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Old 01-06-2008, 05:55 AM   #1
neonlyte
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Aspiring To Publish - Authors Thread

I want a thread devoted to the task of helping one another climb the hurdle to the world of Publication.

The wonderful Stella has set up a site here for writers aspiring to publish STORY

I'll be 'up-front' and admit a degree of selfish ambition. I want to find a publisher and/or an agent in 2008.

This thread will be a place to post for peer comment/correction/ridicule:

1) Enquiry Letters - i.e. would you Mr/Ms Publisher/Agent consider taking me on as a writer
2) Synopsis - a fundamental requirement of every Publisher/Agent, i.e. a summation of your plot, main characters, genre in less than 1000 words
3) First 3 Chapters - the usual Publisher/Agent requirement. Some may be more comfortable doing this through PM, but I would like this thread to be a place where volunteers can be found to 'proof' those vital first three chapters.
4) Log any NEGATIVE dealings with Publishers/Agents - i.e. Is someone demanding reading fees, up-front editing fees, etc.

THREAD RULES
1) Constructive critique only
2) Give and Take in equal measure - i.e. like SDC, if you want a critique, be prepared to provide the same service for fellow writers.
3) Each writer MUST commit to the task of attempting publication. I propose a signature addition to serve as a target for your ambitions. For example: I intend to send out 1 Enquiry letter every month - my target for the year is 12, thus far I've sent out 0 so my 'sig' contains 12/0. It's a kind of 'kick-up-the-backside' for miscreants

Who wants in?

- neonlyte
- Vermilion
- CeriseNoire
- RedHairedand Friendly
- Stella Omega
- jomar
- Alex De Kok
- Fieryjen
- Rumple Foreskin
- CharleyH


USA LINKS
www.the-efa.org ~ freelance editors


UK LINKS
www.sfep.org.uk ~ Society of Editors

Publishing Resources - flag anything I'm missing
Writers Market
The Writers Handbook
Erotic Readers & Writers Association

Last edited by neonlyte : 01-12-2008 at 03:02 AM.
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Old 01-06-2008, 05:58 AM   #2
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I haven't got a novel to pimp out, like you, but I'd very much like to try and get some of my shorts published...
I looked at Phaze, but they're only taking themed stories at the moment (none of which really fit the stories I already have) so, whilst i may write something specifically, it's of no use to me atm. I am considering a couple of others, but there are word count restrictions and the story I am just finishing is a rotten in-betweeny sort of length that noone wants 25k ish.

I only started doing my research the day before yesterday, so I don;t really know what I'm talking about, but basically - I'm in. I want some stuff published this year!

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Old 01-06-2008, 06:04 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Vermilion View Post
I haven't got a novel to pimp out, like you, but I'd very much like to try and get some of my shorts published...
I looked at Phaze, but they're only taking themed stories at the moment (none of which really fit the stories I already have) so, whilst i may write something specifically, it's of no use to me atm. I am considering a couple of others, but there are word count restrictions and the story I am just finishing is a rotten in-betweeny sort of length that noone wants 25k ish.

I only started doing my research the day before yesterday, so I don;t really know what I'm talking about, but basically - I'm in. I want some stuff published this year!

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Good for you! Now set yourself a target and get working on that Enquiry letter.
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Old 01-06-2008, 06:05 AM   #4
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Good for you! Now set yourself a target and get working on that Enquiry letter.

Have you done yours? Can we see?
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Old 01-06-2008, 06:12 AM   #5
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Have you done yours? Can we see?
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Here is one I sent out last year and the enclosed synopsis - I received a very polite refusal.

- - - - - -

Dear Ms. Khan,

I am a new writer seeking an agent and publisher. This is obviously a crucial career step and I have elected initially to contact three NYC agents with whom I feel some potential affinity from the available information in the agency websites.

I have deliberately selected literary agents and agencies with knowledge and experience of film. The two editors with whom I’ve worked, from a ‘web based’ writers’ forum, have commented on the cinematic quality inherent in the story and in my writing. The story opens with the destruction by fire of a one thousand year old church in Norway. The church, stylistically pagan, was a direct link to the end of the Viking period of European conquest.

This event actually happened in 1992, Black Metal musicians were the arsonists, though a shocked nation, and media, termed them as Satanists and neo-Nazis. Today an exact replica of the original church stands on the spot and visitors remain ignorant of the destruction of the original building. Who led the arsonists is a matter of public record, however the guilty remain uncharged.

My story is a fictional account of events that led to the destruction of the church and the struggle for individual and collective atonement told through the lives of a mother estranged from her daughter, the powerful businessman and politically connected husband and step-father who controls both their lives, and the strength and will of an old man who believes his mission is to cleanse the stain of the firing of the church from his family and his nation.

Brief background: professional background as an Architect working in Europe and the Middle East. Notable projects – I designed the Iraqi Ministry of Research and Development in the early 1970’s and I notoriously housed the homeless in some of London’s most luxurious homes during the recession at the end of the 1980’s. I opened and ran for ten years an organic bakery and patisserie in London selling up in 2003 to concentrate on writing. I still make bread for family and friends. I’m married to an internationally recognised Portuguese Artist.

The novel for which I seek representation is one of three completed works. Each might fall into the genre of ‘romantic fiction’ though the themes have strong ‘mystery’ sub-plots. I write from the dynamic of personal relationship and root my tales in fact. The three completed works all involve ‘the arts’. The heroine in this initial offering is a ballerina. A second work involves the theft of icons and traces the history of the individual works through a romantic mystery involving their recovery. The final completed work relates to an artist looking back across a career that paralleled political change across Europe. I am working on a new novel on the politics of energy told through the relationship of a blind man and his therapist.

The following text is a one thousand word synopsis of the full novel circa 110k words in length. The attachment, in Word.doc format, is the first three chapters.

Thank you for taking the time to read this introduction letter, I hope to hear from you in due course.

Yours sincerely,



Will Amado


- - - - - - - - - - -


Novel Title: STAINS
Synopsis
Jan Arne is a highly respected Norwegian businessman and a generous patron of the arts. He’s married to the much younger Iddy, a former dancer with the National Ballet Company. Everyone admires and respects him – everyone except his family, and those who’ve stood in the path of his ruthless ambition.

When the marriage becomes estranged, Jan turns his attention to Annie, his fifteen-year old stepdaughter, she flees the house and she falls in with the Black Metal underground, a collection of Satanist and neo-Nazi dropouts. Six months later on the night the nine hundred year old Fantoft Church burns down, a pregnant Annie surfaces; she calls her mother. Iddy finds a dishevelled Annie at the roadside near the blazing church.

Jan uses his far-reaching influence to deal with the authorities and cover any potential link with his stepdaughter. Iddy’s joy at finding Annie quickly evaporates as Jan seizes his opportunity to control the two women who could bring down his business empire by revealing his sexual predilection. The destruction of the church – an iconic symbol of the nation’s Viking heritage – provokes nationwide public outrage. With the media clamouring for an arrest, Jan blackmails the two women into silence revealing he possesses a signed statement from one of the gang confirming Annie’s role in the fire,

Over the following years, they live separate lives, Iddy runs her dance school on the west coast joining Jan for important functions in Oslo, just often enough to maintain the pretence of a marriage, Annie and her son are set up in a small town in the hinterland. While the nation’s shame of the anti-social elements in its heart gradually subsides, Annie’s shame remains. She travels in secret to her grandfather’s home in a remote valley where he lives in isolation after a savage winter claimed his wife. Iddy’s father is a Norseman in the old tradition with the heart and spirit of his Viking ancestors; he listens bitterly to Annie’s confession, consults the Viking Gods whom he believes share in his solitude in his declining years, and sends Annie home to wait.

When divorced Englishman, Simon, accepts a three-month residency at a Bergen Arts Foundation, he has no inkling the burning of Fantoft church will change his life. He encounters Iddy on the streets of Bergen; their paths cross and re-cross as if drawn together by an unseen hand. She is flattered by his attention but reserved and circumspect. Curiosity and a rising desire, on both their parts, conquers reservation, and a relationship develops until Jan intervenes demanding Iddy’s obedience and delivering an ultimatum requiring her immediate return to Oslo.

This time Jan has miscalculated. Iddy refuses to do his bidding, not because of Simon – though his presence increases her resolve – but for a promise and a duty to her father. Months before, her father had given her instruction, he did not expect to survive the next winter; he wanted Iddy to arrange for his funeral bier - a longboat in the Viking tradition. Iddy could not dissuade her father from this notion and intended to fulfil her pledge to deliver the replica longboat on Midsummer Day.

Iddy asks Simon to accompany her, they enter the valley of Drangevågen through a cleft between towering cliffs, narrow enough to inhibit most sailors, towing the longboat behind Iddy’s yacht. En-route Iddy explains something of her past, concealing the family stain of Fantoft out of fear of losing the growing love they share, and she tells him of Drangevågen where her father told her the tales of the Viking Sagas made real for the child in the trees, rocks and streams in the valley.

The old man, usually reclusive with strangers, greats Simon like a favoured son. He tells his daughter he cannot join his ancestors in the halls of Valhalla until the burning of Fantoft Church is atoned, and that the Viking Gods have chosen Simon for this task. Iddy refuses to involve Simon, fearing it will ruin her chance for happiness. Iddy and Simon quarrel bitterly before he convinces her of his love.

Simon, disbelieving of the Gods' involvement, insists upon undertaking the task to give the old man dignity in his dying days and to extricate Iddy and Annie from Jan’s hold. Simon must see Annie immediately, the old man says, she conceals a secret that will help him succeed.

In Bergen, en-route to see Annie, Simon discovers his residency terminated at Jan’s behest; the battle for atonement is now personal. Annie greets Simon as the saviour foretold by her grandfather. She reveals Jan’s sexual abuse of young girls; she’d concealed this information fearing Jan disclosing her role in the fire. Simon understands how Jan has used Iddy and Annie to protect his abusive behaviour.

Simon enlists the help of his own son, Robby, in moving Annie and her child to a safe location, but atonement carries a heavy price, a price paid by family and friends who rally to assist.

Jan’s underworld connections make a failed attempt on Simon and Iddy’s lives. Simon’s lawyer, Ronald – a life long friend – assists in finding a Norwegian lawyer not afraid to take on Jan, a second attack instigated by Jan has disastrous consequences for Molly, Ronald’s wife. Annie insists Simon must continue the battle regardless of her personal consequences.

Annie's accusations against Jan are too old to be of value to the authorities forcing Simon into the Oslo underworld in search of Jan’s victims. There he discovers Jan knew all along of Annie’s hide-out and had planned to have her killed in an accidental fire. Jan is eventually humbled removing what the old man saw as the threat to his family and a stain on his nation. That winter the old man enters the halls of Valhalla. The way of his passing causes the family to muse whether the Gods truly reside in Drangevågen.
Will Amado - Copyright 2006
- - - - - - - - - - -
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Old 01-06-2008, 09:37 AM   #6
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I'm in although my (paid) publication experience only involves 2 online short stories and one story in print, so I don't know how much input I can give.

Not sure what my specific goal is just yet, but I do have my first rejection of the year
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Old 01-06-2008, 09:38 AM   #7
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Although I'm not publisher or agent shopping, I'm happy to share my experiences, if such information is desired.
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Old 01-06-2008, 09:42 AM   #8
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I like this idea, thanks for it. I'll add my name to the list.

Could folks also add links to Company's/Agents that handle Erotica Publications? Both in book format as well as e-book?
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Old 01-06-2008, 10:01 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CeriseNoire View Post
I'm in although my (paid) publication experience involves 2 online short stories and one story in print, so I don't know how much input I can give.

Not sure what my specific goal is just yet, but I do have my first rejection of the year
Congratulations upon your first rejection of the year

If you feel so inclined, post a copy of your Enquiry letter (removing any confidential material) so others my see how to tackle the problem.
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Old 01-06-2008, 10:04 AM   #10
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Quote:
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Although I'm not publisher or agent shopping, I'm happy to share my experiences, if such information is desired.
We can all benefit from your wisdom (I've read about some of your experiences ).
Perhaps a short statement of how you went about finding your first publisher?
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Old 01-06-2008, 10:06 AM   #11
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For what it's worth to authors

I'm not a real author, don't play one on TV, nor did I stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

But, I can offer some information. I found a book at my branch of Borders Express bookstore that many of you may already be familiar with but I'll offer it anyway.

2008 Writer's Market: Where and How to Sell What You Write, a 2.5 inch thick paperback tome with a 2-tone blue cover, has a lot of agent/publisher information, including addresses, the types of stories they take (?), website/email, some phone numbers, & a plethra of other info too vouminous to list here. It also has a section on selling articles to magazines, too, I think.

Hope that helps ease the way some.
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nothing you'd be interested in
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Old 01-06-2008, 10:09 AM   #12
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Quote:
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I'm not a real author, don't play one on TV, nor did I stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

But, I can offer some information. I found a book at my branch of Borders Express bookstore that many of you may already be familiar with but I'll offer it anyway.

2008 Writer's Market: Where and How to Sell What You Write, a 2.5 inch thick paperback tome with a 2-tone blue cover, has a lot of agent/publisher information, including addresses, the types of stories they take (?), website/email, some phone numbers, & a plethra of other info too vouminous to list here. It also has a section on selling articles to magazines, too, I think.

Hope that helps ease the way some.


I have the 2007 Version. I've gone through it and though I've not read every entry, many don't take work without an agent being attached. Unless I'm reading it wrong and misunderstanding the technical terms.
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Old 01-06-2008, 10:13 AM   #13
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I like this idea, thanks for it. I'll add my name to the list.

Could folks also add links to Company's/Agents that handle Erotica Publications? Both in book format as well as e-book?
I've added you to the list in the first post.

I'd rather avoid the e-book route on this thread. I tend to fall back upon the tried and tested methods for finding Publishers and Agents, The Writers Handbook being the first port of call. My 2007 edition runs to near 800 pgs, which is where the research starts.
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Old 01-06-2008, 10:14 AM   #14
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I've added you to the list in the first post.

I'd rather avoid the e-book route on this thread. I tend to fall back upon the tried and tested methods for finding Publishers and Agents, The Writers Handbook being the first port of call. My 2007 edition runs to near 800 pgs, which is where the research starts.
Sounds good.
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Old 01-06-2008, 10:35 AM   #15
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I have the 2007 Version. I've gone through it and though I've not read every entry, many don't take work without an agent being attached. Unless I'm reading it wrong and misunderstanding the technical terms.
In this one I have, it's got a section (32 pages) of nothing but agents. Then, behind that section is a section of book publishers. There's even a section of Canadian publishers.

Just leafing thru right now & found examples of "good" & "bad" approach letters for magazine submission.

Oh, well.
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According to Webster's: "than" - introducing a second element in a comparison; "then" - soon after, next in time -- They are NOT synonymous!!

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Old 01-06-2008, 10:39 AM   #16
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Quote:
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In this one I have, it's got a section (32 pages) of nothing but agents. Then, behind that section is a section of book publishers. There's even a section of Canadian publishers.

Just leafing thru right now & found examples of "good" & "bad" approach letters for magazine submission.

Oh, well.
I'll dig mine out. I've not unpacked the books from the move and then I'll ask you what one particular statement means that led me to believe most wanted writers with agents. Give me some time though... I have to work today.

*done thread jacking for the moment, till I find the words I'm looking for*
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Old 01-06-2008, 11:04 AM   #17
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I've added you to the list in the first post.

I'd rather avoid the e-book route on this thread. I tend to fall back upon the tried and tested methods for finding Publishers and Agents, The Writers Handbook being the first port of call. My 2007 edition runs to near 800 pgs, which is where the research starts.

I got Writers' Market last year, and used the discount that came with it to sign up for their website. I do like their articles and frequent updates on companies that are defunct or that should be avoided.

As for the Query letter, I didn't have to write one since it was just one short story for an anthology. An email was enough in my case. Btw, the editor, Violet Blue, was a pleasure to work with.

I also like to go here to look for calls for submissions.
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Old 01-06-2008, 11:35 AM   #18
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So it *is* possible to get shorts published in print?? Cerise - was your short erotica?

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Old 01-06-2008, 11:42 AM   #19
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So it *is* possible to get shorts published in print?? Cerise - was your short erotica?

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Yes, it's was. It's in Best Women's Erotica 2008. I actually found the call for submissions on the site I linked to above. And for about 4k words, the pay wasn't bad (even if it's a one-time payment).
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Old 01-06-2008, 11:45 AM   #20
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Vampires of Prague

I wrote my erotic novel Vampires of Prague with the express purpose of snagging an agent. I made it fast, a page-turner, with 4-5 good sex scenes and a lot of romance and intrigue. Erotic vampire novels are very popular.

I posted the 21 chapters on Lit as they were written to see how they'd be received and the response was very good, so I took them all, bundled them into a book, and then I edited and revised the first 3 chapters until they positively gleamed. They're very good--attractive Jewish girl doing research on vampires meets mysterious stranger on a train going through Germany in the autumn night and he saves her from meddlesome Nazi agents and seduces her. Very hot, passionate, spooky.

In October I sent the first 3 chapters off to 10 agents who handle Romantica. ("Romantica" is romance with graphic sex scenes.) I got their names from Romance Writers of America, of which I'm a member (costs $100, They're on the net) I got 2 or 3 immediate turn downs, then by Thanksgiving I got two requests for the entire manuscript. One of these agents read the mss and then declined it but gave me a very good critique of it (all her criticisms were valid) and said she'd reconsider if I made certain changes, and my conversation with her turned into a very fruitful relationship. (Turns out she's very much interested in stories of religion and sex, which is kind of a specialty of mine.) The other agent forwarded the mss to another agent in her shop and I'm still waiting to hear from her. I'm still waiting to hear from the other 5 agents and meanwhile have already started revising the manuscript. Aside from the first 3 chapters and the response it got on Lit, I knew it was weak

Because the plot is so involved, I sent then not only an inquiry letter and first 3 chapters and story description, but a 5-page chapter-by-chapter summary of the story. All in all, I have to say that I think the package I sent out worked very well if I got a 40% positive response rate, which is kind of unheard of. 2-5% positive is more common. As I say, I'm not fooling myself. The book wasn't all that great.

The inquiry letter is printed below.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Unless they specifically demand it, don't submit anything but follow-ups by e-mail or e-copy. Do it by snail-mail and hard-copy. E-copies get lost and ignored and aren't taken that seriously. Eventually they're going to have print out a hard copy anyhow, so it's better if you save them the trouble and go to Kinko's and have them print out 10-20 copies of the first 3 chapters of your book yourself. I also don't think it's worth the trouble to enclose a SASE for return of materials since that costs about as much as it costs to print your copy in the first place. Tell them they can dispose of the materials as they see fit.

Here's my letter of inquiry. Now, remember, I'm trying to get an agent, someone to sell my book to a publisher, so I'm trying to prove that I'm a worthwhile client, that I'm productive and salable. If I were writing to a publisher, I suppose my letter would be different. But I kept it very short, tried to punch the main idea through as quickly and clearly as possible, and then sold myself. I was just trying to get them to read the chapters.

==========================

Dear Mr or Ms Agent Name Spelled Correctly

I'm a published author seeking representation for my new 91,000 word novel, Vampires of Prague, a supernatural erotic thriller. Set in 1937 Czechoslovakia on the eve of the Nazi takeover, Vampires of Prague combines the dark romanticism of an erotic vampire tale with the tension of a political thriller and throws in some Kabbalistic mysticism for good measure.

Dark, atmospheric, yet fast-paced, Vampires of Prague introduces us to the doomed and tragic Szandor Arnyak, a semi-vampire who can only forestall his complete transformation to one of the undead by his seduction and sexual corruption of Jewish graduate student Lydia Devineau, whose own past holds a mystical secret upon which the very fate of the world may depend. Pursued by both vampires and the Nazis they're allied with, Szandor and Lydia find a love that transcends their differences and in the end is strong enough to save the world if not from war, than at least from total destruction.

I'm a member of RWA and, since turning professional, have published six books in two years, four of them with Ellora's Cave (the other two, with e-book publishers eXtasy Books and Renaissance I don't really count.) My first book with EC, Overcoming Abigail, won a Cupid & Psyche Award from the Romance Studio in 2005 and sold out its first printing, and my last book, A Game of Dress-Up did very well and won a 2006 EcataRomance Critic's Choice Award but is still awaiting print. That was enough to convince me that I'd outgrown Ellora's Cave, and I'm now looking for professional representation and a better venue for my work. I'm a prolific and adaptable author specializing in serious, literary erotica and romantica. I'm seeking someone who can help me get my work to the public.

I'm enclosing the first three chapters from Vampires of Prague along with a short story description. Because the plot is complex, a chapter-by-chapter outline is also included. The completed book is available upon request.

I hope to hear from you. Failing that, the materials may be disposed of at your discretion.


Very Truly Yours,



Dr. Elliot Mabeuse
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Old 01-06-2008, 12:30 PM   #21
amicus
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Neonlyte...my apologies...surely.

Don't waste your time or money with traditional, conventional publishers and agents...they are a dying industry and live only off of you, if you contribute.

There may be others here who will confirm what I say, but if not, so what, I offer it anyway.

It was more than thirty years ago that I sent off my first inquiry letter to a publisher, then to an agent. And the history of the results, well, it would not be encouraging to relate.


There has been an earthquake, a techtonic anomaly in the publishing world following the invention of 'Print on Demand' industry, wherein a book can be stored electronically and printed on demand, i.e., purchase. No longer is a publisher required to print and warehouse X number soft cover or hardback books, it can be done overnight in a factory.

The old style of paying fifteen percent to an agent just to 'represent' you, is gone, ancient. The old style of giving your publisher 92% of the profits of your book, you get 8% royalties, they get the rest, is gone, over with.

The free market now rules the publishing industry, as it should.

You can be scammed here too, as you can every where. But regardless, writing your book is only the very first step on the road to a successful work.

Forget all that Neonlyte suggested, just damn forget it and find out what the publishing world is doing today, in your time, not the time of Hemingway and Steinbeck, it just isn't there anymore.

Perfect your work, edit your work, hire someone if you cannot edit, then publish the damned thing and then....then...do the same thing you would hire a publisher to do, market your work if you want widespread distribution. If you want literary recognition, then discover how to obtain it, the information is all online and easy to access.

If you have something to say, then goddamned well say it! Float it here on Literotica and a thousand other sites where you can expose your thoughts, your writings, to the public...use that, build on it, make it better, refine it, all that and more and then pay to E-print the damned thing, buy your ISBN. buy your access to Amazon.com and all the E.search engines and go for it!

But for your own sanity, do not send off snailmail to agents and publishers and wait endless days, weeks and months praying for something to happen, cuz it ain't gonna, less ur name is Brittany Spears and they will rip you off regardless.

Call me an asshole, I could care less, but I learned the hard way, maybe, just maybe, you don't have to.

Amicus...
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http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/228358
free eBook, please distribute as widely as you can, America needs you! Than you...amcus

Jenny Kiss’d Me
By Leigh Hunt 1784–1859 Leigh Hunt


Jenny kiss’d me when we met,
Jumping from the chair she sat in;
Time, you thief, who love to get
Sweets into your list, put that in!
Say I’m weary, say I’m sad,
Say that health and wealth have miss’d me,
Say I’m growing old, but add,
Jenny kiss’d me.

http://www.literotica.com/p/a-girl-in-a-skirt

http://www.literotica.com/s/a-harvest-moon


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Old 01-06-2008, 12:42 PM   #22
neonlyte
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dr_mabeuse View Post
==========================

Dear Mr or Ms Agent Name Spelled Correctly

I'm a published author seeking representation for my new 91,000 word novel, Vampires of Prague, a supernatural erotic thriller. Set in 1937 Czechoslovakia on the eve of the Nazi takeover, Vampires of Prague combines the dark romanticism of an erotic vampire tale with the tension of a political thriller and throws in some Kabbalistic mysticism for good measure.

Dark, atmospheric, yet fast-paced, Vampires of Prague introduces us to the doomed and tragic Szandor Arnyak, a semi-vampire who can only forestall his complete transformation to one of the undead by his seduction and sexual corruption of Jewish graduate student Lydia Devineau, whose own past holds a mystical secret upon which the very fate of the world may depend. Pursued by both vampires and the Nazis they're allied with, Szandor and Lydia find a love that transcends their differences and in the end is strong enough to save the world if not from war, than at least from total destruction.

I'm a member of RWA and, since turning professional, have published six books in two years, four of them with Ellora's Cave (the other two, with e-book publishers eXtasy Books and Renaissance I don't really count.) My first book with EC, Overcoming Abigail, won a Cupid & Psyche Award from the Romance Studio in 2005 and sold out its first printing, and my last book, A Game of Dress-Up did very well and won a 2006 EcataRomance Critic's Choice Award but is still awaiting print. That was enough to convince me that I'd outgrown Ellora's Cave, and I'm now looking for professional representation and a better venue for my work. I'm a prolific and adaptable author specializing in serious, literary erotica and romantica. I'm seeking someone who can help me get my work to the public.

I'm enclosing the first three chapters from Vampires of Prague along with a short story description. Because the plot is complex, a chapter-by-chapter outline is also included. The completed book is available upon request.

I hope to hear from you. Failing that, the materials may be disposed of at your discretion.


Very Truly Yours,



Dr. Elliot Mabeuse

This is a nice succinct letter, Dr. An excellent example for others to follow:
1) hits the plot up front
2) shows previous writing credentials
3) gives some indication of intent (essential for an 'older writer' - forgive me Dr)
4) precise as to enclosures and requirement.

Many thanks for posting this example.
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Old 01-06-2008, 12:49 PM   #23
neonlyte
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Originally Posted by amicus View Post
Neonlyte...my apologies...surely.
Amicus...
I hear you, Amicus.

It is a different approach and it, or a variation of it, may point to the future.

Unfortunately, it is not actively promoted by Booksellers (not in the UK) even though virtually every major bookseller has P.O.D capability. It requires a major bookseller to make terminals available in store to preview P.O.D books with 'next day' delivery service and thus far no one is prepared to make that investment.

Thank you for your comments, perhaps another thread might be useful to discuss the P.O.D future.
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Old 01-06-2008, 12:52 PM   #24
impressive
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neonlyte View Post
We can all benefit from your wisdom (I've read about some of your experiences ).
Perhaps a short statement of how you went about finding your first publisher?
Okay. Here's how it happened:

In the spring of 2005, we were all gung-ho with the first volume of Coming Together. I was busily piecing all the stories into the manuscript and getting it ready to upload to Cafe Press when it occurred to me that I could do the same thing with my own work. Originally, my idea was to produce a book of my stories and poetry as a gift for a woman with whom I was in love/obsessed.

Once I had it all put together, though, I thought it looked pretty damned good. So, I went to Piers Anthony's site (www.hipiers.com/publishing.html) -- which I knew about from reading the endnotes in his books -- and browsed the list of publishers. I chose Phaze because:

(a) I liked the name, being a Piers Anthony fan -- and some of his work was published with Mundania Press, Phaze's parent company. Some is now also published with Phaze. In fact, I did the covers for his 3-volume Relationships series. Volume 2 comes out today, I believe. *grin*

(b) It had a sample contract posted that looked reasonable to me & was very similar to the template contract posted on EPIC.

(c) It had books in print, and I liked the idea of a digital release being required to meet a sales benchmark before going to print. Made good business sense to me: capitalize on the higher profit margin on e-sales before investing the overhead necessary to take a book to print.

(d) I couldn't find anything negative about the company when I Googled.

So, I sent fine flickering hungers off (electronically) to Phaze. In about 6 weeks, give or take a week, I had an email offering to contract the book. I signed on the dotted line in early July 2005, and the book was digitally released in early November 2005. It made its print benchmark in about six months, but didn't go to print until February 2007 due to a change in Phaze's management. (The former publisher resigned rather suddenly in the summer of 2006 due to health issues.)

Since that time, I've mostly stuck with Phaze. One book, Artistically Inclined, was with Venus Press until that publisher went tits up. We submitted it there during the period (late summer 2006) that everything was bottled-necked at Phaze due to the resignation I mentioned.

I'm not the least bit interested in having an agent or seeking publication with a big, New York house. My current arrangement suits me just fine. My royalties are growing slowly but steadily. They're not (yet) a living wage, though.
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Last edited by impressive : 01-06-2008 at 12:55 PM.
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Old 01-06-2008, 01:36 PM   #25
neonlyte
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Originally Posted by impressive View Post
Okay. Here's how it happened:

In the spring of 2005, we were all gung-ho with the first volume of Coming Together. I was busily piecing all the stories into the manuscript and getting it ready to upload to Cafe Press when it occurred to me that I could do the same thing with my own work. Originally, my idea was to produce a book of my stories and poetry as a gift for a woman with whom I was in love/obsessed.

Once I had it all put together, though, I thought it looked pretty damned good. So, I went to Piers Anthony's site (www.hipiers.com/publishing.html) -- which I knew about from reading the endnotes in his books -- and browsed the list of publishers. I chose Phaze because:

(a) I liked the name, being a Piers Anthony fan -- and some of his work was published with Mundania Press, Phaze's parent company. Some is now also published with Phaze. In fact, I did the covers for his 3-volume Relationships series. Volume 2 comes out today, I believe. *grin*

(b) It had a sample contract posted that looked reasonable to me & was very similar to the template contract posted on EPIC.

(c) It had books in print, and I liked the idea of a digital release being required to meet a sales benchmark before going to print. Made good business sense to me: capitalize on the higher profit margin on e-sales before investing the overhead necessary to take a book to print.

(d) I couldn't find anything negative about the company when I Googled.

So, I sent fine flickering hungers off (electronically) to Phaze. In about 6 weeks, give or take a week, I had an email offering to contract the book. I signed on the dotted line in early July 2005, and the book was digitally released in early November 2005. It made its print benchmark in about six months, but didn't go to print until February 2007 due to a change in Phaze's management. (The former publisher resigned rather suddenly in the summer of 2006 due to health issues.)

Since that time, I've mostly stuck with Phaze. One book, Artistically Inclined, was with Venus Press until that publisher went tits up. We submitted it there during the period (late summer 2006) that everything was bottled-necked at Phaze due to the resignation I mentioned.

I'm not the least bit interested in having an agent or seeking publication with a big, New York house. My current arrangement suits me just fine. My royalties are growing slowly but steadily. They're not (yet) a living wage, though.
Naturally, you missed off your procedure that you are a bloody good writer, I'm sure that helped. I'm also betting you did a hell of a lot of research before psyching yourself up to submit... to a publisher, of course.
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