Oh The Search For Agent or Publisher

Five years ago I made a decision to start writing a book. A sci-fi book to be more precise. I had been growing increasingly frustrated with plucking books off the shelf and reading the same scenario on the back cover. While the cover art is always appealing, well mostly, each pitch sounded the same–aliens or some totalitarian human regime threatens the earth as we know and only one man or one woman can save it all. Perhaps the value is in the chapters rather than the jacket. Regardless, I still read sci-fi but I find I’m more selective. I have recently discovered that new to the genre authors often present a fresh voice and a new take on sci-fi stories.

This was the case from Sarah Zettel who released five original books beginning in the late 90’s. I loved her books–they were fresh and exciting and made you think hard on morals issues. And just last night, I started reading another new to the genre author (though not new to writing) who I am pleased has an eloquent prose and style I found instantly appealing, The Changing of the Sun by Lesley Smith.

But getting back to my own recently finished first sci-fi book, CRASH COURSE. I had fun writing it and I have learned much in the process. The hardest part, however, may be finding agents and publishers to match my manuscript genre. At first I spent time and effort getting my basic query letter and synopsis the way I wanted, with plenty of help from friends more competent in writing than I am, and I thank them all for the feedback.

I sent out five queries and then decided to send out fiver per week. Well, after week two, I have exhausted my list of suitable agents. My primary sources identifying potential agents is Writer’s Digest and Writer’s Market. Lots of agents, only so many seek sci-fi queries and only so many of those are currently accepting queries.

So, next is to peruse the section of publishers in my year old edition of Writer’s Market. So, is it okay to contact a publisher directly? I don’t know. Each agent and publisher has similar but slightly different criteria for submissions and some only take referrals. Great. How do I get a referral. It’s almost like a merry-goose-round.

If you’re reading this and have any suggestions for an agent or publisher, please don’t keep it to yourself. Thank you.

Oh, by the way, find the prologue and first chapter to CRASH COURSE in this blog and pass it on if you like it – and let me know. Cheers



2 thoughts on “Oh The Search For Agent or Publisher

  1. Hi! I just read the comment you left on Hugh Howey’s Dec 22 blog post, in which you said (among other things), that you were thinking of springing for a professional edit on your book. You asked, “The question then becomes, whom to solicit that I can trust?”

    I’m a freelance editor, and I took the liberty of finding your website and reading the first chapter. I copied it into a Word document, and edited it in the same way I would for one of my clients. If you are interested, I will e-mail you the file (free of charge, of course), and you can decide whether you might be interested in engaging my services.

    You can reach me at pharosian at gmail.com.

    Carol Scarr

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