A few questions from someone trying to learn more about publishing.
I am pretty new to the world of publishing and I was wonder if anyone could help me answer a few questions. Has anyone ever published a book in a different country? Are there any guides or resources available on this subject? Also I have read on this form that it is not a good idea to write a series if it is your first time trying to get published. Is this a pretty standard notion? I have a lot of ideas in my head but the book that I am almost finished writing is part of a series and this series is what I have concentrating most of my effort on. Would it be worth trying to get an agent to read it? Any insight would be welcome. Thank you.
Even if you're writing a series, the first book should be able to stand alone, as there is no guarantee a publisher will pick up the series. Most people advise that you pitch this project to agents as "a stand-alone novel with series potential."
Hi Thor; Jeanne's advice is great and if it helps, I don't think J.K. Rowling knew what she had when she first started sketching Harry Potter on restaurant napkins, and maybe didn't envision a massive serial story. She was probably more excited about the characters and the story, and pushed forward from there. From what I've read about George Lucas, his original renditions of Star Wars were incomprehensible. It took him years to sort out the script, and even after he shot the film (given the ending) he wasn't envisioning a protracted series. My point is writers often don't know what they have, so go for whatever is working for you. That said, I think you should you examine your book and consider it not only in light of a possible series, but ask yourself can the book stand alone and does it contain the necessary elements to do so? Serials have plots, subplots, a primary conflict, and usually resolve a few main questions, even if they are asking new ones. Hope some of this helps.
Jeanne, Dragon, thank you for the information. In regards to my book I am not sure how to make it a stand-alone without changing the story drastically. I have been working on the story line of this book for years and it has developed into a series. On that matter do you all think it would be betting to write a different book, try to get it published and try to publish the series at a later date or would it be best to try and change the story in this book so that it can stand alone?
Hi Thor; Ask yourself why the book doesn't stand alone. Start there. Your first book in the series should contain some basic and necessary plot elements. Your first book in the series should ask a main question and then a few other significant questions (if you're writing a serial). You don't have to answer them all in the first book, but you have to answer some. Think of "Lord of the Rings" - break it down according to the film series. The main question the story asks is "will they destroy the ring?", and that doesn't get answered until the very end of the third film. However, each installment asked other questions, had major battles etc., that were usually resolved within the respective installment. Do your best to assess your novel, outline the plot and define why you think it can't stand alone. If you are having trouble, ask someone you know to read the outline and excerpts of the book to help you. Good luck!
Originally Posted by Thor