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Chuck Sambuchino has announced yet another free contest. This one is for YA fiction.

The good thing about a contest that only allows you to submit the first 150-200 words of your book is that it forces you to really look at that first page.

How many extraneous words do you have in those first few paragraphs? Have you captured the attention of your readers?

Any manuscript, or portion of a manuscript, you send to an agent or publisher will be judged on those critical first paragraphs. 

Polish them until they shine.
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15th Free “Dear Lucky Agent” Contest: Young Adult Fiction

Chuck Sambuchino, GLA Blog, 3/23/2014

Welcome to the 15th (free!) “Dear Lucky Agent” Contest on the GLA blog. This is a recurring online contest with agent judges and super-cool prizes. Here’s the deal: With every contest, the details are essentially the same, but the niche itself changes—meaning each contest is focused around a specific category or two. So if you’re writing young adult fiction, this 15th contest is for you! (The contest is live through EOD, Wednesday, April 9, 2014.)

WHY YOU SHOULD GET EXCITED

After a previous “Dear Lucky Agent” contest, the agent judge, Tamar Rydzinski (The Laura Dail Literary Agency), signed one of the three contest winners. After Tamar signed the writer, she went on to sell two of that writer’s books! How cool! That’s why these contests are not to missed if you have an eligible submission.

HOW TO SUBMIT

E-mail entries to dearluckyagent15@gmail.com. Please paste everything. No attachments.

WHAT TO SUBMIT

The first 150-200 words of your unpublished, completed book-length work of young adult fiction. You must include a contact e-mail address with your entry and use your real name. Also, submit the title of the work and a logline (one-sentence description of the work) with each entry.

Please note: To be eligible to submit, you must mention this contest twice through any any social-media. Please provide a social-media link or Twitter handle or screenshot or blog post URL, etc., with your official e-mailed entry so the judge and I can verify eligibility. Some previous entrants could not be considered because they skipped this step! Simply spread the word twice through any means and give us a way to verify you did; a tinyURL for this link/contest for you to easily use is: http://tinyurl.com/pcmopmq.

An easy way to notify me of your sharing is to include my Twitter handle @chucksambuchino at the end of your mention(s) if using Twitter. And if you are going to solely use Twitter as your 2 times, please wait 1 day between mentions to spread out the notices, rather than simply tweeting twice back to back. Thanks. (Please note that simply tweeting me does not count. You have to have the contest URL with your mention; that’s the point.)

WHAT IS ELIGIBLE?

Young adult fiction. The agent judge did not choose to exclude any subgenre, so everything is fair game.

CONTEST DETAILS

This contest will be live through the end of April 9, 2014, PST. Winners notified by e-mail within approximately three weeks of end of contest. Winners announced on the blog thereafter.

To enter, submit the first 150-200 words of your book. Shorter or longer entries will not be considered. Keep it within word count range please.

You can submit as many times as you wish. You can submit even if you submitted to other contests in the past, but please note that past winners cannot win again. All that said, you are urged to only submit your best work.

The contest is open to everyone of all ages, save those employees, officers and directors of GLA’s publisher, F+W Media, Inc.

By e-mailing your entry, you are submitting an entry for consideration in this contest and thereby agreeing to the terms written here as well as any terms possibly added by me in the “Comments” section of this blog post. (If you have questions or concerns, write me personally at chuck.sambuchino (at) fwmedia.com. The Gmail account above is for submissions, not questions.)

PRIZES!!!

Top 3 winners all get: 1) A critique of the first 10 double-spaced pages of your work, by your agent judge. 2) A free one-year subscription to WritersMarket.com ($50 value)!

MEET YOUR (AWESOME) AGENT JUDGE!

A literary agent for close to fifteen years, Andrea Somberg represents a wide range of fiction and nonfiction, including projects aimed at a young adult and middle grade audience. Previously an agent at the Donald Maass Agency and Vigliano Associates, she joined Harvey Klinger Inc. in the spring of 2005. Andrea has also been a MediaBistro instructor, teaching courses on writing nonfiction and memoir book proposals.

 
 
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At last, I understand what an author brand is! It's Heinz! It's Dinty Moore! It's Walmart, Home Depot, McDonald's!

What do all these things have in common?

They are completely uniform, completely predictable, and completely marketable.

To create an author brand, just do what any of these other brands have done. Write a series (Dijon mustard, honey mustard, German mustard). Make sure each book provides the same reading experience (mustard). And churn your "products" out on a schedule (New this week! English mustard!). The combination of predictability and availability (more, more!) is what is known as "trust." And once readers develop "trust," you've got yourself a heap of consumer loyalty.

Frankly, I find the application of assembly-line consumerism to literature to be somewhat appalling. But that did not prevent me from reading the article below. (Or from reading every single one of Alexander McCall Smith's No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series.) At least, I now know to avoid agents who talk about developing "author brands" for their clients.

Ouch.
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The Strongest Brand In Publishing Is ...

By David Vinjamuri, Forbes, March 4, 2014

When comparing authors, publishers tend to focus on book sales.  But sales figures tell only part of the story.  Expensive advertising and a strong push for distribution and display at bookstores might yield strong initial sales but create lots of returns and low profitability.  An early and fortuitous movie deal might overexpose a book that doesn’t meet the promise of the movie.

A thousand other externalities make sales data inadequate to measure the strength of an author’s franchise.  To understand which authors are worth investing in, publishers need a better measure of an author’s value.

Brand, Not Platform

The metric often used to evaluate new or developing authors is platform – roughly defined as the social reach of the author though Facebook fans, Twitter followers, blog views and speaking engagements.  But according to Peter Hildick-Smith of the Codex Group, which polls thousands of readers to determine their preferences and purchase behavior, platform is a misleading metric.

"We’ve seen celebrities with extremely high name recognition and very large platforms fail miserably in book sales.  Being famous or having millions of Twitter followers alone is not enough to build a strong franchise as an author."

Hildick-Smith points out that only about half of adults read books and just a fifth are regular book buyers.  So a celebrity with a large and dedicated following will not automatically become a bestselling author.

Read on to find out which author has the strongest "brand"  more...

 
 
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These two agents are looking for new clients. Read their bios and websites to see if your work is a good match for them. Check  Preditors and Editors to find out if any complaints have been lodged against them. (It's not likely in these cases, but you can never be too careful.) Absolute Write is another good source of information about agents.
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Lisa Gallagher

About Lisa: "As Senior Vice President & Publisher of William Morrow, I published many New York Times bestselling authors, both fiction and non-fiction. Having worked for Bloomsbury UK prior to moving to New York in 1998 to launch Bloomsbury USA, I have publishing experience and insight from both sides of the Atlantic. Now as an agent, being a champion of authors and their work continues to be my passion."

What she is looking for: Lisa represents both fiction and non-fiction writers. She is actively seeking new clients who are great storytellers, delivering both narrative urgency and dramatic tension, combined with multi-faceted characters and a transporting sense of place.

How to submit: Please submit your manuscript or proposal on her online form as a PDF: double spaced, 18pt, Times New Roman. No hard copy submissions accepted.

"I will do my best to read and respond to you within eight weeks of receiving your submission. Unfortunately due to the volume of submissions received, I am unable to respond to every one personally, so if you haven’t heard from me at all by then, it means that I am unable to offer you representation. If your query is a multiple submission and you get an offer of representation from another agent before hearing back from me, I would be grateful if you could let me know by sending an email with the subject line “Offer received”. Thank you very much."
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Caitlen Rubino-Bradway

About Caitlen: “I joined the LKG Agency in 2008, thereby disproving the theory that no English major ever does anything with their degree. I have enjoyed my apprenticeship under Lauren Galit very much, and I am now actively looking to build my own list."

What she is seeking: “I personally am looking for middle grade and young adult fiction. In teen novels, Sci-fi/fantasy is my sweet spot, but I’m open to anything as long as it doesn’t have zombies.

“Also, the LKG Agency [which has one other agent] is always on the lookout for nonfiction, both practical and narrative. We specialize in women’s focused how-to, such as parenting, lifestyle, health & nutrition, and beauty, but we are open to a lot of nonfiction genres. (For a full list you can check out the submission guidelines on our website.)”

How to submit: “We are looking for email queries only. Nonfiction queries should be sent to lkgquery [at] lkgagency.com; we ask that you please mention any publicity you have at your disposal in your query letter. For middle grade and YA queries, email crubinobradway [at] lkgagency.com.”

 
 
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Shortly after hearing that Russia had now become the world's third largest ebook market - after the US and China - I received this email from Nook.

Dear Publisher,

You may notice some changes the next time you log into NOOK Press. We've been working hard to get NOOK Press ready for some new guests – starting today, publishers in the UK, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, and Belgium will be able to publish with NOOK Press and reach Barnes & Noble's millions of book-loving customers. This means even more great indie content for customers and increased visibility for you and your NOOK Books in the months to come!


Of course, I am absolutely thrilled that Belgians will now be able to publish on Nook, but Nook books are still available only in the US and the UK.

What about reaching the second and third largest markets in the world
?

Yesterday, I filed my 2013 tax return. I received $4712 from Amazon. Nook netted me a grand total of $75. The numbers speak for themselves.
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In Britain and especially abroad, ebooks are booming

By James Bridle, The Observer, Saturday 25 January 2014

Over the past year, more and more people have been reading ebooks. Hardly a surprise, but after years of hand-waving by enthusiasts and detractors, we're finally getting to the point where we can actually measure what's going on. We can see, for example, that in 2013, Russia overtook the UK to become the world's third largest ebook market after the US and China – largely thanks to a site called LitRes, which was founded in 2006 with a stated mission to fight book piracy. Before LitRes, the only ebook market in Russia was the black market. Today, LitRes is the only serious seller on the market. A similar effect can be seen occurring in Brazil and China and elsewhere.

Read the rest of this article here.


 
 
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I enjoy reading bad reviews of famous novels - almost as much as I enjoy getting them. It comforts me to know that if a book of mine is called "lugubrious," I will be keeping company with Aldous Huxley.

(Unlike Brave New World, not one of my books has been called "lugubrious," or even "nauseating," but this is probably due to an avoidance of polysyllabic adjectives on the part of contemporary reviewers.)

These books were panned primarily because they broke new ground. Innovative writing is rarely well received in the short run. However, in the long run, these books have stood the test of time, and are now considered classics.

Here are some truly harsh reviews of 20th-century classics assembled by Sean Hutchinson for Publisher's Weekly. If your book has the good fortune to be called "silly," know that you are right up there with Richard Wright.
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Really Harsh Early Reviews of 20 Classic 20th-Century Novels

By Sean Hutchinson

Ulysses – James Joyce

Joyce’s magnum opus redefined literature and was a major event upon its release in 1922. Some bought into its radical structure, but others didn’t—including fellow modernist Virginia Woolf. In her diary she called Ulysses “an illiterate, underbred book it seems to me: the book of a self-taught working man, and we all know how distressing they are, how egotistic, insistent, raw, striking, and ultimately nauseating ... never did any book so bore me.”

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The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald

Cited by many as the Great American Novel, Fitzgerald’s inimitable The Great Gatsby remains a staple in classrooms and on bookshelves the world over. Critic and journalist H.L. Mencken, however, called it “no more than a glorified anecdote,” and that “it is certainly not to be put on the same shelf, with, say, This Side of Paradise [Fitzgerald’s debut novel].” In her review for the New York Evening World, critic Ruth Snyder said, “We are quite convinced after reading The Great Gatsby that Mr. Fitzgerald is not one of the great American writers of to-day.”

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Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov

Nabokov’s novel about a literature professor who becomes obsessed with a 12-year-old girl wasn’t without controversy when it was published in 1958. Orville Prescott’s review in the New York Times listed two reasons why Lolita “isn't worth any adult reader's attention.” “The first,” he said, “is that it is dull, dull, dull in a pretentious, florid and archly fatuous fashion. The second is that it is repulsive.” Later in the same review, he called Nabokov’s writing “highbrow pornography.

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Brave New World – Aldous Huxley

The ritualistic and drug-filled dystopian world created by writer Aldous Huxley may have been too much for some when it was first published in 1931, but the New York Herald Tribune may have missed the point of the book altogether when their review called Brave New World “A lugubrious and heavy-handed piece of propaganda.”


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Catch-22 – Joseph Heller

Heller’s satirical novel about World War II is so popular that the phrase “Catch-22” has become a ubiquitous modern idiom meaning a type of no-win situation. Heller was in a no-win situation, according to critic Richard Stern, whose New York Times review called the book “an emotional hodgepodge.” He added, “No mood is sustained long enough to register for more than a chapter.”


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Under the Volcano — Malcolm Lowry

Lowry’s novel—about an alcoholic British consul in Mexico during the Day of the Dead celebration on the eve of World War II—has both dazzled and frustrated readers since its debut in 1947. The New Yorker only reviewed it in its “Briefly Noted” section, saying, “for all [Lowry’s] earnestness he has succeeded only in writing a rather good imitation of an important novel.”


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To the Lighthouse – Virginia Woolf

The New York Evening Post’s cleverly snide review of Woolf’s highly abstract Modernist masterpiece managed to praise her and shoot her down all in the same sentence: “Her work is poetry; it must be judged as poetry, and all the weaknesses of poetry are inherent in it.”


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An American Tragedy – Theodore Dreiser

This sprawling tale of love and deceit's influence has been made into an opera, a musical, a radio program, and more. When the novel was first published in 1925, the Boston Evening Telegraph called its main character, Clyde Griffiths, “one of the most despicable creations of humanity that ever emerged from a novelist’s brain,” and called Dreiser “a fearsome manipulator of the English language” with a style that “is offensively colloquial, commonplace and vulgar.


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Invisible Man – Ralph Ellison

Invisible Man won the National Book Award for Fiction in 1953, cementing its reputation as one of the most important books about race and identity ever written. In its 1952 review, however, the Atlantic Monthly thought it suffered from “occasional overwriting, stretches of fuzzy thinking, and a tendency to waver, confusingly, between realism and surrealism.”


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Native Son – Richard Wright

Richard Wright’s Native Son is another classic American novel about the African American experience, but the New Statesman and The Nation found the book to be “unimpressive and silly, not even as much fun as a thriller."


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Henderson the Rain King – Saul Bellow

Bellow’s uniquely comic and philosophical novel about an American millionaire who unwittingly becomes the king of an African tribe was the author's personal favorite. But it wasn’t a favorite for critic Reed Whittemore. In his review for the New Republic, Whittemore posed this question to himself: “The reviewer looks at the evidence and wonders if he should damn the author and praise the book, or praise the author and damn the book. And is it possible, somehow or other to praise or damn, both? He isn’t sure.”


Read the rest of these really harsh reviews here.


 
 
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New agents are a boon to writers looking to break into the publishing world. They are hard-working, and eager to find and nurture new talent.

Three of my books were picked up by Random House because of the enthusiastic endorsement of a new agent.

Check out these agents, and, as always, read the websites of their agencies to see if your work is a good fit for them.
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Cate Hart

About Cate: Cate Hart is a Junior Agent at Corvisiero Literary Agency, where she started as an intern working closely with Marisa Corvisiero and Saritza Hernandez. A Tennessee native, Cate earned her B.F.A. from the University of Tennessee. Before joining Corvisiero Literary Agency, Cate worked in financial management.

What she is seeking: Cate's primary interest is YA. She will consider any genre, but is looking especially for Fantasy and Magical Realism. For Middle Grade, she is looking for Fantasy, Adventure and Mystery with a humorous or heart-warming voice and a unique concept. For Adult, she is only accepting Historical Romance. Cate will also consider select LGBTQ and Erotica. For Non-Fiction, Cate will consider select histories and biographies. She is looking for secret histories and little known facts and events. She enjoys reading about the everyday heroes of the American and French Revolutions, something more beyond the tactics of war.

How to submit: Please send a query letter addressed to Cate with “Query” and your title in the subject line. Attach a 1-2 page synopsis and the first five pages of your manuscript as a doc file. Cate will respond to every query. You can check her website catehart.com for “current through” dates as well as updated wishlists.

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Rena Rossner


About Rena: Rena handles foreign rights for the Deborah Harris Agency, a literary agency based in Jerusalem. She is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University’s Writing Seminars Program, where she double-majored in poetry and non-fiction writing. She studied at Trinity College, Dublin and holds an MA in History from McGill University in Montreal, Canada. She worked at bookstores in four countries, has written extensively for The Jerusalem Report and The Jerusalem Post, and worked in PR, grant-writing, and website development at The Jerusalem Foundation. She is a writer of both fiction and poetry.

She is seeking: "I am most interested in representing Fantasy and Science Fiction in all its permutations - Adult, Middle Grade, Young Adult etc. I also look for Middle Grade and Young Adult contemporary stories and I'd be open to MG/YA mysteries and thrillers as well. I represent quite a few picture books and I'm always looking for those. In terms of adult books, I look for Literary Fiction, Historical Fiction, multicultural books, and I'd also consider adult mysteries, thrillers and psychological suspense, but not cozy mysteries. I specifically look for literary work (in any genre,) and books with elements of magical realism and the fantastic. You will steal my heart for sure if it's set in the Middle East, in Israel or if it has Jewish or Israeli themes and characters, but I'm open to all themes, settings and characters. You've got to have a really good reason to send me nonfiction, or cookbooks, but if you have a reason that seems to fit with who I am and what I'm looking for, I'll take a look."

How to submit: Please include a synopsis of your book, a short biographical note and the first two chapters of the work— or an equivalent of up to fifty pages. Email: rena@thedeborahharrisagency.com
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Holly Lorincz of MacGregor Literary

About Holly: Holly has a degree in Journalism as well as a MAT focused in writing and literature. She was the editor of the literary magazine Perceptions, and then became a high school and college instructor. During that fifteen year run, she was named Teacher of the Year in Oregon, won two national awards from the National Federation of Schools, coached her high school speech team to two State Championships and nine individual Champions, began an editing service, and published various short works.

She is seeking: "I am currently only accepting general market submissions in these areas: historical romance, literary or classic westerns, political or conspiracy thrillers, women's fiction, or literary fiction."

How to submit: Email queries to holly [at] macgregorliterary.com. Please include the genre in the subject line.

 
 
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I have long suspected that the rank of 'bestseller' could be purchased. Now, there is proof.

Does this mean you can buy a bestseller slot for your upcoming book? Not unless you have a couple hundred thousand dollars to spare, and know 6,000 people.
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How to Buy a Top Spot on the New York Times Bestseller List

By Dennis Abrams, Publishing Perspectives, March 10, 2014

Carolyn Kellogg reports in the Los Angeles Times that while every author wants to get a book on the bestseller list, “those who can pay for the services of ResultSource Inc just might get one.”

The company which describes itself as “a boutique marketing firm that works with today’s thought leaders to build bestsellers” apparently has done so. In 2013, Kellogg reports, the Wall Street Journal talked with the authors of two books who paid thousands of dollars to ResultSource and soon ended up on the Journal’s bestseller list. “Precisely how [ResultSource] goes about [its business] is unclear, Jeffrey Trachtenberg reported at the time.

Now, Warren Cole Smith reports at www.worldmag.com that “Seattle’s Mars Hill Church paid [ResultSource] at least $210,000 in 2011 and 2012 to ensure thatReal Marriage, a book written by Mark Driscoll, the church’s founding pastor, and his wife Grace, made the New York Times best-seller list.”

Smith writes that a document obtained by WORLD shows that ResultSource Inc. (RSI) entered into an agreement with Mars Hill “to conduct a bestseller campaign for your book, Real Marriage, on the week of January 2, 2012. The bestseller campaign is intended to place Real Marriage (Thomas Nelson) on The New York Times bestseller list for the Advice How-To list.”

ResultSource also promised Mars Hill that they would be able to help place Real Marriage on the Wall Street Journal Business, USA Today Money, BN.com (Barnes& Noble) and Amazon.com bestseller lists.

Find out how they did it HERE.

 
 
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Hey, it's Spring! That means contest time.

This one is FREE. (I am a strong believer in free contests.)

What do you get if you win?

Essentially, you get a chance to be represented by the agent who is reading the entries. So, make sure you check out Christa at McIntosh and Otis (scroll down). You never know - she could become your agent!

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Writer's Digest, March 4, 2014 | Chuck Sambuchino

Welcome to the 14th (free!) “Dear Lucky Agent” Contest on the GLA blog. This is a recurring online contest with agent judges and super-cool prizes. Here’s the deal: With every contest, the details are essentially the same, but the niche itself changes—meaning each contest is focused around a specific category or two. So if you’re writing contemporary middle grade fiction, this 14th contest is for you! (The contest is live through EOD, March 18, 2014.)

WHY YOU SHOULD GET EXCITED

After a previous “Dear Lucky Agent” contest, the agent judge, Tamar Rydzinski (The Laura Dail Literary Agency), signed one of the three contest winners. After Tamar signed the writer, she went on to sell two of that writer’s books! How cool! That’s why these contests are not to missed if you have an eligible submission.

HOW TO SUBMIT

E-mail entries to dearluckyagent14@gmail.com. Please paste everything. No attachments.

WHAT TO SUBMIT

The first 150-200 words of your unpublished, book-length work of contemporary middle grade fiction. You must include a contact e-mail address with your entry and use your real name. Also, submit the title of the work and a logline (one-sentence description of the work) with each entry.

Please note: To be eligible to submit, you must mention this contest twice through any any social-media. Please provide a social media link or Twitter handle or screenshot or blog post URL, etc., with your offical e-mailed entry so the judge and I can verify eligibility. Some previous entrants could not be considered because they skipped this step! Simply spread the word twice through any means and give us a way to verify you did; a tinyURL for this link/contest for you to easily use is http://tinyurl.com/kva3w9j. An easy way to notify me of your sharing is to include my Twitter handle @chucksambuchino somewhere in your mention(s) if using Twitter. And if you are going to solely use Twitter as your 2 times, please wait 1 day between mentions to spread out the notices, rather than simply tweeting twice back to back. Thanks.

WHAT IS ELIGIBLE?

Contemporary middle grade fiction. This means any middle grade set in our present world and time — mainstream, thriller, romance, mystery, adventure, humor, etc. What the agent judge will NOT consider as part of this contest is stories set outside our present world — sci-fi, fantasy, historical, steampunk.

CONTEST DETAILS

This contest will be live for approximately 14 days—from March 4, 2014 through the end of March 18, 2014, PST. Winners notified by e-mail within three weeks of end of contest. Winners announced on the blog thereafter.

To enter, submit the first 150-200 words of your book. Shorter or longer entries will not be considered. Keep it within word count range please.

You can submit as many times as you wish. You can submit even if you submitted to other contests in the past, but please note that past winners cannot win again. All that said, you are urged to only submit your best work.

The contest is open to everyone of all ages, save those employees, officers and directors of GLA’s publisher, F+W Media, Inc.

By e-mailing your entry, you are submitting an entry for consideration in this contest and thereby agreeing to the terms written here as well as any terms possibly added by me in the “Comments” section of this blog post. (If you have questions or concerns, write me personally at chuck.sambuchino (at) fwmedia.com. The Gmail account above is for submissions, not questions.)

PRIZES!!!

Top 3 winners all get: 1) A critique of the first 10 double-spaced pages of your work, by your agent judge. 2) A free one-year subscription to WritersMarket.com ($50 value)!

JUDGE

Christa Heschke is an agent with McIntosh & Otis. (Find her on Twitter, and see her blog, Neverending Stories.) Christa graduated from Binghamton University with a major in English and a minor in Anthropology. She started in publishing as an intern at both Writers House and Sterling Lord Literistic, where she fell in love with the agency side of publishing. Christa has been at McIntosh and Otis, Inc. in the Children’s Literature Department since 2009 where she is actively looking for picture books, middle grade, young adult and new adult projects and is currently building her list.

 
 
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Speculative fiction publishers have a tradition of accepting manuscripts directly from authors.

This is a genre that has a market of readers who think in terms of possibilities, and who don't, as a rule, like to follow the mainstream.

These readers also have their own networks, which means a science fiction novel can achieve fame strictly through word-of-mouth ( e.g. Wool). Publishers in this genre realize that mavericks have a place in the sci-fi world, and are thus willing to work directly with writers.

Because many sci-fi houses publish fantasy as well, fantasy writers also get a break.

As always, go to the publisher's website, and read everything on it before you submit your work.
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Baen Books 

Baen Books was founded in 1983 by science fiction editor and publisher Jim Baen (now deceased). Baen was one of the first publishers to use the Internet as a means of "spreading the word" about a book or author.

In addition to publishing emerging authors, Baen republishes older science fiction in collections and omnibus editions, such as the works of the 1960s authors Christopher Anvil and others.

What they are looking for: Science fiction and fantasy. Powerful plots with solid scientific and philosophical underpinnings are essential for science fiction submissions. For fantasy, any magical system must be both rigorously coherent and integral to the plot, and overall the work must at least strive for originality. Manuscripts should be at least 100,000 words, but if your novel is really wonderful send it along regardless of length.

Reporting time: usually within 9 to 12 Months.

How to submit: Complete manuscript accompanied by a synopsis. No simultaneous submissions.

Electronic Submissions: Send your manuscript by using the submission form at: http://ftp.baen.com/Slush/submit.aspx

Attach the manuscript as a Rich Text Format (.rtf) file. Any other format will not be considered.

Send the manuscript as a single file (do not break it into separate chapter files). The form only accepts a single file so any synopsis and contact info needs to be in the file with your manuscript.

Your submission must include your name, email address, postal mailing address, and telephone number on both your cover letter and the first page of the manuscript. If you have an alternate permanent email address, please include it, in case your primary account goes out of service. Include a plot outline if possible.

You may include your ideal cover treatment, including cover copy, a teaser page, and whatever else you would like.

Hardcopy Submissions: (for those who cannot submit electronically)

Standard manuscript format only: double-spaced, one side of the page only, 1 1/2" margins on all four sides of the page. We will consider photocopies if they are dark and clear.

Font must be seriphed or at least semi-seriphed, 12-point or greater.

Title, author (last name only is okay), and page number at the top of each page are mandatory. Include your name, mailing address, and telephone number on the first page.

All submissions should be accompanied by a stamped return envelope. Submissions from outside the U.S. should be accompanied by sufficient International Reply Coupons.

Send manuscripts to:

Baen Books
P.O. Box 1188
Wake Forest, NC 27588
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DAW

DAW is part of the Penguin Group.

From the website: Founded in 1971 by veteran paperback editor Donald A. Wollheim, along with his wife, Elsie B. Wollheim, DAW Books was the first publishing company ever devoted exclusively to science fiction and fantasy. Now more than 30 years and more than a thousand titles later, DAW has a well-deserved reputation for discovering and publishing the hottest talents in the industry. Many stars of the science fiction and fantasy field made their debuts in the pages of a DAW book, including Tad Williams, C. J. Cherryh, Mercedes Lackey, Melanie Rawn, C.S. Friedman, Jennifer Roberson, and Tanith Lee. Despite its high profile, DAW is still a small private company, owned exclusively by its publishers, Elizabeth R. Wollheim and Sheila E. Gilbert. Betsy and Sheila are strongly committed to discovering and nurturing new talent, and to keeping a personal "family" spirit at DAW—something they feel is all too rare in today's world of international conglomerate publishing.

What they are looking for: Science fiction and fantasy novels. The average length of the novels is almost never less than 80,000 words. They do not want short stories, short story collections, novellas, poetry, or novels in other genres.

How to submitDAW does not accept electronic submissions. Send the complete manuscript with a cover letter. Manuscripts must be letter-quality computer-generated. Clear photocopies are acceptable. The manuscript should be on 8 1/2" x 11" paper or a close equivalent, double-spaced, with at least 1" wide margins all around. Please use only one side of the page, number your pages consecutively, and put the title of your novel at the top of each page if possible. Manuscripts should always be unbound.

Type your name, address and phone number in the upper right hand corner of the first page of your manuscript. Right under this, please put the length of your manuscript in number of words.

Enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope with your submission for our correspondence. Manuscripts will not be returned,

Send manuscripts to:

Peter Stampfel
Submission Editor
DAW Books
375 Hudson St
New York, NY 10014
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TOR

TOR was founded by publisher Tom Doherty in 1980. It was sold to St. Martin's Press in 1986, making it part of the Holtzbrinck group. Tor has published more award-winning and -nominated science fiction books

than any other publisher.

What they are looking for: Science fiction, as well as other genre fiction. Imprints include Starscape: science fiction and fantasy for middle grade readers ages 10 and up (grades 5 and up), published in hardcover and paperback, and Tor Teen, science fiction and fantasy for young adult readers ages 13 and up (grades 8 and up), published in hardcover and paperback. All titles are age- and theme-appropriate. Some editions include reader’s guides and other supplemental materials.

How to submit: TOR has an open submissions policy. Every proposal is reviewed by at least one member of the editorial staff.

Please note that these guidelines are intended for writers who do not have agents.

Your submissions packet should include:

The first three chapters of your book, prepared in standard manuscript format on white paper. (If your chapters are really short or really long, or you don't use chapter breaks, you may send the first 40-60 pages of your book, provided you stay under 10,000 words.) The submitted text must be made up of consecutive pages and should end at the end of a paragraph, not in mid-sentence. Standard manuscript format means margins of at least 1 inch all the way around; indented paragraphs; double-spaced text; and Courier or Times Roman in 10 or 12 pitch. Please use one side of the page only and do not justify the text. Do not bind the manuscript in any way. Make sure the header of the ms. includes either your name or the title of the book and the page number (on every page).

A synopsis of the entire book. The synopsis should include all important plot elements, especially the end of the story, as well as aspects of character development for your main characters. The synopsis should run between three and ten pages in standard manuscript format.

A dated cover letter that includes your name and contact information and the title of the submitted work. Briefly tell us what genre or subgenre the submission falls into and mention any qualifications you have that pertain to the work. Please list any previous publications in paying markets.

A self-addressed, stamped, business-size envelope for our reply letter. Unfortunately, it's no longer possible for us to return submissions due to a change in postal service policy that requires packages weighing more than a pound be mailed at a post office. Since we use a company mailroom rather than a post office, when we try to return submissions, they are sent back to us by the postal service or disappear in transit. We recycle your proposals. (That's not a euphemism for being tossed in a wastebasket--we recycle all white paper.) If you live outside the United States, please go to http://www.usps.com/onlinepostage to see internet postage options. If you do not include an SASE, you will not receive a reply at all.

Please send only one proposal in each submissions packet. If you have written a series, send a proposal for the first book only. If we like what we see, we'll ask for the rest.

Many people include postcards for us to return when the proposal reaches us. Unfortunately, we don't open submissions until we're ready to read them, so you'll likely get the "I got it" postcard the same day you receive our response to your project.

If you want to be sure that your manuscript was delivered to our offices, please ask for a return receipt or a signature confirmation when you post it.

Here are some tips to help the whole process work smoothly:
  • Don't send a query letter. It's practically impossible to judge a project from a query. We'd rather see your proposal.
  • Don't send submissions or inquiries by email or fax. We do not respond to emailed or faxed submissions, queries, or inquiries about the status of submissions.
  • Don't send disks. We want to read words in black type on white paper. And it's not that we don't trust you, but your system might have viruses you don't know about.
  • Don't send us the only copy of anything. Things get lost in transit.
  • Don't send interior or cover art or an author photo. There's time for that later, if we like your project.
  • Don't send jewelry, food, toys, 3-dimensional representations of anything, or anything that might be construed as a bribe.
Send submissions to:

Tom Doherty Associates, LLC
175 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10010
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Ace

Note: Ace appears to have changed its policy. It is no longer accepting submissions directly  from writers.


ACE Books is the oldest continuously operating science fiction publisher in the United States. It is now part of Penguin Group. It issued some of the most outstanding science fiction writers of the 1950s and 1960s, including Samuel R. Delany, Philip K. Dick, Ursula K. Le Guin, and Robert Silverberg. Ace was known for marketing innovations such as the Ace Doubles, which contained two short novels bound back to back, and for the critically acclaimed Ace Specials edited by Terry Carr.

What they are looking for: Science fiction and fantasy. (The publisher recommends that you look at their list to see what they publish.)  Ace and Roc do not accept submissions of short stories, non-fiction, children's books, poetry, or artwork.

How to submit: The usual length for a manuscript is between 80,000 and 125,000 words.

All work should be submitted by emailing a query letter with the first ten pages of your book pasted in the body of the email. Do not attach any documents. Text should be formatted in the industry standard of Times New Roman 12 point font.

Our email address is sff@us.penguingroup.com. Please note that we no longer accept paper submissions.

No simultaneous submissions.

Reporting time: 5 months for a reply to an e-mail query.

 
 
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Somehow, it does not surprise me that a quarter of the top 100 Kindle books are self-published. These books consistently underprice the competition from traditional publishers, and are often available for free through Amazon's KDP Select program. Readers are more then willing to take a chance on a book that costs nothing.

And, of course, now that Amazon owns Goodreads, a whole new world of reviews and reader endorsements has opened up.

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Source
: The Guardian, Dec 4, 2013

As many as a quarter of the top 100 Kindle books on Amazon.com are from indie publishers, according to data revealed at a trade presentation by the retailer.

A chart detailing the 25 top-selling indie titles in 2012 was passed on by an audience member via Twitter. Though the term indie is broad, covering everything from self-published authors to publishing houses that fall outside the big six, the news has been interpreted as a victory for the go-it-alone author. However in the US the term has come to mean self-published. A spokeswoman for Amazon.com said: "This figure is referring to Kindle books on Amazon.com in 2012, with 'indie' meaning books self-published via Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). So a quarter of the top 100 bestselling Kindle books on Amazon.com in 2012 were self-published via KDP."

Writer.ly , an online marketplace that connects authors with freelance editors, book designers and marketeers, tweeted a picture of the chart on Wednesday. It displayed the top 100 books, with about a quarter of the covers highlighted, under the title "A Quarter of top 100 on Amazon.com Indie-Published".

The figure refers to Amazon's US book market but is a strong indicator of what's ahead for the UK. "If the UK isn't quite there yet then it's just a time lag – we are seeing that more and more of the top books around the world are published by authors themselves," said Orna Ross, director of the UK Alliance of Independent Authors, which represents self-published writers.

"We are in the middle of a major change. I wouldn't be at all surprised if we reached a situation where the majority of the top books are author-published. I don't see what would stop that," Ross said.

Read more HERE.

 

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