Getting a Book Ready to Go to a Publisher

My apologies…  This entry was, I thought, posted on April 9th, but due to blogger error, it was on my old site anad hence, it didn’t see the light of the internet!!!!  So here’s what I wrote.

Knowing that getting a book from acceptance by a publisher to the market takes six to eight months, I pulled a manuscript tentative titled The Kurile Wedge Incident out of the “archives” of my computer. It is the sixth planned book in the Josh Haman series.

And, as I opened the file, I started thinking about my options. Do I try to see if a literary agent is interested? This would theoretically get it placed with a big publishing house but could takes months or years. Or, do I send it to a large independent publisher? Result would be the same, but again, the process may take months. Or, do I send it to a publisher with whom I already have a relationship?

I’m wrestling with this decision for several reasons. The literary agent query process is quirky and is much a matter of content as it is about timing. You never know what the agent is looking for at that moment in time your query is read…  As a result, your efforts can wind up in the delete box for any number of reasons, none of which have to do with either the quality of the query or the manuscript.

Finding an agent is a time consuming process. Researching is the first step because one has to find the agents that represent my genre. Next, a customized query has to be written for each agent. No two agents ask for the same info in the same way.  And then you have to wait.  Most tell you that if they like it, they’ll contact you.  How long should one wait, it depends.  So, do I want to (a) go through the effort ; (c) deal with the uncertainty and (c) wait for a positive answer that never comes.

The best analogy I can use is sending a query to an agent is akin to sitting on a desert island and tossing a message in a bottle into the sea hoping that someone will find it and come rescue you. Trust me, I did it with Big Mother 40 and it is frustrating and lots of work.  Several agents read the manuscript, liked it, but nothing ever came of it.

On the other hand, getting an agent to represent your work is the key to getting a manuscript into the hands of a large publisher. That’s something I want to do but again, is it worth the hassle?

Sooooo, I’m between the proverbial rock and the hard place and to paraphrase William Shakespeare, I am back to the “to find a literary agent or not” question and still at square one. At this moment in time, I don’t have the answer.

Marc Liebman

April 2017

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.