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The Search Begins05-07-2010
I'm roughly half way through the rewrites at this stage. Ok, honestly, I am one chapter short of being half way. But it's close enough. Nine chapters down, done and dusted, eleven to go. Enough under my belt to warrant moving onto the next phase of this writing lark.
Finding a publisher.
Although, I know from past experience, that you don't just send your little book straight to the publishers and hope for the best. They receive entire forests of manuscripts during the year, most of which get recycled into printer paper for their own office use before one sheet gets returned to the writer with the words "Try again." printed on it.
Well it might have a few more words on it, but the overall message is the same.
No, no! To get published you need to find yourself an agent. They will read your samples, see if it's worth investing time in, and send it to the publishing houses they reckon would be interested. This is where my education has really begun.
For starters if you are writing a book in Ireland don't bother looking to get it published here. It seems like the only books that get published in this country are school books, books on farming, chick lit, books on the Famine, historical books on "The Troubles", fictional books that happen during the Famine or "The Troubles" and books on "Farmers during the Troubles that lived through the Famine".
That last one may be made up, but it's close enough to the truth of the matter at hand. All ideas of being a little patriotic, getting an Irish publisher for an Irish writer, are gone before they even began. It's just not doable. To get anything published you have to go abroad.
Off to London it is so.
Although this has led me to encounter another interesting thing when it comes to publishing and writing. It seems like it is an industry that is almost as bad as the music industry for not keeping up with the times. Publishing houses all have websites listing the authors they print and all that. Literary Agents? If you could find more than five with a website I'd be impressed.
What I did manage to find was a website that listed off a whole bunch of agents in the London area and all the rules they want people to follow.
How many chapters to send along? Should a synopsis be included? Should you send a query before sending a chapter?
The bit that I am finding so strange though, is that every one of them, with only a small number of exceptions, state that they will "discard" any submissions via email.
They all want chapters sent in using the good old snail mail approach.
To a tech head who works in the world of fast information, this seems a little strange. But then again I'm a tech head that is writing a book that isn't about tech head stuff, you don't get much more strange than that.
So the research continues. I've made a list of a few possible agents that could be interested in the stuff I write. All that has to be done now is print off the submissions as they request and send it in the post.
By the time it arrives there I should have the other chapters rewritten. Hell probably even another book done. But such is the nature of the beast. This is a world that I know nothing about, so for now at least I guess I better play by their rules.
Although as I am typing this I did find one agent who said that he hated the amount of paper he received in his office and preferred for people to send submissions via email. Guess who just got sent the first six chapters of the book .
Now, like a game of chess between two Russians who have been playing for years and have yet to make the opening move: We Wait.