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Nathan Bransford
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Re: Querying for a Novel in Volumes

Post by Nathan Bransford » January 14th, 2010, 7:44 pm

Merlini wrote:Hello Nathan,

I was wondering, if you're writing a novel in several volumes, similar to Lord of the Rings, would you query publishers and agents after the first volume is complete, or after all the volumes are complete? Thanks!
Query with the first one, and make sure it can stand on its own. Here's a link for mentioning series in a query: http://blog.nathanbransford.com/2007/07 ... query.html

lexcade
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Re: Ask Nathan

Post by lexcade » January 15th, 2010, 2:59 am

...you skipped my synopsis question...

but it's okay. i forgive you.
"Art imitates nature as well as it can, as a pupil follows his master; thus it is sort of a grandchild of God." ~~Dante

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Re: Ask Nathan

Post by Kaitlyne » January 15th, 2010, 8:40 am

Nathan Bransford wrote:
Kaitlyne wrote:I know, I seem to have far too many questions, but I mentioned this over in the Publishing forum and someone suggested I put it over here as well. I'm going to make this simple and sweet.

I'm fluent in Japanese and interested in working as a translator. I've written some samples, but have no idea really how one goes about getting involved in translating, how to send samples, what sort are required, or length, etc. I'm wondering if there is anyone you could recommend who might be able to provide some information, or if I should just write to specific publishing companies individually and ask for their requirements.

Thanks always, Nathan. :)
I actually don't really know either - this is something that is handled by publishers and is not something I'm really familiar with. Good luck!
I sorta thought that would be the answer. :) Thanks!

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Re: Ask Nathan

Post by munkdavis » January 15th, 2010, 1:00 pm

Kaitlyne wrote:
Nathan Bransford wrote:
Kaitlyne wrote:I know, I seem to have far too many questions, but I mentioned this over in the Publishing forum and someone suggested I put it over here as well. I'm going to make this simple and sweet.

I'm fluent in Japanese and interested in working as a translator. I've written some samples, but have no idea really how one goes about getting involved in translating, how to send samples, what sort are required, or length, etc. I'm wondering if there is anyone you could recommend who might be able to provide some information, or if I should just write to specific publishing companies individually and ask for their requirements.

Thanks always, Nathan. :)
I actually don't really know either - this is something that is handled by publishers and is not something I'm really familiar with. Good luck!
I sorta thought that would be the answer. :) Thanks!
K-
I'm a newby on Forums, so I hope this response works. I know a Japanese - English translator. He specializes in technical docs so it may not be a perfect match to your needs, but with 25 years of experience he is bound to have some worthwhile advice. I am a bit stymied as to the best way to link the two of you. He is a very active Facebooker and a bit of a rock star (you'll see what I mean if you search him on FB).
How does this sound... you add me as a FB contact and I'll contact him before you request a connection with him? I'm trying to remain professional here, this this social networking stuff just breeds familiarism (is that a word?) Munk Davis

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Re: Ask Nathan

Post by sooper » January 15th, 2010, 1:39 pm

Hello again!

Question about a YA query: My novel is geared towards the more mature/older YA reader (ala Gossip Girl and the Sloppy Firsts series), is this something I ought to mention in my query? I don't want to alient potential agents by proposing that it's only for a certain type of teenager but is it a good thing to narrow things down like that? Or should I just leave the marketing to the publishers?

Thanks!

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Re: Ask Nathan

Post by Nathan Bransford » January 16th, 2010, 1:47 am

casnow wrote:I'm procrastinating today, so I'm dreaming of the day that I have an agent - which makes me wonder: What is the agent-author relationship like for subsequent novels? Do you automatically represent/read work from your client? Do they still have to pitch the idea to you and sell you with a query /synopsis/outline before you'll read it?

Thanks!
It varies from agent to agent. I usually only represent writers for the long haul and I definitely keep tabs on their upcoming work. I wouldn't say they pitch/query to me per se, but we often brainstorm and think about what the best next step would be.

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Re: Ask Nathan

Post by Nathan Bransford » January 16th, 2010, 1:48 am

lexcade wrote:Nathan,

if an agent doesn't have a specified synopsis length on the website or asks for a "short synopsis," then what does he typically mean? i know lengths are different per agent, and not everyone's "short" is the same. is there a golden rule?

thanks!
Sorry lexcade, missed this one. If there is a golden rule I don't know it. I think you're safe with two pages double spaced, but opinions vary. I don't generally ask for them so I might not be the person to ask.

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Re: Ask Nathan

Post by Nathan Bransford » January 16th, 2010, 1:51 am

matt mc wrote:At the risk of asking a question with an obvious answer, what exactly does an agency mean when they say they "do not accept unsolicited queries"? Unsolicited manuscripts, I understand, but how and why would an agency go about soliciting queries? And why even bother advertising themselves if they "do not accept unsolicited queries"?
It probably means they're only accepting queries through referrals, such as through their existing clients or through other people they know in the business. Agencies will still advertise themselves because they may be approaching people to write books even if they aren't accepting queries through the slush pile.

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Re: Ask Nathan - Author Bio

Post by Nathan Bransford » January 16th, 2010, 1:52 am

munkdavis wrote:Nathan,

I am a Chemical Engineer at a high-tech R&D firm. My debut novel leverages much of my knowledge in cutting edge science. I would like to think that by claiming my experience in high-tech would add credence to many of the threads in my story, but I am afraid that by stating my professional experience in a query letter just makes me come off as a smarty-pants. Advice?

munk
I would briefly mention it, but it's vastly more important that your story sounds great.

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Re: Ask Nathan

Post by Nathan Bransford » January 16th, 2010, 1:54 am

sooper wrote:Hello again!

Question about a YA query: My novel is geared towards the more mature/older YA reader (ala Gossip Girl and the Sloppy Firsts series), is this something I ought to mention in my query? I don't want to alient potential agents by proposing that it's only for a certain type of teenager but is it a good thing to narrow things down like that? Or should I just leave the marketing to the publishers?

Thanks!
Agents will probably deduce the age range just from your summary of the story, but I can't imagine someone is going to shrink away if you characterize it as "older" or "upper" YA.

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Re: Ask Nathan

Post by Dakota388 » January 16th, 2010, 12:19 pm

Nathan Bransford wrote:
lexcade wrote:Nathan,

if an agent doesn't have a specified synopsis length on the website or asks for a "short synopsis," then what does he typically mean? i know lengths are different per agent, and not everyone's "short" is the same. is there a golden rule?

thanks!
Sorry lexcade, missed this one. If there is a golden rule I don't know it. I think you're safe with two pages double spaced, but opinions vary. I don't generally ask for them so I might not be the person to ask.
I'm dying here. I thought for sure from researching on other forums and other agent websites that the consensus for a 2-page synopsis was single-spacing. I'll never get this right. I hope I haven't frustrated my latest batch of agents with my 1300-word synopsises-es-es. Two double-spaced pages cuts that down to about 500 words which is only 250 more words than my query synopsis. I think I'm going to try a different approach. I think I'll sit in my house like a shut-in and wait for agents to come to me. Sound like a good strategy?
"The Light of Epertase"-A fantasy novel coming August 1st from Rhemalda Publishing

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Re: Ask Nathan - Author Bio

Post by munkdavis » January 16th, 2010, 5:35 pm

Nathan Bransford wrote:
munkdavis wrote:Nathan,

I am a Chemical Engineer at a high-tech R&D firm. My debut novel leverages much of my knowledge in cutting edge science. I would like to think that by claiming my experience in high-tech would add credence to many of the threads in my story, but I am afraid that by stating my professional experience in a query letter just makes me come off as a smarty-pants. Advice?

munk
I would briefly mention it, but it's vastly more important that your story sounds great.
Thanks. Brief I'll be.

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Re: Ask Nathan

Post by lexcade » January 17th, 2010, 3:37 pm

Nathan Bransford wrote:
lexcade wrote:Nathan,

if an agent doesn't have a specified synopsis length on the website or asks for a "short synopsis," then what does he typically mean? i know lengths are different per agent, and not everyone's "short" is the same. is there a golden rule?

thanks!
Sorry lexcade, missed this one. If there is a golden rule I don't know it. I think you're safe with two pages double spaced, but opinions vary. I don't generally ask for them so I might not be the person to ask.
thanks, anyway, nathan. answers are always appreciated :-)
"Art imitates nature as well as it can, as a pupil follows his master; thus it is sort of a grandchild of God." ~~Dante

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Re: Ask Nathan

Post by tameson » January 19th, 2010, 7:57 pm

If you are doing a retelling of fairy tale or other literary work, when do you mention this? All names are changed and characters have different personalities, but key story elements are the same: ex: Clueless is a retelling of Emma, Bridget Jone's Diary is Pride and Prejudice. Also, does when you tell depend on popularity of the fairy tale? For example- Dragonball is a retelling of Monkey King, but most people don't know Monkey King. Or how Alvin Maker series (by Orson Scott Card) is inspired by a biography of Joseph Smith (but in a world with magic and a totally different US history and whatevever elements of his life changed that OSC felt like changing). So would this be something to include in a query, in a summary, when the partial is requested, with the full or never? The work I was inspired by is several centuries old and in public domain and with my albeit weak understanding of copyright law, even if it was still protected, my work is so different it would be a hard case for plagiarism. I just want to make sure I do everything completely ethically correct.

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Re: Ask Nathan

Post by Ann » January 21st, 2010, 12:07 pm

Hi Nathan,

I'm in the process of attempting to find an agent. I currently have an agent who is interested in representing my children's picture books, but not my YA or adult novels. I've heard many times that agents typically like to represent the entirety of an author's works. So, my question is, how difficult would it be to find an agent for my novels if I sign on with this agent to represent just my children's books? Will already having an agent for part of my portfolio be a problem when I seek agents for my other novels? As always, thank you for your insight! -Ann

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