Writing Books/writing help
Cathy, I am a teenage author who has recently published three books with Wordclay.com. I know that it is a good start for publishing and I know my series might have a shot in the real world. But I am lost on how to do this. I know my grammar is not the best in the world, so I am afraid that a literary agent will shoot me down, and every time I think about going back to the first book and rewriting, I'm told that the book is good enough as is. What should I do? Will an agent deny my manuscript if my editing isn't top notch?
Sorry for the delay in responding, but I've been doing a little reading up about Wordclay. I didn't know much about the company so I couldn't decide how to answer your question until I did. Unfortunately, I'm not sure who told you "it is a good start for publishing." It's not. It's a way to see your book in print form, which is something I suppose. But a "shot?" I fear not. Author Solutions is the company which owns Wordclay, and also owns AuthorHouse, iUniverse Exlibris and several other companys which are known subsidy publishers. While they don't charge the author, they charge a higher than average price to the buyer, limiting sales. Several I looked at on Amazon showed a price from $11.95 to $21.95, for books of 88 pages and 150 pages. Considering the list price for a typical trade softcover (which is the format they use to print on POD presses) is $14.95 for 250-300 pages, the chances are low the general public will purchase the book unless it's a VERY unique book.
Another of the primary problems with books produced by subsidy publishers. Once they're available for sale in the marketplace, the potential sales can be seen as "diluted" by a mainstream publisher. A publisher might feel that all of the potential buyers have already purchased it from the other company and there isn't enough interest left to buy from them. Sending it to an agent at this point is much like taking a book off the shelf of the store and sending it to an agent to sell again. It's already out there. It already IS published, so there's nothing left to sell.
"You acknowledge that you may not utilize the formatted Work and cover with any other publisher, if we cease publication of the Work."
So, to submit the book to an agent to sell again, you'll have to start with your original manuscript. If your grammer isn't very good, then that could be a problem. Yes, there are agents out there who will work with you to correct issues with the book if they really like the story. But a lot depends on what's wrong. It might be a good idea to seek a few beta readers who AREN'T family or friends who are known readers of your genre of book. There are a lot of writer websites out there that have a section to ask for beta readers (NOT display sites, where people vote on the book--which is a whole different thing.) You might want to join one. A few I frequent are:
Writers BBS (http://www.writersbbs.com/forums/#chat
You'll get both good advice and good suggestions on writing queries, synopses and bringing your grammar and composition up to snuff for mainstream publishers.
Hope that helps a little. I'm sorry the news isn't better, but there's still hope for your series. It'll take a little work, but that's the case with any of us! :D