Saturday, May 14, 2011

How to Get Published 5: Selling Your Story

Step five in my really quick guide to getting published is titled ‘The Agent Sells Your Book.’ This seems to be a pretty straightforward step where you need to do virtually nothing. From what I’ve heard, this is where the agent really steps in and the author takes a breather. However, this doesn’t mean it’s easy for the author.

First off, you have to realize that even if you get an agent, your first book might not sell. No matter how much an agent loves it, a publisher just might not. Kiersten White, author of the bestselling Paranormalcy, snagged her agent with a totally different story which never sold. While she was on sub (the term for her manuscript being out with editors) she wrote Paranormalcy just for fun. This is good advice for anyone; when you’ve got your agent don’t just sit back and relax. Keep writing. Even supposing your book does sell, what about sequels? Or a new series?

Most of the time, however, your book will sell. Agents don’t take on new clients unless they’re pretty certain. I’d love to give you an average time period between signing with an agent and getting an editor, but the truth is… there isn’t one. Some books can sell within a week. Others may take months. It all depends.

A quick sneak peak into what your agent does: They send your book off to editors, just like you when you queried the agent. Agents will have contacts with editors at publishing houses, so they’ll know who to contact, how to contact them and what they’re looking for at the time. This all sounds like something you could do yourself, since it’s basically just a repeat of the query process, but the publishing industry is all about who you know, and an agent will know many more editors than you do.

At last publishing houses will start offering, and you (with the help of your agent) will choose which one to accept. You could take the one that offers the most money, or the one whose editor you would prefer to work with. After all, this is just like choosing an agent; an editor is another partner for life. This is also the person you’re going to spend the next months with, slaving over your story and perfecting it. Then ARCs will start coming out, and the reviews will start rolling in… and you’ll start working on your next book, if you haven’t already.

This is the end of my How-To-Get-Published Series, and I hope it shed some light on the process for you guys. Please note that I have no personal experience with any of this; I just read a lot of blogs. If there’s anything you’d like me to clear up, then just ask. What do you think my new series should be on?

1 comment:

  1. I just went back and read the whole series. I think you did a great job with them and gave really great advice!