Communion Of Dreams

February 8, 2007, 12:58 pm
Filed under: Promotion, Writing stuff

That’s how many listings I pulled out of the Guide to Literary Agents as prospects. Now I’m going through the list to do more research on each one, checking websites, that sort of thing. Once that is done, I’ll rank the different agencies, and start contacting those where I think I have the best chance to get someone to actually look at the novel. High on my priority list will be agencies which handle submissions via email – in this day and age, there’s no reason not to do such things this way, and I must admit to a certain bias in thinking that any agency which doesn’t do this is either so behind the times (I’ve been using email for regular correspondence in my business for over a decade, and almost 15 years of private correspondence) or so stuck in old ways of doing business that I would have to wonder how well suited they are to finding a publisher for my book.

Besides, submitting work via email is a lot faster and more efficient. I can embed some text with the cover letter, add links directly to the Communion site, et cetera. Save a tree and postage, also. Not that I have any illusions about what matters to most agents; convenience and efficiency for me is low on their list of priorities. In fact, there may be something to the idea of submitting hardcopies via snail-mail, if only for the fact that fewer people are probably doing that these days. Hmm…

Jim Downey

4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I am currently reading your book. It is excellent. I would like to point out a flaw in your marketing in hopes that it will help you with you next book.

You will be hard pressed to get a publisher to buy something you have already given away. Next time you should limit the posting to a couple of chapters and provide a pre-order form. The first print of of most books is between 5,000 and 7,500. If you bring 2,000 pre-orders to the table …

Good Luck. I am in Missouri and would love to help you out as reader on you next book.


Comment by Patrick Nolan

Thanks for the advice, Pat, and I’m glad you’re enjoying the book. Yeah, it does seem counter-intuitive to post the work on a website like this, doesn’t it? But the experience of other published authors has been that this kind of on-line access doesn’t hurt actual sales much, if at all, and contributes to the ‘buzz’ that builds around a book. I figure that I’m safe with this, until I get an agent or publisher to sign a contract and tell me to take it down (or limit access to just part of the work, as you suggest).

So, be sure to come back when you get through with it, and post your comments on one of the ‘feedback’ posts. And be sure to tell your friends to come read it now, free (while they can?)


Jim Downey

Comment by Communion of Dreams

Is it true that putting the book online makes it less likely that a publisher will accept it?

I read somewhere that an author gets maybe 10% for each copy of the book that sells. When shareware was popular in the Dos days, I heard shareware authors received payment from 3% of the people who used the programs they wrote.

Maybe you could put up a donations link with a pay pal tab.

This is just a thought. I have no idea if the numbers I mentioned have any connection to reality.

Comment by Frank

Hey Frank,
You hear different things from different people on the subject of whether or not having a book online like this is an advantage or a disadvantage with getting a conventional publishing deal. A number of already published SF authors have found that it actually boosts sales of hardcopy books. Now, whether or not someone like me can turn this into a conventional publishing deal…well, we’ll see.
It’s more important to me that the book get read, honestly. And if nothing else, when I have the time and energy to write the prequel, titled St. Cybi’s Well, maybe I’ll be able to point to the response that Communion has had online to show that there is a market for that book.
Jim Downey

Comment by Communion of Dreams

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