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Old 04-07-2010, 05:53 AM   #1
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Question Will An Agent Accept A Self-Published Book?

Hi.


I recently published one of my novels with CreateSpace, but I then decided that the book was too big and so I took it off of CreateSpace, which is I made it unavailable, because needed to split it in two, so I did that. I then double-spaced the two manuscripts and changed the font to Courier New, the closest thing to Courier. I edited the book and corrected all the grammar mistakes it had. Now I need to know if there's a possibility that an agent will accept the first part of what used to be my book. The first volume of the story actually has almost 141,00 words. What do you all think?


Thanks
Magali.


PS: I hope no one gets mad at me for asking this question like it happened when I asked my last question.

Last edited by Margarita Skies; 04-07-2010 at 05:55 AM. Reason: Needed to add a very important thought.
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Old 04-07-2010, 05:58 AM   #2
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Considering that history, I'd say an agent would judge the book on its merits, rather than by whether it had been on CreateSpace.
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Old 04-07-2010, 06:41 AM   #3
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I think the word count is going to be a problem.
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Old 04-07-2010, 07:03 AM   #4
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Many agents seem to prefer books under 90,000 words. Also there seems to be a general consensus about type font being Times New Roman sized 12 when you submit fulls or partials to an agent (upon their request) - double-spaced.
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Old 04-07-2010, 07:06 AM   #5
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Also there seems to be a general consensus about type font being Times New Roman sized 12 when you submit fulls or partials to an agent (upon their request) - double-spaced.
Courier/Courier New/Dark Courier are still perfectly acceptable and often even preferable for submission. Any of those or TNR will be fine unless an agent specifies otherwise.
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Old 04-07-2010, 07:38 AM   #6
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Thank you very much, everyone. I will reduce the word count by 50,000 words. I am going to do that right now. Thanks, AAdams73 for your reply and yes, I know that most agents accept manuscripts in Courier and Times New Roman but I formatted it in Courier New (my computer doesn't have Courier) just in case. Your advice is very much appreciated. I will be on the lookout for this thread for more advice.
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Old 04-07-2010, 08:23 AM   #7
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the word count depends on what genre the book is. But I think it's not as much of an issue as is having a good story. Period. My word count is way over 140K, and it's not going to get anywhere close to that number even after the most stringent of edits! (But if I had a dollar for every time someone said "OMG, you can't publish if you've gone over 100,000 words!!!!!", I'd be starting my own publishing company, lol)

The only issue here is that no, to the best of my knowledge, an agent will not generally accept a self-published book if it has been made available somewhere else. That's considered first publishing rights, and they would be gone. I know I reread your original post a couple of times, but I'm not clear if you ever had it available, or even 50% of it available to the public - that would constitute it being published already, and most publishing houses won't buy it because of that.
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Old 04-07-2010, 06:38 PM   #8
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If you've been able to sell about 10,000 copies, then an agent or publishing house might be interested in it.
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Old 04-07-2010, 07:01 PM   #9
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Did you take it off before it became available to purchase? By that I mean, did you complete the whole set up process?
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Old 04-07-2010, 07:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Did you take it off before it became available to purchase? By that I mean, did you complete the whole set up process?

I took it off after I made it available for purchase. I guess I'm going to have to delete it from my hard drive if I can no longer publish it and write three brand-new books to replace the manuscript I made into three books.
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Old 04-07-2010, 07:49 PM   #11
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I took it off after I made it available for purchase. I guess I'm going to have to delete it from my hard drive if I can no longer publish it and write three brand-new books to replace the manuscript I made into three books.
No need to be so melodramatic. Take a good hard look at it. Wrangle it into a manageable word count. Make sure it's as good as you can possibly get it. Then query. By the time you're done giving it a serious edit and pruning, it's not even going to be the same story anymore.
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Old 04-07-2010, 07:53 PM   #12
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No need to be so melodramatic. Take a good hard look at it. Wrangle it into a manageable word count. Make sure it's as good as you can possibly get it. Then query. By the time you're done giving it a serious edit and pruning, it's not even going to be the same story anymore.

After reading Elisa's reply, I deleted the story along with another story I put on and then took off of CreateSpace, but after reading your reply, I am going to put it back on my computer because luckily, I have it saved on a CD-R. Thank you so, so much. I will, however, try to complete my 7 incomplete stories one by one, so that I have new stories to query just in case.


Thank you so, so much!!!
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Old 04-07-2010, 08:07 PM   #13
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For electronic submissions, times New Roman is fine, but for print, it's the crappiest font out there. A real pain in the butt to edit.

But there is NO 100,000 word limit. That's a complete myth, apparently fostered by people who have never been in a bookstore.

Word limit is, always has been, and always will be, whatever publisher's guidelines say it is for a given genre, for that publisher. Plus a whole bunch more words, if the book is good enough.
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Old 04-07-2010, 08:08 PM   #14
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Quote:
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If you've been able to sell about 10,000 copies, then an agent or publishing house might be interested in it.
You never have to sell that many copies in order to interest a publisher in a book. But in this case, the book as is has never really been published anywhere, self or not.
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Old 04-08-2010, 12:42 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MagaliFuentes View Post
After reading Elisa's reply, I deleted the story along with another story I put on and then took off of CreateSpace, but after reading your reply, I am going to put it back on my computer because luckily, I have it saved on a CD-R. Thank you so, so much. I will, however, try to complete my 7 incomplete stories one by one, so that I have new stories to query just in case.


Thank you so, so much!!!
I'm not sure I get all these deleting stuff. Why would you? It is not like the MS takes up so much space on your hard drive. And even if it does, at least email it to yourself to a yahoo account or gmail, so that you have a copy for your archives.

Even if you self published on Createspace, it seems that your ms is sufficiently revised now and is no longer available to the public.

I think it would be acceptable to query as though it were a new ms. Then, when you sign with an agent, you will be able to tell him or her about the brief stint on CreateSpace. I doubt this will be a problem.
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Old 04-08-2010, 12:45 AM   #16
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Other people here on AW have told me that if the book has been self-pubbed, you might be able to get an agent or publisher interested in reprinting it if you've sold a large number of copies. In this case, the OP wasn't clear if it had actually gone to sale on CreateSpace.
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Old 04-08-2010, 07:48 AM   #17
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Quote:
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For electronic submissions, times New Roman is fine, but for print, it's the crappiest font out there. A real pain in the butt to edit.

But there is NO 100,000 word limit. That's a complete myth, apparently fostered by people who have never been in a bookstore.

Word limit is, always has been, and always will be, whatever publisher's guidelines say it is for a given genre, for that publisher. Plus a whole bunch more words, if the book is good enough.

The book that I am talking about is romance and it is now 81,646 words exactly. I have read on the websites of three or four agents however, that 200,000 words or more were way too much, and that's what a manuscript of mine used to be, so that's what made me make my manuscripts shorter. I appreciate your words.


Quote:
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You never have to sell that many copies in order to interest a publisher in a book. But in this case, the book as is has never really been published anywhere, self or not.

Ok, your reply really encouraged me now!! Thank you so, so much!!


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I'm not sure I get all these deleting stuff. Why would you? It is not like the MS takes up so much space on your hard drive. And even if it does, at least email it to yourself to a yahoo account or gmail, so that you have a copy for your archives.

Even if you self published on Createspace, it seems that your ms is sufficiently revised now and is no longer available to the public.

I think it would be acceptable to query as though it were a new ms. Then, when you sign with an agent, you will be able to tell him or her about the brief stint on CreateSpace. I doubt this will be a problem.

No, no, no...it has absolutely nothing to do with my hard drive space. My first computer, which I got brand-new in 1998, it only had 3.25 GB of hard drive space, no kidding. If I were still writing on that computer, I would worry about the size of my manuscripts, but no, that's not it, because now I have 250 GB of hard drive space, which with the installation of Windows 7 and everything, the first time I turned it on, brand-new, and checked, had 223 GB free for me to use. Bottom line, that is not the issue.


The reason why I decided to make my novels a lot shorter than they used to be, being anywhere over 200,000 words, is because of what I have read in the blogs of 4 to 5 different agents. The first blog I read, the agent said that he or she wouldn't even look at a 200,000-word manuscript. In his or her blog, another agent said, responding to a writer's question, a writer whose manuscript was 280,000 words, (this is an approximation because I don't remember the exact word count) and the writer was asking if his or her manuscript was too long... well, I'll only share the first line of that reply. "280,000 words is not only too long, it is crazy long." When I read that I thought Yikes! and so I decided to split my 239,000-word manuscript into three manuscripts. The first one is 81,646 words, the second one is 78,869 words, and the third one is 79,581 words, and those word-counts are exact, as I have the manuscripts opened in my word-processor as I am typing this. I spent the whole day today editing those manuscripts for spelling and grammar errors, and now they're perfect and clean. I did that with another manuscript which was 220+ words into three manuscripts. The first one is 67,512 words, the second one is 68,149 words, and the third one is 84,331 words. I admit that the first two manuscripts made of the second large manuscript are a little too short, and that I am going to have to work on those. Those manuscripts are not edited for spelling and grammar errors yet. I am going to work on that tomorrow, and I will continue to work every single day until every single finished manuscript is completely free from spelling and grammar errors.


Wow, this might be the longest message I've typed since I joined these boards! So, that's my explanation. Nothing to do with hard drive space, I just thought that those manuscripts were way too large and they had to be split up.


I appreciate your advice and everything you've said on your reply to me. Your words encouraged me even more to revive this particular project. And no, this particular project is no longer available to the public, this or any of my manuscripts.


Sincerely
Magali.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BenPanced View Post
Other people here on AW have told me that if the book has been self-pubbed, you might be able to get an agent or publisher interested in reprinting it if you've sold a large number of copies. In this case, the OP wasn't clear if it had actually gone to sale on CreateSpace.

Yes, it was on sale on CreateSpace for a very short period of time, that is, manuscript unedited for errors, the 239,000-word manuscript, as a 707-page book, but I took it off, in other words, made it unavailable to the public. I think I said that. If I didn't, I apologize.

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Old 04-08-2010, 10:35 AM   #18
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P.S.) Would you please consider changing the purple font to black? It's a bit difficult to read.
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Old 04-08-2010, 02:26 PM   #19
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Old 04-08-2010, 02:47 PM   #20
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In answer to the question in the thread title only----YES. It happened to a friend of mine. I can't speak to anything else, but I can tell you a friend who self-published was picked up by a New York agent...
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Old 04-08-2010, 02:50 PM   #21
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In answer to the question in the thread title only----YES. It happened to a friend of mine. I can't speak to anything else, but I can tell you a friend who self-published was picked up by a New York agent...
Score!

I've heard of it, but to people who've already sold a significant number of copies. Significant being 5K +
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Old 04-08-2010, 03:22 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by MagaliFuentes View Post
I took it off after I made it available for purchase. I guess I'm going to have to delete it from my hard drive if I can no longer publish it and write three brand-new books to replace the manuscript I made into three books.

Argh. the Drama!!!
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Old 04-08-2010, 04:02 PM   #23
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The book that I am talking about is romance and it is now 81,646 words exactly. I have read on the websites of three or four agents however, that 200,000 words or more were way too much, and that's what a manuscript of mine used to be, so that's what made me make my manuscripts shorter. I appreciate your words.
WAIT. in one day you took a 141,000 word manuscript and made it an 81,646 word manuscript? Okay...I thought I was confused by this thread before...but this really confuses me.
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Old 04-08-2010, 10:45 PM   #24
mlhernandez
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Maybe a better alternative would be to set aside this project and write something new and better and shorter. It sounds like this may be one of your first manuscripts. It's fairly normal to write a humongous manuscript the first time or two.

Shove those under your bed and begin again. It's part of the learning process.
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Old 04-08-2010, 11:11 PM   #25
Jersey Chick
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MagaliFuentes View Post
The book that I am talking about is romance and it is now 81,646 words exactly. I have read on the websites of three or four agents however, that 200,000 words or more were way too much, and that's what a manuscript of mine used to be, so that's what made me make my manuscripts shorter. I appreciate your words.
200k words IS too long for romance. Most publishers want between 80k-100k for romance novels (though several HarperCollins/Avon lines go as low as 60k) -

A notable exception is for Harlequin's category lines, which run 50-65k words.


Other genres are different, but I don't know much about them. Romance is my thing.
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