Straight to Publisher

News, trends, and the future of publishing
Post Reply
nikburdge
Posts: 2
Joined: July 6th, 2010, 6:08 pm
Contact:

Straight to Publisher

Post by nikburdge » July 6th, 2010, 6:42 pm

Hello everyone!
Here's the story: some months ago, I met with senior editor at a reputable publishing house while attending a writer's conference. Mr. Editor read a sample of the novel I've completed, asked for the full ms. and recently called to say that the editorial staff will decide soon (hopefully, this week) whether to pass or to acquire the book. I've queried several agents and though a few have asked for partials, I've received no offers of representation thus far. I'm a new/unpublished writer and my question is, if the publishing house offers me a deal, would it be a mistake to sell it without an agent? Is it very likely they'll take advantage of my inexperience?
Thanks!

User avatar
polymath
Posts: 1821
Joined: December 8th, 2009, 11:22 am
Location: Babel
Contact:

Re: Straight to Publisher

Post by polymath » July 6th, 2010, 9:02 pm

It's a best practice to have an agent picked out and ready for first contact if a publisher is interested. Then if the publisher decides to publish, the agent can step in and do their thing and protect a writer's best interests.

Talking points an agent can pursue that a writer might not be as versed in:

Open communication channels.
Interpreting and explaining a pending contract.
Practical value of a manuscript.
Copyright registration and copyrights possession.
Royalty reserve against returns percentage.
Tiered royalty scale.
Timeline of advance payments.
Timeline of subsequent royalty payments.
Audit clause.
Author marketing commitment and involvement.
Spread the love of written word.

User avatar
Quill
Posts: 1059
Joined: March 17th, 2010, 9:20 pm
Location: Arizona
Contact:

Re: Straight to Publisher

Post by Quill » July 6th, 2010, 9:17 pm

If you actually get an offer, it would probably be best to ask for some time to consider it, and then try again to get an agent. I have heard that it is relatively easy find a willing agent if you have a sale contract in hand.

User avatar
steve
Posts: 203
Joined: June 26th, 2010, 12:09 am
Location: Web City
Contact:

Re: Straight to Publisher

Post by steve » July 6th, 2010, 10:04 pm

Take the offer and be thankful.

If you're lucky and it breaks, you are in a terrific negotiating position.
Read one of the best stories by Borges.

User avatar
Mira
Posts: 1354
Joined: December 7th, 2009, 9:59 am
Contact:

Re: Straight to Publisher

Post by Mira » July 7th, 2010, 12:14 pm

I agree with Quill. Once you have an offer, look for an agent. You'll probably find one who is willing to take you on if you've got a publisher interested. Don't sign the contract without having someone look at it! I've heard that authors can really get messed over doing this.

Good luck! I hope it gets picked up - either way, you know you've got quite a book there! :)

Margo
Posts: 1712
Joined: April 5th, 2010, 11:21 am
Contact:

Re: Straight to Publisher

Post by Margo » July 7th, 2010, 1:25 pm

Mira wrote:I agree with Quill. Once you have an offer, look for an agent.
Yep, I discussed this with a couple of acquisitions editors. They found it perfectly acceptible for the writer to say, "Great, let me get back to you when I've found an agent." And, again, yes, they said finding an agent when you already have an offer in hand is a breeze compared to querying without the offer.
Mira wrote: Don't sign the contract without having someone look at it! I've heard that authors can really get messed over doing this.
Especially with this whole electronic rights issue at a head right now.
Urban fantasy, epic fantasy, and hot Norse elves. http://margolerwill.blogspot.com/

nikburdge
Posts: 2
Joined: July 6th, 2010, 6:08 pm
Contact:

Re: Straight to Publisher

Post by nikburdge » July 7th, 2010, 4:53 pm

Thank you all for the feedback. The search for an agent continues...

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest