Writing Books/new authors

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QUESTION: The site you told me about was very  helpful. I was wondering, however, if there is a way to locate agencies who will work with new or unpublished authors?

ANSWER: Demetrius, ALL agencies work with new and unpublished authors. If you hear otherwise, the person who told you is wrong. It's all down to the book. If the agent thinks they can sell the book and make a decent commission, they'll take it on. If they fall in love with the book but aren't sure if they can sell it, they MIGHT take a chance on it. If they don't think they can sell it, and only sort of like it, they won't. Just not worth their time.

The trick is getting to the agents. If your "dream agent" is one that's not currently taking on new authors, you need to get introduced. EVERY agent is open to recommendations/referrals from someone they know---whether a current client, another agent or such. You're out of the country, so that makes my suggestion trickier, but you really need to get out and meet other authors . . . whether online or in person. Seek out book conferences or trade shows in your area if there are any. Even at fan conferences for some of the genres, agents and editors show up to speak at workshops.

But if you can't meet in person, then wander around the web and find writers groups to share information. There are multiple writer groups on YahooGroups, GoogleGroups or even MySpace. But you can't simply "poach" (going there with the sole purpose of gathering information.) You have to interact, make friends, share your work and learn the business. Writers, by and large, are a giving group. We LIKE to help one another (the reason I'm here, after all! :)

Sometimes it's a matter of "knowing the right people." But to know them is to meet them.  Does that help?

Cathy

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks. Meeting writers in person would not be possible for me. I'll read over what you wrote about online. I guess I meant: is there any way to locate a list of  agencies that accept queries  from the unpublished without referrals The Agents Query was good. I wondered if there was a site or book listing agents who are only concerned with the quality of the book itself. Hey!... wait a minute! Can I get a referal from you?

Answer
Unfortunately, I can't recommend a book to my agent that I haven't read, and I'm so tied up right now with my own work that I really don't have time. (Plus, my agent only represents science fiction/fantasy and didn't you say yours is more drama?)

As for a list, there's not one I know of, because it changes daily. All you can do is research your genre. Agent query is about the best one out there. But another good source is www.writersmarket.com. But it's a pay-for service by the makers of the book that charges a monthly membership fee. Still, it's very complete and I've heard people really like it.

Hope that helps a little. :)

Cathy

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Cathy Clamp

Expertise

I'm happy to answer questions about any aspect of writing novels, from the beginning kernel of an idea through completion. I can help with writing a query letter and synopsis to an agent or editor. I can explain publishing terminology and acronyms. I can also assist with questions about verifying the credentials of agents/publishers and how to proceed once you've been accepted for publication. I can teach the rules of formatting a manuscript, creating viable plots, characterization and flow in the following genres: romance, science fiction, fantasy, thrillers, suspense, horror, women's fiction, mainstream and mystery.

Experience

I'm a USA Today bestselling author of urban fantasy and paranormal romance for Tor/Forge Books. Along with a co-author, I've published fifteen novels (combination of mass market and trade softcover) since 2003, and have contracts for four more books through 2011.

Organizations
Romance Writers of America, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, Western Outdoor Writers, Horror Writers of America.

Publications
Tor/Forge Books, Western Reflections Publishing, BenBella Books, Running Press, Wild Child Publishing. Many others.

Education/Credentials
My educational background is limited to real life experience of publishing novels commercially for the past five years.

Awards and Honors
USA Today bestseller, Waldenbooks Mass Market Paperback Top 20 bestseller, Nielsen BookScan Top 20 bestseller, RT BOOKreviews Career Achievement Award winner, 2009, Book Buyers Best Award for Paranormal, Romantic Times Best Werewolf Novel, Write Touch Readers Award, EVVY Best Historical Chronicle Award, The Lories Best Paranormal. Many others.

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