Sunday, February 6, 2011

There is no agent for you

I'm looking to get a book published. I have one problem, though, and it's that I'm not sure which agents can/will represent my work. I thought that, since you run the "Call My Agent!" blog, you might have some good advice to help set me in the right direction. So here's my problem:

I've designed a pen-and-paper game and the book is the set of rules for that game. So my problem is, essentially, that I don't really know which agencies to send my work to or how to word a query letter about my game. Almost all the advice I can find on the internet regarding queries is directed specifically towards fiction writers, and when I rang the Australian Society of Authors, the advice I got was 'just send out a query letter to as many agencies as you can'. Because my book is more like a manual for a computer or board game than a fiction novel, it's
difficult to know where to send it or how to advertise it.

I'll overlook your egregious use of 'fiction novel' and focus on your conundrum ... and it is a conundrum.

First, as the panel at right ----> says, I can't give advice about individual agents.

Second, your project is nothing that any agent I can think of would be able to place for you, unless that agent has specialised knowledge of games. And, generally speaking, we're book nerds, not game nerds. The ASA should probably have told you that. Agents tend to deal mainly with trade publishers, and that's not really the sort of book a lot of Australian trade publishers will look at.

Academic publishers may be interested, but because I'm not a game nerd I don't know enough to tell you that definitively. The best thing to would be to try to find some books similar to yours, see who published them and then make some enquiries accordingly. Good luck!


Unknown said...

In UK there is the Writers' Year Book that lists international publishers and every publisher in most parts of the English speaking world. I have the 2011 version, so I checked.

Che Gilson said...

The questioner needs to look into game comapnies, GenCon, and self-publishing. Those are reallt the only options for table-top RPGs which I'm assuming is what they have.