Old Ask Nathan Thread

Questions for the resident (former) agent
bcomet
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Re: Ask Nathan

Post by bcomet » September 14th, 2010, 11:55 pm

How can a writer be certain an interested small publisher is legit?
Google shows a handful of books, all pretty good reviews, but there is a fanfic reputation in the publishers' history.
From what I can tell, some authors don't like that or think this publisher is legit, but others think they are just getting started.
What kind of questions should a writer ask?

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Nathan Bransford
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Re: Ask Nathan

Post by Nathan Bransford » September 15th, 2010, 11:46 pm

bcomet wrote:How can a writer be certain an interested small publisher is legit?
Google shows a handful of books, all pretty good reviews, but there is a fanfic reputation in the publishers' history.
From what I can tell, some authors don't like that or think this publisher is legit, but others think they are just getting started.
What kind of questions should a writer ask?
Ask them what kind of distribution they have and whether they have a distributor, ask about their boilerplates, and just go in with eyes wide open. If they're an e-publisher, ultimately you'll have to decide if what they can do for you exceeds what you can do on your own and if you're happy with the split. And Absolute Write, Preditors and Editors are great resources for this.

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TigerGray
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Re: Ask Nathan

Post by TigerGray » September 16th, 2010, 2:39 am

Thank you very much!
Nathan Bransford wrote:
TigerGray wrote:Please god, tell me the difference between paranormal romance and urban fantasy. Right now the distinction seems totally arbitrary and I am getting quite annoyed by trying to tell if there's a real difference or if it is all in the pitch.
Well, first I'd say don't sweat it - if an agent thinks yours is urban fantasy but you say it's paranormal romance, I don't think anyone's really going to hold it against you. My hairsplitting would be that paranormal romance can also be urban fantasy but doesn't have to be. Urban fantasy is set in the city and tends to involve city-ish concerns, whereas paranormal romance could very well be set in the country (or a small town like Forks).

There is some overlap, but I tend to think of urban fantasy as more of an umbrella genre and paranormal romance as a subset. Urban fantasy could involve any plot as long as it's urban and fantasy, whereas paranormal romance as a romantic plot.

But really, I wouldn't get too hung up on the distinctions at the query stage. Partly this is one of those "know it when you see it" situations.
"Who knows themselves better than the blind?' - for every thought becomes a tool." --Luis Borges

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bcomet
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Re: Ask Nathan

Post by bcomet » September 16th, 2010, 9:48 am

Hi Nathan. Thanks.
What kind of distribution should a writer want to see from a small publisher?
What is a boiler plate?
Should a writer be worried, if there is a fan-fic background rumor? If so, why? (Not familiar with fan fic, per se.)

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Nathan Bransford
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Re: Ask Nathan

Post by Nathan Bransford » September 16th, 2010, 6:28 pm

bcomet wrote:Hi Nathan. Thanks.
What kind of distribution should a writer want to see from a small publisher?
What is a boiler plate?
Should a writer be worried, if there is a fan-fic background rumor? If so, why? (Not familiar with fan fic, per se.)
On the distribution, they may distribute through a wholesaler (like Ingram's) or they might have a dedicated distributor (like NBN) or they might just do it themselves. This basically will tell you how extensively they'd be able to get out your book. Are they going to be able to make it available everywhere or are they just going to put it on Amazon? See what they say and then Google.

A boilerplate is a standard contract.

I'm honestly not sure on the fan fic question.

Netti
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Re: Ask Nathan

Post by Netti » September 18th, 2010, 2:07 pm

Hello,

I was wondering about the 'one month' rule. A lot of agents say if they haven't replied to a query within a month to consider it a rejection. But I've read on a few agent blogs that say to go ahead and re-query if you haven't heard back in a month because the agent may not have gotten it.

So what should a person do? No one wants to inadvertently piss off an agent by bugging them about a query but the lack of response makes things confusing.

Thanks!
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Nathan Bransford
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Re: Ask Nathan

Post by Nathan Bransford » September 19th, 2010, 8:27 pm

Netti wrote:Hello,

I was wondering about the 'one month' rule. A lot of agents say if they haven't replied to a query within a month to consider it a rejection. But I've read on a few agent blogs that say to go ahead and re-query if you haven't heard back in a month because the agent may not have gotten it.

So what should a person do? No one wants to inadvertently piss off an agent by bugging them about a query but the lack of response makes things confusing.

Thanks!
Follow up with me in a month if you haven't heard from me, but otherwise my personal advice is to not follow up on queries since many agents have no response means no policies (unless you know for sure that they typically respond, in which case I'd wait two months and include the original query when you follow up).

ChrisisAlwaysRight
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Nathan, can I ask a request...?

Post by ChrisisAlwaysRight » September 20th, 2010, 6:59 am

I didn't want to email you this because you no doubt get several hundred emails a day. However, I would rather not have asked you this publicly as I fully expect a negative response. So from the very beginning let me say that if you wish to give me a negative response, that's totally cool. I mean, what writer can't handle rejections, right?

I have decided to self-publish on Amazon, for various reasons. It works for me, that's all I'll say. With regards to the industry, you are the person must open to self-publishing. A lot of other industry blogs attack self-publishers (I've read the posts myself) whilst the rest seem to ignore it. Not only do you recognise self-publishing, you seem to recognise its validity. So for that, I salute you.

I have noticed that there are a lot of people heading for self-publishing because they seem to view it as the easier option, or they think they'd get more money. In my opinion these are bad reasons for self-publishing. In October I am doing a blog tour and have guest bloggers on my blog. Whilst I'm not yet "big" amongst the self-publishers, I do have connections to big fish. (I can't be big until I self-publish. I'll sink or float on the strength of my book). There are people guest posting on my blog who have big followings in the indie world.

So I'm hoping this blog tour and these guest posts will get my blog lots of attention.

I'm starting my blog tour off with a post about why writers shouldn't self-publish. And on that note, my request... I would love you to come to my blog and do a guest post on why writers shouldn't self-publish. I hold my hand up to God and say I won't screw you over. The post will go out exactly as you write it. I truly believe some people are considering self-publishing for all the wrong reasons, and if your post and mine can convince them of this, then it will be beneficial to them in a massive way.

I won't post a link to my blog. I'm not just trying to drum up traffic. But my email address is Chriskelly82 @aol.com without the spaces. You can let me know there, or here, but please let me know. As I already mentioned, I'm expecting you to say no. And if you do, I won't even mention on my blog that I made this request.

Thank you for your time, Nathan. I realise you are busy. Hope you have a nice day.

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Nathan Bransford
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Re: Nathan, can I ask a request...?

Post by Nathan Bransford » September 20th, 2010, 10:04 pm

ChrisisAlwaysRight wrote:I didn't want to email you this because you no doubt get several hundred emails a day. However, I would rather not have asked you this publicly as I fully expect a negative response. So from the very beginning let me say that if you wish to give me a negative response, that's totally cool. I mean, what writer can't handle rejections, right?

I have decided to self-publish on Amazon, for various reasons. It works for me, that's all I'll say. With regards to the industry, you are the person must open to self-publishing. A lot of other industry blogs attack self-publishers (I've read the posts myself) whilst the rest seem to ignore it. Not only do you recognise self-publishing, you seem to recognise its validity. So for that, I salute you.

I have noticed that there are a lot of people heading for self-publishing because they seem to view it as the easier option, or they think they'd get more money. In my opinion these are bad reasons for self-publishing. In October I am doing a blog tour and have guest bloggers on my blog. Whilst I'm not yet "big" amongst the self-publishers, I do have connections to big fish. (I can't be big until I self-publish. I'll sink or float on the strength of my book). There are people guest posting on my blog who have big followings in the indie world.

So I'm hoping this blog tour and these guest posts will get my blog lots of attention.

I'm starting my blog tour off with a post about why writers shouldn't self-publish. And on that note, my request... I would love you to come to my blog and do a guest post on why writers shouldn't self-publish. I hold my hand up to God and say I won't screw you over. The post will go out exactly as you write it. I truly believe some people are considering self-publishing for all the wrong reasons, and if your post and mine can convince them of this, then it will be beneficial to them in a massive way.

I won't post a link to my blog. I'm not just trying to drum up traffic. But my email address is Chriskelly82 @aol.com without the spaces. You can let me know there, or here, but please let me know. As I already mentioned, I'm expecting you to say no. And if you do, I won't even mention on my blog that I made this request.

Thank you for your time, Nathan. I realise you are busy. Hope you have a nice day.
I do receive a lot of e-mails, but the best avenue for a request of this nature is via e-mail. Thanks!

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Re: Ask Nathan

Post by jen » September 21st, 2010, 6:24 am

Dear Nathan

My question refers specifically to copying and pasting within queries .

Recently after sending you my query , I checked sent mail to see it had gone through O.K and was MORTIFIED to realise that the font and format which you request appeared completely awry ! Trying to remain calm , I looked up possible causes and found that this seemed to be a common problem when copying and pasting within email .

Have you found this to be a problem ? If so , do you know of a solution or is this a question better put to a technical advisor ?

Meanwhile...sorry for what must have appeared as a flippant game of ' fun with fonts '. I, for one , will probably never recover !

Many thanks .

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ganstream1
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Re: Ask Nathan

Post by ganstream1 » September 22nd, 2010, 9:52 am

Hi Nathan,

I've looked around and searched the forum but couldn't seem to find the answers pertaining to my questions so here goes:

I'm an aspiring author living outside the US and I am thinking of seeking representation from agents in the US or elsewhere (UK) since there are no such thing as literary agencies where I live.
To that regard, I am wondering how do the process of representation breaks down for overseas author?
Are there any differences in the content of the contract from authors living in the US?
In what form do overseas author receive his/her advance or royalty payments?
Are there any differences in royalty rates for the author?
What kind of taxes do the author have to take in mind?
Do the author have to manage the taxes on his/her own or will it be automatically deducted from the advance or royalties by his/her agent?

Sorry for the tremendous amount of questions. I am thinking of sending query letters by the end of the year therefore I'm hoping to understand the situation beforehand (if I do get a representation offer).

Thank you.
Read my blog novel at: Aku-Stories

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Nathan Bransford
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Re: Ask Nathan

Post by Nathan Bransford » September 24th, 2010, 9:17 pm

jen wrote:Dear Nathan

My question refers specifically to copying and pasting within queries .

Recently after sending you my query , I checked sent mail to see it had gone through O.K and was MORTIFIED to realise that the font and format which you request appeared completely awry ! Trying to remain calm , I looked up possible causes and found that this seemed to be a common problem when copying and pasting within email .

Have you found this to be a problem ? If so , do you know of a solution or is this a question better put to a technical advisor ?

Meanwhile...sorry for what must have appeared as a flippant game of ' fun with fonts '. I, for one , will probably never recover !

Many thanks .
Yeah, this usually happens when cutting and pasting from Word into another program. My advice would be to first paste the text into a Notepad application to strip the text of its coding, and then paste into your e-mail program. Or send plain text. And be sure and send yourself a version first so you can see what it looks like.

I'm used to all sorts of wonky formatting issues so I wouldn't sweat it though.

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Nathan Bransford
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Re: Ask Nathan

Post by Nathan Bransford » September 24th, 2010, 9:19 pm

ganstream1 wrote:Hi Nathan,

I've looked around and searched the forum but couldn't seem to find the answers pertaining to my questions so here goes:

I'm an aspiring author living outside the US and I am thinking of seeking representation from agents in the US or elsewhere (UK) since there are no such thing as literary agencies where I live.
To that regard, I am wondering how do the process of representation breaks down for overseas author?
Are there any differences in the content of the contract from authors living in the US?
In what form do overseas author receive his/her advance or royalty payments?
Are there any differences in royalty rates for the author?
What kind of taxes do the author have to take in mind?
Do the author have to manage the taxes on his/her own or will it be automatically deducted from the advance or royalties by his/her agent?

Sorry for the tremendous amount of questions. I am thinking of sending query letters by the end of the year therefore I'm hoping to understand the situation beforehand (if I do get a representation offer).

Thank you.
The main question here about seeking foreign representation is in the FAQs on the blog: http://blog.nathanbransford.com/2008/08/faqs.html

On the specific question about terms, there's really no other answer than "it depends." It depends on the publisher, the offer, and taxes depend on the countries involved. Sorry I can't offer more specific help, but really these are questions to figure out when you get there.

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Nathan Bransford
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Re: Old Ask Nathan Thread

Post by Nathan Bransford » September 25th, 2010, 4:09 am

Hi everyone!

I decided to shake up the format somewhat, so rather than one long thread with questions, I created a new forum specifically for questions. Just create a new thread for any questions you might have. Details here.

Thanks!

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