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Thread: The next step

  1. #1
    Alysha Raelene

    The next step

    I am somewhat new to the writing business (at least writing seriously), I have previously self published a novelle but I wouldn't exactly classify myself as a "published author" yet. I'm having the worst of troubles trying to write a captivating query letter, or finding some one who would be interested in representing my work. And I'm not exactly sure where to start looking or what to ask. Any ideas?

  2. #2
    Joe Zeff

    Re: The next step

    Take a look through the Literary Agents forum and you'll see several threads about query letters. Start yours with a "hook:" a one sentence attention grabber to keep agents reading long enough to get interested and follow it with a one paragraph synopsis that doesn't "give away" the ending. The idea here is to get the agent to want more. Be sure to include your word count, rounded to the nearest thousand. Don't start off by saying that you're looking for representation, because that's a given and, for the same reason, don't mention that your book's complete. (If you haven't edited, polished and re-written your book until it's as good as you can get it, BTW, you're not ready to query.) Also, don't mention your self published work unless it's sold a remarkable number of copies, because it won't impress an agent. When you're done, post it in the above forum for critique and suggestions but be sure to don your asbestos undies because we don't pull punches here.

  3. #3
    Raven Nights

    Re: The next step

    Hi Alysha & welcome,

    firstly let me start by saying others will give you much better advice than me so if anyone's suggestions differ from mine, takes theirs first

    As for self-publsihed fiction, you will be told many times over that, just as you mentioned, you are not published in the traditional form, you are self-published.

    Now as for your MS, have you written another novella or a full novel? Is it complete?
    If a full MS, you might want to try posting your QL on this site for review and critique. Post it in Lit Agents Forum and expect honest critique.
    Don't take anything said to heart as it's not personal, take the suggestions and keep working and improve.

    The lit agents, have they sent you only form rejections or have you had any useful feedback? If so, have you taken those comments and used them?

    See how you go with the query letter critique and take it from there.


  4. #4
    Zlatko Marazovic

    Re: The next step

    Hi everyone,

    I am new to this and my work is finished (2 novels finished) but they are in Croatian language.I have tried to find agents from that part of the world and found none.Also, I have come along one website where it says that foreign languages should be acceptable by most agents in US.If anyone has got any info or any ideas, could you please help.

    I thank you all.


  5. #5
    Raven Nights

    Re: The next step

    Hi Zlako,

    OK, don't take anything I say to heart, it is intended as constructive advice.
    I know a little about your issue and in particular writing in Croatian, I'm Croatian also.

    Firstly, while most ppl know where Croatia is, you have to accept that the Croatian community is a small one, with only 4 mill odd in Croatia itself, so your market is not a large market. Having said that, don't discount writing in your own language.

    The Croatian language is a very beautiful and poetic one, but it does make for translation issues. So stick to finding a Croatian lit agent.

    Now, how to go about this. It will not be easy, but it can be done, I know as my father had had short stories etc. published. But you will find it almost impossible to get a lit agent in the USA if you are an unknown and not much easier within Croatia.

    What you might want to try is wrting some short stories/poems/sonnets in Croatain and getting them published in Croatian magazines/newspapers etc. both within Croatia and whatever country you are aiming for. (Australia, UK, USA) - BUT in Croatian newspapers/mag. in those countries.

    Your path will be a long one but not impossible. You need to establish a name for yourself with some sort of following. Look at the success Thompson has had with his tragic yet heart-felt songs (to those that don't know Thompson is a former Croatian soldier/war hero who is now a very successful musician in Croatia -yes name is Anglo but he is pure Croat; just ask him!)

    My point is, his music is romantic and tragic, heroic and sad...... and EXTREMELY popular. If he were to start writing a book of short stories, poems or even a novel, I guarantee it would be a sell-out within Croatia and would likely get picked up O/seas and translated in English.

    All I can say is, work on it, start somewhere and don't get discouraged. Getting a lit agent in the USA for an unknown in English is a uphill battle, in a non-English language almost impossible and in a non-English language that has a small community; well at this stage, forget it! BUT make a name for yourself and you'll be in there.

    Again, master your craft, make the best MS you can in Croatian and in the meanwhile submit stories/sonnets for publication in Croat newspapers/mags/internet sites.

    It CAN be done.

    I hope this has helped.....

    Za Dom Spremli!


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