STEPS ALONG THE WAY FROM ‘THE END’ TO ‘ON SALE’
I don’t take on anything that I don’t think has the potential for tremendous success – Alexandra Machinist
A great idea is different than a great book. – Abigail Koons
- Don’t start querying until the book is finished.
- Critique and contest for feedback and to get used to sharing your work
- Then, when polished and perfect, begin the query process
- Research which agents would be best for your book – AgentQuery, Writers Market
- Every agent is different, just like every writer is different.
- Don’t blanket query. Take the time to make the query specific to the agent and their requests and guidelines.
- Make it a little Hollywood, high concept – Tomb Raider meets the DaVinci Code
You can’t disguise bad writing – Abigail Koons
I can decide if I like a book in the first ten pages – Alexandra Machinist
- When an agent requests your work, be clear on what they are requesting. Not all agents require an exclusive.
- Make sure the agent is the right fit for you!
- Check the contract/agency agreement, Make sure you’re not signing on for indentured servitude!
- If possible, have a lawyer look over it.
- You do not pay an agent. They get paid when you get paid.
- 15% is the industry standard, be wary if they want more or less
- 20-25% is the standard for foreign & media rights, which they can sell separately
- The manuscript is polished & submitted. It takes between a week and six months to sell a book.
- If no one bids, discuss the next step with your agent – rewrite, set aside
- Make sure your agent knows the personal tastes of the editors in the industry so your book has the best chance.
- There might be one offer or multiple
|Alex flashes her gorgeous YSL bling|
I have stupid faith in my own taste – Alexandra Machinist
- You’ll begin negotiating the contract. You can usually separate foreign rights and have your agent sell them separately
- 25% of net on ebooks is the industry standard, no one seems to be budging right now
- An option clause is standard, but how much flexibility is negotiable – full book, partial, synopsis
- The changing market of erights is evolving the publishing model. Publishers have been redoing their boilerplate contracts.
- Editors always want changes. There will be an editorial letter and a marked up mss. You do the edits..and wait.
- Advances are often split, a percentage at signing, delivery, acceptance and publication
- Take control of your own publicity. Social media is part of your job. Balance your time between promotion and writing.
- Your book comes out…
- Be sure you are appealing outside of the romance writing community
- Each book has to be better than the last