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Writing Books/getting a publisher


QUESTION: I retired early from AT&T in 1998 and since then I've written 9 screenplays, 2 stage plays and 2 novels which have placed in 110 festival, screenplay, theatre and novel competitions. One novel was published in paperback by a small independent press and received 'best novel of the year' award by top reviewers. However, the publisher went bankrupt before the book had a chance to take off. Since all rights have been given back to me under the bankruptcy laws, how can get I get a publisher to look at this novel for publication, hopefully a hardcover edition.

ANSWER: I'm going to assume you still have some copies of the previously-published book.  What I'd recommend is obtaining an agent who specializes in this type of story.  Send him/her a copy, along with a detailed listing of the awards it has won, in addition to a printout of the Amazon reviews (and any others).  Explain the situation, and you should be able to find someone who'll represent the work.  (Naturally, you'll want to follow all the basic protocols of contacting an agent, as found in any number of references online and in print.)  Best of luck!

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QUESTION: I've tried to gain mainstream representation, but most of them do not accept unsolicited 'queries'. Amazing, since only 10 years ago, you could query the mainstream guys and get polite rejections. Now, they don't even accept queries. Of course, some of them do. I think I connected with only one, however. They eventually passed. Do you have any suggestions as to who might be receptive to queries from already published authors?

Wow, I've not heard of any who don't accept queries.  I'm not suggesting you send a copy of the book right off the bat, though you could send the other materials.  I'm assuming you're using something like the Writer's Market Guide to Literary Agents.  You can also do a Google search for literary agents, too.  There are so freakin' many of them out there, I just can't imagine you having a problem finding ones receptive to queries.  The fact that you're previously published is actually a point in your favor.  It means that someone, somewhere, felt your book was worth publishing.

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Vincent M. Wales


I am a speculative fiction novelist (fantasy, science fiction, and so on). While I may be able to answer questions on non-fiction, my specialty is fiction. Please keep that in mind when asking questions.


For four years, I taught a series of fiction writing classes in Sacramento, CA.

BA in fiction writing.

Awards and Honors
My 2004 novel, ONE NATION UNDER GOD, won BEST FICTION in Fresh Voices 2006, BEST FICTION and BEST YA FICTION in the NCPA Book Awards, and placed as a finalist in BEST BOOKS 2005. In 2002, my novel WISH YOU WERE HERE won awards for Best Fantasy and Best Fiction/Drama in the 8th Annual SPA Awards. My latest work is a trilogy titled THE MANY DEATHS OF DYNAMISTRESS (a superhero memoir). The first book, RECKONING, was released in 2013 and won the SF category in the 2014 San Francisco Book Festival, took second place in the 2013 Royal Dragonfly Book Awards for the SF/Fantasy/Paranormal category, second place in the SF category of the 2013 Reader Views Reviewers Choice Awards, and was finalist in Foreword's 2013 Book of the Year Awards, Fantasy category. The second book, REDEMPTION, will be released in early 2015 and the final book, RENAISSANCE, is scheduled for release in late 2016.

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