Guide Ditch the Agent: How to find a publisher without the use of a literary agent

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Wikimedia commons While the Big Five publishers require an agent, many smaller publishers do not. There are some important advantages to publishing with a smaller press. For one thing, there is a shorter gap between acceptance of a manuscript and production.

Oslo Literary Agency -

Larger publishers often take upwards of a year to produce and distribute a book. With a smaller press, the wait is a matter of a few months. A second advantage is that there is greater flexibility in contracts. Among larger publishers, contracts are written in stone.


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There is very little room for negotiation. Smaller presses can offer larger royalties, and give authors greater leeway in terms of rights. Lastly, smaller presses are more accessible. With a larger press, authors have absolutely no say in cover design, blurbs, or marketing. Small presses accept more input from authors.


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The increase in communication is reassuring for authors, who often feel that control over their book is taken out of their hands once a contract is signed. They publish both fiction and nonfiction and have more than two hundred published titles on their list. Seeking : Nonfiction, memoirs, mysteries, fiction, history, popular science, music, film, biography, autobiography, DIY, craft, and travel, as well as children's activity books and young adult biographies. They are interested in novels, poetry, and short story collections. Baen was one of the first publishers to use the Internet as a means of "spreading the word" about a book or author.

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 , words. They publish nonfiction and fiction in a variety of genres. In nonfiction: memoirs, sport UK and Ireland in particular , humour, food and drink, activity books.

2. Latoya C. Smith

To date, BlazeVOX has published books and over writers in their online journal and other publishing outlets. They are in the process of developing a book series that promotes the work of women who are courageous, innovative, definition defying writers. Seeking : Literary novels, full-length short story collections, poetry, creative nonfiction, book-length essays and essay collections, and the occasional memoir.

CHP does not accept submissions for anthologies. CHP also does not publish genre fiction, such as mysteries, Gothic romances, Westerns, science fiction, or books for children. Seeking : Art and design, art, craft, graphic design, interior design, photography, food and drink, kids and teens, literature, lifestyle, pop culture.

How to Get a Literary Agent

City Lights publishes 12 books a year. They also accept scholarly work. The press focuses on novel and novella submissions with environmental and social themes.

What is Kobo Super Points?

HSE does not offer an advance. Their list is a mix of general and literary fiction, genre fiction and non fiction.

In , they launched Aria, a digital fiction imprint, and in , they started a children's imprint, Zephyr. No advance.

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Query Shark

What they want: They accept literary fiction in the form of a novel, novella or collection of short stories. They also welcome poetry collections. They accept full-length manuscripts in following genres: Mysteries, Romance, Thrillers, Detective, Suspense. They do not publish children's books, sci-fi, non-fiction, conspiracy theories, or erotica but they'll take a quick look at just about anything.

Joffe gives royalties, but there is no information on whether they offer an advance.

Writer's Digest Magazine

Kensington Publishing Corp. They do not publish science fiction, fantasy, poetry, or plays. Publishing fifteen to twenty books each year, they have some three hundred titles in print, and nearly four million copies of our books in circulation. The problem is not confined to Avon: when her novels were being pitched to publishers before she signed with the HarperCollins imprint, Courtney said that she was asked by editors to scrap office scenes and replace them with "handbags".

The author believes that publishers are making a mistake in not listening to authors or readers. I genuinely think readers want something more meaty, something to get their teeth into. And if I'm writing that, which I am, then I want them to know that, and for there to be no pink, fluffy packaging," she said. Speaking at the launch party, Courtney also pointed to WH Smith's recently reported decision to drop the "women's fiction" label from its point of sale after two women complained about the "condescending" practice.

They were told by head of fiction Jackie Wing that "this might not be the most suitable reference for our customers" and that it would be removed from future shelf labelling. Fellow novelist Michele Gorman, who was at the launch, said she did not have a problem with her own novel, Single in the City , being marketed as chick lit by its publisher Penguin.

Publishing houses do tend to take a single broad brush approach to books by women, for women, and we as writers don't have creative control over our covers or our titles. A spokesperson for HarperCollins declined to respond directly to Courtney's criticisms of the publisher, saying only: "Avon is right behind Polly Courtney's timely and important book. Our experience tells us it has a great look and feel and we think Polly will be delighted when she sees it flying off the shelves. Instead, she is planning to return to the world of self-publishing.

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