Saturday, August 11, 2007

Publishers: Crushing Your Aspirations Since 1440

So, my mg novel has gone from the editor (who couldn't put it down--her words), to the readers and on to the publisher. Now, I am told that a 'how do we publish discussion' will take place. Can you tell me about such discussions? I mean how often do these discussions turn out to be a big fat, No, and take your stinkin ms with you too?

Congratulations, it sounds like your novel is pretty close to accepted. The sequence of steps on the way to making an acquisition varies from house to house, however, so I can't say for sure. It sounds as though the editor, et al, are about to talk to marketing, to determine whether it should be a hardcover or release directly into paperback / what print run and price point it should have / what marketing budget should be allocated, etc. Because it's hard to guess just what will be discussed at this meeting, try not to torture yourself with speculation.

Oh, and tell the truth, do editors hate when an author brings in an agent at this stage of the party?

In absolute honesty, it would be wonderful to make a book in which there were no surprises anywhere in the process. How realistic is that, though? While the sudden appearance of an agent isn't going to make us happier, it isn't going to make us unhappy, either.

6 comments:

Danette said...

EA, have I told you lately how much I heart you?

Thanks so much for answering my questions!

Danette

Anonymous said...

This brings up a question: If someone has likely found a publisher on their own, what would be reasons behind bringing in an agent at this stage of the game?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous -- the agent/author relationship will extend beyond the book, so having an almost book contract is one way to get an agents attention.

Also, if the book contract hasn't been negotiated, the agent may be able to get a better deal for you.

Lastly, an agent takes care of the whole money processing thing, and, to a certain degree, they make sure you don't sign away all rights and futures for your book.

Having an agent has been great for me. I know one or two authors who have found a publisher, then an agent.

Anonymous said...

Thanks anon -

Besides handling money and contract issues, how else is a relationship with a publishing house different with an agent?

Does an agent submit new ideas, or does the author, for instance?

EA, what are the pros and cons from the editors side about working with agented or nonagented authors? What is different for you?

anon1

Anonymous said...

And to add one more question ... can you talk specifically about the benefits for picture book writers?

Thanks!

YH

Anonymous said...

If someone feels comfortable with negotiating and contracts, and has luck in finding a publisher - is there any other reason to deal with an agent? Especially in picture books?