Tag Archives: agent

How to survive pub board

If you have acquired an agent, sold your book to a publisher, and gained the attentions of its editor, you could be forgiven for thinking that all you need do is put your feet up, and have a chocolate truffle (or several).

Unfortunately not.

Your book could still be denied publication.

How can that be? you ask. After all, I have an agent and editor behind me now. So how can my novel fail to get published?

In two words: pub board.

What is pub board?  This is the meeting at which your editor presents your novel to the people at sales and marketing. Your editor has to convince sales that your book is actually going to sell. Your editor has to educate the people at marketing, so that they know what your book is about, in order to promote it.

And this is where your novel can fall down.

Is there anything you can do about this, as a writer?

  1. Know your market. Who is going to enjoy reading your book? Which genre does it belong to? Which novels does it compare with? Where does it fit on that bookshelf.
  2. Have a platform, because yes, in these days of chaos in the publishing industry, you will be required to help sell your book. Do you have a website? A blog? Are you an active participant on Facebook and Twitter?
  3. Take the sales people at your publishing house out to lunch or coffee, or find some way of visiting with them so that you can talk about your novel and answer any questions they may have. The more they know, the better job they will do at selling your book.

If you have any stories you would like to share about your own publishing ventures, please feel free to comment in the comment box.

–Cynthia Haggard writes novels.  She is currently seeking representation for HE MUST BE SOMEONE,  a novel about identity, forbidden love and family secrets. For more on her creative writing, go to spunstories. (c) 2011. All rights reserved.

Next: Publisher’s Marketplace

Image: www.touchstone-books.net

1 Comment

Filed under How to Publish Your Novel, Promoting Yourself

I almost get representation

After getting turned down by an agent at a top New York agency, another one almost immediately appeared. I dutifully sent in the MSS and hoped she wouldn’t take three months to give me an answer.

She didn’t. Instead, she said she’d like to represent me.

You can imagine how happy I was. “So,” I said to her over the telephone, “do you send me a contract?”

“No,” she said. “I don’t work like that. I’ll send it out to a couple of editors, and then if there’s some interest, I’ll represent you.”

I had attended many workshops with titles like How to Get Your Novel Published, and had never heard of an arrangement like this. But no-one else was beating down my door, so I agreed. At least, I told myself, you haven’t signed anything.

I heard nothing more for weeks. Finally, after some prodding, she admitted that she’d gotten no response from her friends in the editing business. But by that time, I’d attended the Napa Writers Conference, and found another agent.

Next: Getting Slammed, or How I got into Napa.

–Cynthia Haggard writes novels.  She is currently seeking representation for ONE SEED SOWN, TWO MURDERS REAPED, the Richard III story told from the point of view of his mother. For more on her creative writing, go to spunstories. (c) 2010. All rights reserved.

Leave a Comment

Filed under About Cynthia, Agents, How to Publish Your Novel