a lot of them are intimidated by literary brokers, and like to work instantly with writers.

You’ll find the names and addresses of smaller publishers, from regional presses to college presses, in Literary Market Place (LMP). This costly volume might be present in virtually any library’s reference department. It includes a itemizing of publishers by topic matter. For those who consider that your novel has a niche audience that makes it right for considered one of these publishers, or has a regional appeal that makes it a good wager for a local writer (an instance can be a narrative based on a local historical incident), attempt submitting directly. Until you have a great purpose to do in any other case (for instance, directions from the writer), start with a question letter and observe up as appropriate.

Major Publishers Willing to Work Direct

There are still some main publishers that state brazenly that they’re willing to receive material immediately from writers. This doesn’t imply they are joyful to receive unsolicited manuscripts. It means they are keen to obtain question letters from writers, and can ask to see manuscripts that sound promising. While you submit your manuscript in response to an editor’s invitation to do so, it becomes solicited.

In directories like Writer’s Market, you may learn whether a writer is open to unagented submissions. You can even go to the web site of a publisher you bear in mind; often you will see that submission guidelines. Submission policies differ significantly; an organization’s preferences at all times supersede conventional practice.

One notable instance of a writer that not solely is open to unagented material but even encourages it (by periodically holding writing contests and competitions) is Harlequin, the world’s largest romance writer, whose divisions embrace Harlequin itself as well as Silhouette, Spice, Mira, HQN, Kimani Press, Steeple Hill, Purple Gown Ink, Luna, and Worldwide Library. Within these lines are imprints that publish modern romance in all its variations, historic romance, romantic suspense, mainstream ladies’s fiction, “chick lit,” fantasy, inspirational fiction, African American fiction, and even erotica. The corporate does not settle for unsolicited manuscripts,Special Circumstances

There are different ways to get editors to consider your work without having an agent, even if the editors work for publishers whose official policy is to not accept unagented material.

You may know somebody, or know someone who is aware of somebody, whose books are printed by one of the major publishing houses. If that’s the case, as that someone for a referral. If that’s not possible, as for permission to use this person’s title and ship a query letter with SASE (a self-addressed, stamped envelope), mentioning that name proper up front. Chances are high good the editor will agree to look at your manuscript, if only out of politeness.

If you attend a writers convention or conference and meet an editor who publishes the form of e-book you’ve got written, ask him or her for permission to ship your manuscript. If the editor agrees, mail your manuscript the minute you get dwelling, being positive to mention where you met the editor and that he or she agreed to learn your book. Put this info on the very beginning of your cowl letter, so that an assistant screening submissions will make sure you see it and place it on the “Look” pile!

HELPFUL HINT: If you ship material in response to an agent or editor’s invitation mark the skin of the envelope REQUESTED MATERIAL. That way your package deal will not work itself into the dreaded slush pile-the stack of unsolicited manuscripts, which receive little or no attention.

Maybe you occur to know an editor who publishes what you write. If that’s the case, merely ask in case you can submit your manuscript. Few folks placed on the spot on this means have the heart to say no. You will get a studying, and in case your novel is as good as I hope it’s, your buddy, relative, or acquaintance will probably be comfortable she or he said yes.

Oh, What the Heck!

Don’t tell, but despite their “official insurance policies,” many main publishers that claim to be closed to unagented material do open query letters, and do ask to see manuscripts. Should you’re sure a particular editor at a selected publishing firm could be perfect on your novel, what have you acquired to lose by sending a question and SASE? The worst that can occur is that you’ll receive no response.

On the other hand, just a few weeks ago I acquired a call from a woman whose first method to an editor at one of New York Metropolis’s largest publishers was by way of a query letter, with none particular suggestion or connection. She and this publisher have simply signed a healthy, two-e-book contract. If you do not have an agent however are desperate to get your writing profession going, attempt one or more of the above techniques. I see them work for a large number of writers.

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