What's next?


Website - New

Not open for further replies.

Herbie Cax

Debut author ... what exactly does 'debut' mean?

As everyone (probably) suspects, it's a French word, with origins in the mid 18th century. It means first appearance or first performance in a particular role. So a debut author is appearing in public for the first time in his or her role as an author.

I write - two unpublished books, several poems and a blog and thus I tentatively call myself an author. I even have an author's website. But I have written all my life. My debut performance is therefore a very long one and its extension has been guaranteed by an inertia, partly fuelled by fear of rejection and partly by procrastination.

This procrastinating, frightened debutante has finished editing (though, admittedly, I have said that before), has cut and re-cut and cut again the synopses for both books and has written rough templates for agent letters. I even have a customised letter head. All that is needed is an agent.

The Children's Writers' and Artists' Yearbook (2015 edition; 2013 and 2014 sit on the bookshelf above my procrastinating head) is on my desk - pencilled notes, circles, exclamation marks and asterisks scattered over the agent pages. How do you choose?

I started with one agency - it ticked all my criteria: London or south of England, good website, taking email submissions, client list with authors I have heard of and not too big, plus I liked its name. However, it is currently closed to submissions - the attraction of a quirky name, perhaps. Then I came here.

What do I need to do next?
Welcome. Brace yourself and expect that it will take time. Then start sending out submissions, and much more than one or two if you want to find an agent or even publisher. He who waits, receives nothing. A 'successful' Author is one who is persistent, and meanwhile perhaps consider editing again. Read what others have to say, but in particular, keep writing, and keep trying. I'm 2 and a half years, and 7th novel in, several 'almosts' but still waiting for that contract worth having. Had two offers, not worth touching. Plenty of talent around here too, so it's a good place to learn ;)
I will add a word of caution, if you don't already know, Be wary of any publisher that wants money to publish your work, they are not as good as they appear and you'll probably end up doing all sales and marketing work yourself.
Otherwise, welcome. Don't be afraid to ask questions and read other posts for information. We're all very friendly so chat away.
Welcome to Litopia :)
The next step is made up of patience, persistence and determination. It will take time, you may even decide to self publish, or an agent/publisher may pick up your work first try, whose to say what the future will bring, the litopians will always be here to offer advice and support either way xx
Shrink the list. Who can you rule out for now as a poor bet for starters; they're not looking, or don't seem to be looking for what you have to offer?
Thank you all.
I am trying to shrink the list and have written myself a list of ideal criteria to help - it's a bit like the wish list when looking for a property. I did submit a couple of years ago, to half a dozen agents but having read more about what is required, even I can rip those submissions apart and it's not surprising they resulted in standard rejection letters.
Good to hear from you all. :)
Another way might be to Google or otherwise zoom in on agents representing books you've particularly liked, yourself; and/or representing books you think your books might be like in terms of reader profile. Googling author names, interviews etc generally turns up the agent's name.
Welcome. One of the other contributors to this site, I think it was Frances Gow, said that you have to accept that lots of people won't like what you do, but you just have to keep plugging away until you find someone who does. Wise words. So what you need to do next is plug away.
Hi Herbie Cax, one thing is for sure… you are not short of writers who have been through and are going through the same thing. This is a great support network and makes you feel a bit less alone on your journey. Welcome.
Not open for further replies.

Website - New