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Old November 18 2011, 11:26 PM   #155
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Re: Questions for Bring Back Janeway Panel

Therin of Andor wrote: View Post
Chuckling wrote: View Post
You could contact Simon and Schuster to see whether they accept manuscripts directly or via an agent.
I can already tell you. Yes, you need a recognised literary agent, but you only send a proposal and a few sample chapters. You are asked not to write any more of your novel until contacted by the Pocket editor (and perhaps asked to finish the book incorporating changes that would be needed to have it pass muster with CBS Consumer Products). But this novel is more like a job application, to get you noticed among the hundreds of other new applicants - and then, if you are selected to pitch, it is more likely that the editor will commission a whole new novel with you, rather than the one you suggested with your first manuscript.

You novel should be set squarely within the canonical series you are writing for: ie. a "typical", self-contained Voyager episode. Not a sequel or prequel and not a crossover with other TV series or ST novels/comics. Any new version of a post-Relaunch story would go straight to the Reject pile. (Save that idea for if you get to pitch.) This process is a job interview. If you don't follow the directions, you are seemingly suggesting that you won't play by the boss's rules on future assignments.

When John Ordover was on the editorial staff at Pocket, he also used to say that new writers who already had two original (ie. non Star Trek) science fiction novel sales under their belt were more likely to impress him. They had already proven to him that they had the stamina to finish a whole novel, create original characters, write in the genre and meet deadlines.

The odds are astronomical. There are only 12 slots a year and most of these go to well established, professional writers who are also well established as reliable ST authors with the Pocket staff.
Welcome to reality!

You are so right. When people make demands about what "needs" to be written they are forgetting that they are asking others to put their incomes on the line. They are absolutely certain their interest in something will naturally indicate the interests of the rest of the world! Instead of realising the publishers and authors have the actual figures and KNOW whether there is interest or not and are making the necessary financial decisions required.

A famous jazz musician I knew once told me that he would get audience members coming to him and begging him to play this, that or the other song. He'd say to them "Do you really want me to play that?" "Yes!" they'd say. "Do you really love that song?" "Yes!" they'd state. "Do you really think it needs to be played?" he'd ask. "Oh yes!" they'd claim. "Great!" he'd say. "Because I hate that song. If you want it played, you learn how to play and then you play it!"

If Janeway books were selling, they'd be getting written and being published. As they are not (sales and figures are what count here), they are not being created.

If people believe that market may change in the future then their best route is to start now and write for that time but you can't ask those who make their living out of writing to spend their time writing something that every indication says are not going to sell!

Every beginning writer has to start somewhere and the reality is that involves trying to work out where the market is going to lie at the time of them finishing their work. That's the only way you are going to convince an agent or publisher to take on your work.

Oh and BTW, you may have worked out by now that (among other things), I'm a published author of nine books.

And the only way authors get a start is to create something they believe there is a market for and then convince an agent and publisher they are right about that!

In other words, here is a possible market spot for somebody wanting to get their beginning. The publishers and working authors are not interested and are not going to put their time and resources into making it happen. Which creates a possible opportunity for somebody else.

Yes it's a risky venture! Writing and being an author is risky. You may put all that time and effort into something and not have it come off at all.

Welcome to our world!

And BTW, not all publishers are going through Agents these days. You need to check who wants submissions directly and in what form they are asking for them. A polite inquiry letter via their website will usually find out or sometimes their websites already have instructions from them.

Will Turner: This is either madness, or brilliance.
Jack Sparrow: It's funny how often those traits coincide.

Last edited by Chuckling; November 18 2011 at 11:29 PM. Reason: Clarification
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