Hints from the inside!

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Hints from the inside!

I'm just finishing my postgraduacy in Publishing Studies, so I know a bit about what it takes to get published! I thought I'd mention a few basic, but if anyone wants to ask me anything. I might be able to help you.
Some of these are based on an excellent book by agent Carole Blake, called 'From Pitch to Publication', published by Macmillan.

1) Research the publisher or agency you send to - go to shops, see what they publish. A lot of people send stuff to totally the wrong house.
2) Send an outline/synopsis, rather than a manuscript if you're really sure you're going to write the work concerned.
3) If you think you've got several books in you, go for an agent first - they won't take on single books.
4) It takes time - don't chase up editors about your book, as they're very busy. Publishers WILL read manuscripts if they look right for their list.
5) Poetry writers - above all, enter competitions. I have worked at The Poetry Society, and seen the standard of most of the stuff that comes in for the National Poetry Competition, and it's not good. Most of the writing I've seen on abctales is much better, so you are in with a good chance!

Hope this might help some of you!

Anonymous's picture
Here's a little bit of provocation for you. Publishers and agents may be right to take only those people who are recommended/people they know. People with contacts are, on average, more likely to be sociable, outgoing and media-friendly. These days it's not enough to be a good writer. A large part of the job is marketing. If you're not prepared to go out and schmooze and get to know the people that count, well, frankly...
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous's picture
maybe if we revolutionised the whole thing it would be cool. now I'am dreaming here.. cos I know in reality things don't change... but imagine if all writiers got together and pooled their resources... and opened their own publishing house. I mean people like us on the abc. Then we could all publish our own stuff and these moneymakers won't have so much power over us anymore. we could do it man... a writers revolution.. because the truth of the matter is we are at the bottom of the pyramid structure and you take us away and the whole pyramid falls down... and without us these publishers and agents can't make money... actually the amount of writers there are here on abc .. we could open more than one publishing house.. then the writers and the publishers would be one and well... who knows I am a dreamer... in reality things don't change.
Anonymous's picture
Why did I never continue to chase my dream (when in my early 20s ) of acting? Because I could see that there was a vile 'old boy/girl' type network operating. How else would anyone account for the success of a really mediocre drama student at my old college except that she happened to be the daughter of a famous and well connected film and theatre actress? Same thing in writing? Maybe. We have to create the spaces for ourselves, friends. They do - and it enrages me as much as anyone else. Enterprise is what its all about! I comfort myself every time I go to the 2nd hand bookshops of Hay on Wye, and see a couple of square miles filled with books - many of which were remaindered, because they are crap. Words are indeed cheap, but real star quality, now that's something else!
Miles Fotherington
Anonymous's picture
The other problem is that readers don't like to take risks with new authors. It's true. Most readers play it safe, buying something by Koontz or King or Clancy or Grisham because they know what they're going to get. When was the last time you supported a debut novelist?
Anonymous's picture
Tried it all -it doesn't work. You have to KNOW someone.
Gab Realist
Anonymous's picture
Gabrielle is right. There are lots of talented yet unpublished writers out there, while there are a lot of very mediocre writers who are published. All things being equal, the ones who know someone get published. Don't get me going...
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