20 September 2012

There’s never been a better time to submit new work

Jonny GellerJonny Geller
by Jonny Geller From the Agents

There has never been a more exciting time to submit new work. Yes, you hear me right.

In a time of turbulence – ebook pricing changing minute by minute, mainstream bestselling authors selling below their peak, book chains in trouble – I see great opportunity. For the savvy, clued-in writer, he/she has a series of options ahead of him/her:

  • Self publishing, which might result in a big transfer fee over to mainstream publishing?
  • Building your readership via a blog, collecting the data and presenting it to a mainstream publisher for scaling out?
  • Send a focussed, well-targeted proposal to the right agent?

I believe all authors should have representation, and not just because authors do not want to worry about Catalonian rights to their 3rd book when they should be writing. An author needs a passionate advocate to navigate all the channels and an objective friend who will tell the truth and steer the right course.

There is one indefatigable truth to publishing. We all hunger for the new. Not a day goes by when I do not hope something will land on my desk that will change my year, ignite a new career and give birth to a readership for a new writer. The reality is that it happens seldom. That’s fine – if it happened often, we would tire of the new. To be excellent is hard and we know it. But, I’ll let you into a secret. There is no easier job than being an agent on the hunt for something good. When it happens it is instant and irreversible. You just know.

As a writer who believes you have just written that excellent book, you should not waiver from your goal – get the manuscript right, identify the right agent, make the publishing of it happen. If you believe you have written an OK book that fits in to the genre neatly – good luck and enjoy whatever readership you get. I genuinely wish you well.

We are looking for the writer who wants to fly.

There really hasn’t been a more exciting time to submit an excellent novel. Submit it, when you are ready, to one of the great agents at Curtis Brown.

As well as expert teaching from published authors, all our novel-writing courses offer dedicated modules on submitting your novel to literary agents – and include sessions on writing a synopsis and preparing a covering letter. Click for more information or to apply for our creative writing courses.

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