Monday, November 15, 2010

Querying across the world

I'm looking for advice - admittedly rather prematurely - on the best course of action to take as an aspiring published author . . . from New Zealand.

To say our market is on the small side would be an understatement and while we do have some practising literary agents in the country, I can't help but to wonder if I wouldn't be better served by querying (when the time is right) abroad. I've been unable to locate much information specific to those in my situation, other than to see some passing references to the fact that agents have seen queries from international sources. Whether there are additional difficulties that come from doing so, I don't know.

So my question for you is are there any difficulties in querying internationally? Even if not, is it a course you would recommend, or are there benefits I'm equally unaware of in keeping myself limited to agents within the country? Beyond the obvious of shared time zones to facilitate easier communication, I suppose.

As mentioned at the beginning though; this isn't a pressing matter in the sense that I'm ready to GO GO GO query right now. It's moreso that simply not knowing in advance has been weighing on my mind somewhat. I've been doing the research on the agent/publishing domains and the right and wrong (insofar as they exist) means of communicating with them and going about the more business orientated aspects for a little while now and feel reasonably comfortable with it all except this one niggle. I still have a little more to do on my MS for the content editing phase, then who knows how long it's going to take to get through the line edits; but the end is at least in sight.

New Zealand does indeed have a small number of agents - very small. And from what I understand they are regularly closed to submissions. So, yes, you should submit overseas (does Australia still count as 'overseas'? I believe we're due to annex you lot any day now - we just need a really big winch to draw you a bit closer). The Internets make relationships overseas easier to maintain, and unless your work is really NZ-centric there's no reason why an overseas agent or publisher would dismiss it simply because you're in NZ. There are Australian authors who have a UK or US agent and no Australian agent, because we're a small market too and we don't cater for everything well.

Time zones aren't that much of an obstacle. Quite often writers in my own time zone aren't that accessible all the time because they have office jobs and school pick-ups and shiftwork. A shared time zone is no guarantee of easy access. But you don't need to talk to each other every hour of every day, so you'll work it out.

1 comment:

Naithin said...

Thank-you very much for taking the time to answer that, Agent Sydney! <3

It is a significant weight off my mind, even though really the answer was quite common sense. Just one of those things, I suppose.

Now in regards to the Aussie / New Zealand situation! I think you've been sorely misinformed! Australia has been annexed as New Zealand's 'West Island' for quite some time now!

We still let you guys have your independance and whatnot in the spirit of the Commonwealth, though. For now. Muahahahaa!