I've written a YA mystery novel and have been extremely fortunate in that (1) I met an agent at this year's BEA who asked to see the first 3 chapters before I even finished the book and (2) At a recent party, I met an executive producer for a series on the Disney Channel who heard about the book from a mutual friend and he asked if he could see the MS for a potential pitch to Disney as a series.
Man, you must have a good pitch.
First, do I dare show this guy my MS without having an agent? I've heard so many stories about people stealing ideas. Would it be insulting to ask him to sign a non-compete first? Next, if the book has not yet been published and Disney wants to make it a series, will I (as the creator of the character) lose all creative control? I keep thinking that I should get the book published first, then let Disney option it. (Hey, as long as I'm dreaming here ...)
I know enough about the entertainment industry to know they have some different rules than we do. I think mentioning this to your prospective agent might be a good idea. Perhaps one of my readers has some other insight?
And finally, I feel so ignorant of the business process behind the book game. I recently read that reviews can sell thousands of books so I should submit my book for review asap since I only have 8 months to build volume sales or it gets yanked from the shelves. How does one submit a book for review? Do you recommend this approach? What if it gets panned? I wasn't trying to write the great American novel when I wrote this. I had a fun set of characters and a story to tell and I wrote it down. It's not as awful as the Madison Fine or Clique series but it's no Harry Potter either...
What? Are we talking about the book that hasn't been published yet? Listen, get your book placed at any decent publisher, and the publisher will submit your book to reviewers, not you. Positive reviews can be a great boon to a book. Negative reviews, in my experience, have a lesser effect, curiously. Of course, if your book is really just for teachers, and SLJ hates it, that's bad.