Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Submitting fantasy novels overseas

Since all the Australian agents I try are not taking on new clients I'm trying my luck overseas for my fantasy novel. My problem is postage costs. An SAE even for a partial is expensive enough, especially if I intend to try many agents, but for the whole novel I might have to sell my house. It's also confusing trying to work out how much it costs in their currency. I 've discovered I can buy stamps on-line but I'm wary of giving my credit card details on-line. I could ask them to pulp the ms and reply by email but the thought of printing out hundreds of pages again and again is distressing. Any suggestions?

My suggestion is that you check their submission guidelines again - a lot of agencies in the US accept electronic submissions. So start by querying only those agencies - you may hit the jackpot without needing to kill any trees. And if you do have to do paper copies, send the initial query without a SSAE and ask them to destroy it. It's unlikely you'll get scores of requests for a full manuscript as there just aren't that many agents who specialise in fantasy, so cross that bridge when you come to it - if you're asked to provide a full you could always enquire whether they'd make an exception and accept your submission electronically.

Also, while a lot of Australian agents may have their books closed, it's also true to say that most of them don't consider fantasy novels. The genre is not as popular here within the industry as it is without; this will probably change in the next few years but at the moment there's not as much expertise as there is overseas.

1 comment:

graywave said...

I'm getting the same message from Australian agents: no new clients.

What I don't understand about the publishing game is this, if all the agents hyave full lists and yet there is apparently huge demand for them, why aren't more agents starting up? Isn't that how markets are supposed to work?