I'm an established full-time author - willing to answer questions if you have them



I’m currently editing it (Basic editing on here) but I like writing notes down so once I’m ready then I can I can get some sorta chance in getting even if it means a rejection notice (If they get the time to do so) it’ll help redo over and over again.


The thing you want most in an agent is a proven track record IN YOUR GENRE. Best way to determine that is to subscribe to Publisher’s Marketplace. It’s where agents announce their deals and you can search through it to see who they have published.

There used to be a site called “Preditors and Editors” which listed agents and publishes which were not on the up and up - I think it’s currently defunct because it was taking some time to administrate, but the old version of the site might be up there. Contacting other clients from the agent (again find them in PM) might not be a bad idea. Googling them to see if they have a bad track record can help as well. Also, you might make a post on the Writer’s Cafe of kboards - to see if others have had problems with them.

Another site is Writer Beware, and it is still operational.

As to followers on Wattpad. If you have 1M+ it’s probably worth mentioning. If less than that, probably not.


I agree with all of that.


I was able to answer the question about science fiction, because that’s the genre I write in, so I know a bunch about it. I don’t write mystery/thriller so I can’t help. Best thing to do…go to a bookstore and go to that secton and start copying down the names of imprints of books there. I do know that Amazon’s imprint for that genre is Thomas and Mercer (I have a friend published through them). Also, keep in mind that what you really need is an AGENT that reps that genre – they’ll know who the publishers are - and for that Agent Query is a good place to start.


I concur with all of this.


The big five publishers will assign an editor (sometimes more than one), and they pay for them, so no, you shouldn’t have to go out of pocket for that. However, if your writing is really rough…or you make a lot of grammar errors, it may be worth getting a copy editor to look over your work so when the agent reads a full or partial it’s in really good shape. In general, they know it’s at “query” stage so they are not expecting perfection, but the closer you are to it. The more clean your work looks (and the less that will have to be done to it) will certainly give a better impression.

Most reputable small presses will operate the same way (hire editors) but there are some that act more like a service provider than a publihser and they take your work verbatim and release exactly what you give them. If that’s the case, either (a) don’t sign with them or (b) pay for your own editor.


Unfortunately until the book is released, and the readers weigh in - you’ll never REALLY know. A lot of the decision making process is subjective and it’s all about a “gut feeling.”

That said…publishers want something “original” but not “too original.” To calculate their P&L they need to compare your book to other titles that are similar. The best way to think of it – their truly sweet spot is a “fresh take” on something that has sold well before.

Here’s a decent example – M.R. Carey’s Girl with all the Gifts. It was seen as a “fresh take” on zombies. Same thing with World War Z.


I love beta readers, and think they are very helpful. In THIS particular case, though, I think the sample size would be too small to get any true indication.


Yep…the agent that eventually got me my big break wasn’t from a “traditional query.” They were a foreign rights specialist and I had several translation deals I needed brokered so my correspondence was basically - Have these offers need agent and I got signed pretty quickly :wink:


Yep, I agree with this…with one cavaet. If your grammar prose is in REALLY bad shape, you might have to bite the bullet to get some clean-up done before querying…but, yes, in general it’s money wasted as the publisher will take care of that.


In theory - yes. But nowadays many agents aren’t responding to queries so a “haven’t head from me means no.” And that could be because of the idea, or the writing. But yes, if you are lucky enough to get responses from the agents, and they say, “This is too hard to sell.” Then that will answer your question.


The cleaner the better, without question. But most agents are able to look past an occasional mistake that would be caught by copyediting. So, I’d say it doesn’t have to be PERFECT, but the closer to perfection the better. Whether you need a copyeditor is going to depend on if the mistakes are great enough to annoy the agent and make them pass.


Thanks for your answer :slight_smile:


( i havent read the thread, so I apologise if this has been asked before).

As a full time writer, how much time do you spend actually writing? Do you have a specific daily word count? Where do you like to write.

i’m personally trying to get back into writing after like 2 years of writers block. trying to fiqure out what works best for me


Hard to tell, as people are so different. Some write in bursts of creativity and get 50 K words on paper in a few days. Others need external goals (NaNoWrimo). Others plod on daily. Yet others reserve time off for writing (or go on a retreat).
It depends on what works best for you. I would advocate for some form of regular writing, even if it is small amounts per day. Stephen King, in his wisdom, says 2K are still okay. Well, for some people that is actually quite a lot.
I set myself target chapters i.e. I would like to see 2 chapters per week. Given that mine are around 3 K at the very least that means almost the 2 K words King stipulates. But I’m not doing it because of him, I prefer to finish a novel in a relatively confined period, otherwise I loose track. Wth that approach, I wrote two novels last year, edited two more, while holding down a full time job i.e. more than 40 hours per week.
I don’t have kids, that helps, lol!
But it really is very subjective. Try to find out what works best for you, what motivates you most. That approach will most likely ensure you finish your novel which is the ultimate goal.
Writer’s block is bad. It also depends a bit on what blocked you. A specific novel? (write another one) Too many unfinished novels? (try to find the one you think you can “fix”)
A specific chapter (write the next)
You don’t like what you’ve written? (rewrite)
Again - all very subjective!


True! I was thinking ahead to feedback on a full when I wrote that (but I didn’t specify that, and it’s misleading the way I wrote it). If you query and aren’t getting past the query level, there are likely problems much more basic than “hard to sell.”


Writer Beware is still out there https://www.sfwa.org/other-resources/for-authors/writer-beware/ their blog is here: https://accrispin.blogspot.com/


Hi. I’m in the process of writing my first novel—something I’ve been wanting to do for years, now—and I’m tempted to post what I have thus far on Wattpad. I’m planing to eventually self-publish it. I’m not really interested in the money or prestige. I write because it’s a passion of mine, and I want to share my worlds with other people. But would publishing my story on Wattpad mean that I can’t publish it elsewhere (like an e-book or something)?

My story’s still in the very early stages of writing (I don’t even have 20,000 words yet; I only started it three days ago), but I like to have a general game-plan. Not to mention, feedback this early could be useful in later plot development.

So would posting it here be a mistake?

Also, out of curiosity, how would I go about making a physical copy of the book when it’s done? Is there a company for that or something? How much would that cost?

I apologize for the long comment. I’ve been writing fanfiction for seven years, now, and I finally feel confident enough in my own writing skills to try my hand at an original story. So I have a lot of questions. ^^


You can definitely publish your story to Wattpad with the intentions of self-publishing it later. Posting to Wattpad gives you the opportunity to get valuable (and free) feedback on your manuscript. That’s pretty huge in the writing world.

You’d have to do some research for your last question. My suggestion would be to look into places like IngramSparks, Amazon and other online distributors so see what best works for you.


I write in the mornings between breakfast and lunch. That could mean starting as early as 7:30 and going as late as 2:00. Most often it’s 9:00 - 12:00 or 1:00. I generally shoot for 2,000 words a day and do somewhere between 1,700 - 2,200. I write every day even weekends and holidays.

If I’m editing I’ll do that in the evening and afternoons but I rarely write “new material” outside those hours.