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Nicole Wilson

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Hello E.G.! Welcome to the colony! We're all about helping each other out around here. And you will soon find that we love camels, cake, and taking threads off-topic. (Hence why my picture is Batman.) :D

Can you tell us a little more about what you write? What genre?
 

E. G. Jensen

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Thank you all for your kind words. Both of my manuscripts (published and unpublished) are about 73,000 words each. They are part of a series and the second one closely follows the first. The third novel (in progress) on will continue the Deep City Series. Although I am thinking that it may not be exactly a linear follow up.


I have had some good luck and bad luck with the publishing experience. My publisher did a wonderful job getting “The Hidden Empire” together and online. Unfortunately, the publisher, due to personal reasons, had to shut down her business for several months. I am waiting for Bathory Gate Press to get back up and running so I can get my second novel out with the appropriate hoopla.


Waiting is not my strong suit. I have been cranking out some short stories in the mean time. Surprisingly, it takes huge amounts of time for things to get approved or declined.

Am I the only "Yank" here? Are most of you British?

E
 
A

Alistair Roberts

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Well patience is a virtue, and number one requirement for being an author I believe. Most of us churn out synopsis and queries and get rejections and silence in return at about an equal pace. But the reality is that it is perfectly normal. *Dang it all* ;)
 
J

Jason Byrne

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Thank you all for your kind words. Both of my manuscripts (published and unpublished) are about 73,000 words each. They are part of a series and the second one closely follows the first. The third novel (in progress) on will continue the Deep City Series. Although I am thinking that it may not be exactly a linear follow up.


I have had some good luck and bad luck with the publishing experience. My publisher did a wonderful job getting “The Hidden Empire” together and online. Unfortunately, the publisher, due to personal reasons, had to shut down her business for several months. I am waiting for Bathory Gate Press to get back up and running so I can get my second novel out with the appropriate hoopla.


Waiting is not my strong suit. I have been cranking out some short stories in the mean time. Surprisingly, it takes huge amounts of time for things to get approved or declined.

Am I the only "Yank" here? Are most of you British?

E
Welcome from Maryland, @E. G. Jensen — nice to have another dark fantasy voice. historical fantasy and magic realism here, but I do love me some horror and weird fiction.

It sounds as though you will add a great deal to the community! If you don't mind my asking, what was your experience of the road to publication?

How many times did you have to query?
Did you query to literary agents or publishers directly?
When you sent out the fateful letter, what was it that won them over?
How long did it take them to respond to your query? Your full MS?
 

E. G. Jensen

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You should know that I have been writing fiction for a long time without having anything that was fit to publish. I even worked in Hollywood for a while. (And, I would rather dive into a county fair port-a-potty than do that again.) Anyway, one day I decided to write something that I did want to publish.

My manuscript (by another name) ended up being about 150,000 words long. I sent out queries to many many literary agent in the US and the UK without getting any bites. I finally figured out the reason for this. The main problem was that my manuscript was too long. (Also, the name was too weird.) Most agents, when they see a manuscript of that size from an unknown author, tend to think that the writer does not know how to edit themselves. Furthermore, many agents and publishers feel that the public would not want to commit to reading a book of that length from someone they were unfamiliar with. Agents and publishers like manuscripts that are between 70,000 and 100,000 words from new authors. Yes — there are many excellent books that are longer or shorter than that word count. Go ahead and write one when you get a reputation.

So I re-wrote my manuscript and turned it into two sequential books of about 75,000 word each. This involved 2 beta readers and at least 10 full, careful re-edits of my manuscripts. Luckily, there was a natural break in the middle of the story so everything worked out well.

I then decided to go directly to small and medium sized publishers who accept un-agented work. I immediately got several RFMs from several of them. I picked Bathory Gate Press. They did a wonderful job getting the first book out. Unfortunately, they had to temporarily shut down. Hopefully they will be back up and running soon and I can get my second book released.

I highly recommend sitting down and writing a 100,000 word story if you can manage it. For me, there was a wall at about 50 or 60 thousand words. Up until that point it is pure dreadful torture. But past the wall, it suddenly (dare I say 'magically') gets much much easier. You feel liberation and your story truly starts to write itself.

Note: I have nothing but respect for Flash Fiction. Please. Please don't troll me for saying this. There are many roads to Nirvana.
 

KG Christopher

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You should know that I have been writing fiction for a long time without having anything that was fit to publish. I even worked in Hollywood for a while. (And, I would rather dive into a county fair port-a-potty than do that again.) Anyway, one day I decided to write something that I did want to publish.

My manuscript (by another name) ended up being about 150,000 words long. I sent out queries to many many literary agent in the US and the UK without getting any bites. I finally figured out the reason for this. The main problem was that my manuscript was too long. (Also, the name was too weird.) Most agents, when they see a manuscript of that size from an unknown author, tend to think that the writer does not know how to edit themselves. Furthermore, many agents and publishers feel that the public would not want to commit to reading a book of that length from someone they were unfamiliar with. Agents and publishers like manuscripts that are between 70,000 and 100,000 words from new authors. Yes — there are many excellent books that are longer or shorter than that word count. Go ahead and write one when you get a reputation.

So I re-wrote my manuscript and turned it into two sequential books of about 75,000 word each. This involved 2 beta readers and at least 10 full, careful re-edits of my manuscripts. Luckily, there was a natural break in the middle of the story so everything worked out well.

I then decided to go directly to small and medium sized publishers who accept un-agented work. I immediately got several RFMs from several of them. I picked Bathory Gate Press. They did a wonderful job getting the first book out. Unfortunately, they had to temporarily shut down. Hopefully they will be back up and running soon and I can get my second book released.

I highly recommend sitting down and writing a 100,000 word story if you can manage it. For me, there was a wall at about 50 or 60 thousand words. Up until that point it is pure dreadful torture. But past the wall, it suddenly (dare I say 'magically') gets much much easier. You feel liberation and your story truly starts to write itself.

Note: I have nothing but respect for Flash Fiction. Please. Please don't troll me for saying this. There are many roads to Nirvana.

Thanks for the insight, really informative. I am just starting out "collecting" about 20 short stories and ideas into 4 books for young adults, and as I have said here, up until this point, for me the enjoyment and the passion is all about telling and writing the story, but all of the technical issues and processes they seem to be so over-whelming. Its good to know there is more than one approach. Self publishing, agents, etc...

I think the flash fiction idea is more like a mental exercise? I have been reading a lot of poetry at the moment, and some of that is amazing if you think of the constraints that you have. Prose is a different meandering journey sometimes, and the flash dancing is a way of restricting yourself to stay on message.

Good luck with the two novels.
 

Katie-Ellen

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Interesting! :)

@Bathory Gate Press, frustrating for you, and fingers crossed they're back in business soon.
 
J

Jason Byrne

Guest
You should know that I have been writing fiction for a long time without having anything that was fit to publish. I even worked in Hollywood for a while. (And, I would rather dive into a county fair port-a-potty than do that again.) Anyway, one day I decided to write something that I did want to publish.

My manuscript (by another name) ended up being about 150,000 words long. I sent out queries to many many literary agent in the US and the UK without getting any bites. I finally figured out the reason for this. The main problem was that my manuscript was too long. (Also, the name was too weird.) Most agents, when they see a manuscript of that size from an unknown author, tend to think that the writer does not know how to edit themselves. Furthermore, many agents and publishers feel that the public would not want to commit to reading a book of that length from someone they were unfamiliar with. Agents and publishers like manuscripts that are between 70,000 and 100,000 words from new authors. Yes — there are many excellent books that are longer or shorter than that word count. Go ahead and write one when you get a reputation.

So I re-wrote my manuscript and turned it into two sequential books of about 75,000 word each. This involved 2 beta readers and at least 10 full, careful re-edits of my manuscripts. Luckily, there was a natural break in the middle of the story so everything worked out well.

I then decided to go directly to small and medium sized publishers who accept un-agented work. I immediately got several RFMs from several of them. I picked Bathory Gate Press. They did a wonderful job getting the first book out. Unfortunately, they had to temporarily shut down. Hopefully they will be back up and running soon and I can get my second book released.

I highly recommend sitting down and writing a 100,000 word story if you can manage it. For me, there was a wall at about 50 or 60 thousand words. Up until that point it is pure dreadful torture. But past the wall, it suddenly (dare I say 'magically') gets much much easier. You feel liberation and your story truly starts to write itself.

Note: I have nothing but respect for Flash Fiction. Please. Please don't troll me for saying this. There are many roads to Nirvana.
I'm looking at a similar situation, breaking up a 265k-word into three volumes of around 88k words...

Your insight into just why they are dubious of such lengths is interesting. I always thought it was a purely length/risk-vs.-profit/gain issue, but there are the issues you have raised as well. Likewise did I have two natural breaking points right at 1/3 and 2/3, leaving a rather opportune point to split it up and tweak accordingly.
 

E. G. Jensen

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I am also guessing that it it probably quite rare for an unknown writer to "suddenly" write a long novel that is actually good. So right off the bat you are facing skepticism. When I first finished my manuscripts I joined a certain online literary forum. I thought that I could talk to other writers who had written long novels and share advice. But I could not find any other full-length novelists. Furthermore, some people became hostile about the subject.

Of course, nothing is "sudden" for a novelist. I have written several full-length film scripts, and an earlier 350 page novel that was awful.

Are you done with your manuscripts? Have you sent them out yet? Maybe you should just concentrate on selling the first one and say that two others are "in progress?" I know that it IS appealing for a publisher to get their hands on a "series" that can build an audience. You would have to package it the right way.

I read an article somewhere about a literary agent who was immediately put-off by very long manuscripts, or a series of manuscripts, from unknown authors. She said that she suspected that the writer was probably suffering from some kind of mental illness. (lol)
 
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The Do's and Don'ts broken with magnificent effect.

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