Retooling, and Answers for Authors

Originally sent to the Listener Insider Mailing List on July 1, 2016.
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Answers For Authors

I’ve interviewed over 70 authors for the WROTE podcast.  I’ve self-published. AND… I’m a production editor for a small, non-fiction press, and am connected to a larger publisher.  I’m in a unique position to answer any questions you may have about the business of being an author. I reached out to a group of authors, asking what questions they might have, and received some GREAT starting questions.

Here’s the first:

Vance, can you ask your Submissions Editor how they receive submissions these days, and do they feel working with agents is still a viable option, or do they feel the agent model limits the number of writers they see?

I love the multi-layered question!  Thankfully, I have a multi-pronged answer!

From a Small Press Acquisitions Editor:
“I personally read each proposal that comes in.  If they didn’t follow the proposal guidelines from our website, or answer every question on our form, I’m a bit leery of what it’ll be like to work with that author. If they hit all the points on our form well, then I’m excited to dive into their sample!  Agents? Most of our authors are unagented. You don’t usually see agents until mid-to-large publishing houses are involved.”

From a Large Press Acquisitions Editor:
“Our submission rules are on our website. Authors need to follow them, it’s that simple. Deviation from what we ask for is a swift ticket to the “no thank you” pile. The caveat to that is in the second part of your question. If an agent I trust, one who has built good relationships between us and their past authors, asks me to consider a new talent then I’m usually willing to give the sample a glance. Personally, I don’t see it as limiting the number of writers I see. In fact, it’s nice to know another professional has already vetted the author.”

If YOU have a question you want answered from inside the biz, send it my way and I’ll pose it to the professionals!