any writers here?

Out of context: Reply #4

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  • cannonball19781

    First, congratulations, if you've finished the novel. That's a huge undertaking. What's the wordcount?

    I have a few sci-fi publications but they are all short stories. For long form, you will need an agent. To get the agent you'll need a log line, synopsis, pitch, first 50, etc. Basically a bundle of stuff for the agent to know what they are getting into before they get into it.

    If you get a bite, agents will usually ask for the first 50 pages, if there is an interest, then ask for the full shebang. I don't recommend cold-emailing agents as they get inundated with stuff and you'll be lost in the slush pile.

    I recommend instead that you meet them at conventions etc, and then pitch them when they ask what you are working on. There are tons of strategies for pitches... often what works is using other works as analogy. Ie "Think Dune, but with time traveling samurai" or "It's a near-future spoof on El Cid." The analogues won't get you all the way into the explanation of the story, but it will help set the table.

    Stories tend to sell when there is broad interest in the high concept, which is why I recommend perfecting the logline—it lets you know if the concepts in your story can be articulated simply, effectively, and for whomever you are pitching, opens their mind to the possibilities. You end up having a great conversation when you immediately begin playing with the possibilities with the person you are pitching, rather than wasting a lot of air explaining a convolution of concepts.

    If you say it is a scifi novel... what kind of scifi? Agents, editors and publishers have a sense for what is selling off shelves and want to know if the genre is hot, or if there is already a lot of it and the milieux is stale. They will want to know if the work stands on its own without the illustrations, as they will likely want to market the book in written and audio format. So it the story requires the visuals, it's going to be a harder sell.

    One thing I've noticed about your story "short version" is that there is a lot of explanation about what happens, but not much about the Poet. Who is he? What are his motivations? His fears? What makes us want to read a story about him? Agents will look for resonant characters who we want to follow throughout the story. Most scifi that sells nowadays is character driven primarily, not plot driven. So enchant us with the Poet's story, not the story about what happens to the poet, if you know what I mean.

    Getting published means getting into a market and a community of content makers. What other scifi books are out there that you love? What authors do you feel write like you? I would get some other eyeballs on the work... genre/speculative fiction writers if you can.

    Best of luck!

    • Oh one thing I forgot... agents and publishers usually avoid stories that have already sold online because they want to buy first rights.cannonball1978
    • So, I would take your book off your site or anywhere else you have it available online.cannonball1978
    • It's 110,000 words in 60 chapters. all good info especially about character rather than story.pr2

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