This week saw a huge turn out as we welcomed author, agent and publisher Allan Guthrie to give a workshop on getting published. To an audience of thirteen people – we almost ran out of chairs! – Allan gave us the following tips, ideas and suggestions:
Do You Need An Agent?
The first thing Allan asked us was to answer the following seven questions with a yes or a no.
- Do you have an understanding of the publishing world?
- Do you know who the best publisher is for your book?
- Do you know where to go to get the information you would need to answer questions 1 and 2?
- Can you negotiate the best publishing deal for yourself?
- Do you like selling yourself and your work?
- Do you know how much your work is worth?
- Do you want to do all of the above things?
If your answer is no and you want to go down a traditional publishing route then you need to find yourself an agent if you want to be successful.
Once you have decided you want an agent then it is important you you approach them at the correct time and in the manner they wish you to. This information can be found out on an agent’s website.
Allan then went onto to give us some advice on how to write a query letter which he split into Dos and Don’ts. They are:
- be brief
- business like
- state the aim of the letter and what you want
- state what the book is about, where it is set and how long it is,
- identify the book’s intended audience (if you know)
- include a short writing CV
- include a biography if relevant to the book
- be over confident
- groovely, weird or anything else that isn’t business like
- say it will make a great film
- that your friends or family like the book/will buy the book
- slag off another author or book series
If you haven’t got a writing CV or have a very short one, Allan recommended entering competitions and submitting to magazines. You can find a list here on this very website.
We hope you found Allan’s visit useful, we certainly did. We hope to have other authors visit us soon. Keep an eye on the website to find out when they’ll be coming and what they’ll be doing.