Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Advice to a New Author

An author recently wrote to me saying he was recommended by his former agent who had sent his thriller to "less than a dozen publishers."

This was my response.

The truth is that there are only 9 major publishers left (and Harlequin is really only for women's fiction), so your book has been around the block as far as publishers who will pay decent money for it are concerned. And agents make their living off of 15% of your sale, so there are very few agents interested in selling to the small presses.

We're in a major publishing recession right now too, so it's exponentially harder to sell a first novel.

I've been in business over 20 years and have 80 clients, so I am not taking on any new clients right now.

If I were you, I'd pay for a subscription to Publisher's Lunch and make a list of agents who have recently sold books with descriptions like yours. And then I'd email them and say "I saw you recently sold xxx xxx xxx, which is similar to my novel."

But if you get a lot of no's, it's the market right now, and will be for at least the next 6 months.

You might have to write another kick-ass novel and start the whole process over again.

1 comment:

Cerebral Writer L said...

Good advice. Thanks for sharing!