Some Guiding Or Advice For The Possible Publication Of My First Sci Fi Novel.
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Author Topic: Some Guiding Or Advice For The Possible Publication Of My First Sci Fi Novel.  (Read 659 times)
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« on: August 05, 2015, 06:38:56 pm »

Three months ago i sent my first novel to a Publisher House and the evaluation has just being finished.
They reported that my science fiction novel has potential, they really liked the plot and the characters but it needs extended studiousness to correct syntax mistakes through out the text.
I felt awful but the publisher told me that these syntax mistakes are common among debuting writers. It has even happened to Stephen King.
What i want to know is the following:
Does really happened this sort of thing to King when he presented Carrie or what ever was his first attempt in writing was or is it was published right away? I asking this because i was advised to pay attention to the tricks that many publishers use.
Is it true that writers has to participate in the publishing expenses of the first novel or have i fallen to a fraud?
Is it possible to present my novel to a publisher off board in order to present my novel to audience in other countries or is it necessary this procedure to take place through the original publisher? And if not, what can i do in order to present it in other countries apart from translating it into English first?
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« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2019, 12:33:40 am »

The world of publishing has changed hugely since Stephen King started. Authors used to double line space type their work (with a paper and ink typewriter) or employ a secretary to do it. Then they would manually edit the work themselves (with pen and red ink) or employ an editor. For an established author, their publisher would edit the manuscript, often with little control from the author. Design, typesetting, marketing etc.. were all obviously done by the publisher.

With modern computers, there is the strong temptation for authors to try to do everything and try to do it all at once. Using a WYSIWYG editors like Word, they write, spellcheck, edit, design and typeset while they should be focussing on the writing. Then with self-publishing being so big, authors try to do their own marketing.

In the last few years there has been a big shift away from this. Writing tools like Ulysses and Scrivener try to let authors focus on their writing and push everything else to proper later steps. In these tools, you write in plain text with minimal markup for titles etc.. After all, there is absolutely no point for an author to worry about fonts and page breaks etc.. when books are very often read with eReaders with variable screen sizes and the ability of the reader to change the fonts. The apps then use pre-made or customisable style sheets to format and typeset the book.

1. write your book in plain text. In your first draft, don't worry too much about grammar, syntax, spelling. Just be creative.
2. Edit your next few versions yourself until you have got it right.
3. Use online tools like Grammarly to check the grammar and syntax or there are plenty of people who will offer to proof read and correct your book online for a small fee.
4. Is your goal really to make money or to express yourself?

Most publishing deals (with printed books) will only give you 25 - 30% royalty and you will usually sign away your rights, but you will get design and marketing for that. You will get much higher royalties from self-publishing, e.g. 70% from Amazon KDP but you will have to do marketing (or pay them or someone else to). Amazon offers print on demand version though you will have to design the cover properly and they keep a lot more of the money.
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« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2019, 04:42:51 pm »

So, some answers.  I've had two paid published stories in SFF and am working on getting novels published.

1/  If your first novel is interesting but riddled with spelling/grammar/syntax errors publishers won't buy it since readers won't read it.
2/  The cost of editing has shifted from the publisher to the author since when Stephen King started out.  I know several professional editors working in SFF.  You should also consider using non-professional editors (AKA Betas).  The reality is that it does not matter how good a writer you are or how much experience you have; the book inside your head is richer and more fleshed out than the book someone else is reading.
3/ I live in Canada and have some knowledge about the publishers here.  When you sell a book you are also selling specific rights.  It's rare that you can sell a book to more than one publisher - even if they are in separate countries or separate languages.  The exceptions I've seen:  getting permission to sell in a tiny minority language (Aboriginal authors who have a major publisher for English but do a run in their own language) or the case when a publisher reverts the rights to the author after a period of time.

Since you say the original novel isn't in English, I recommend you check with a writer's association in that language for more relevant information on publishing standards.
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