Publishing Tips

Post topics about the business side of magic.

Publishing Tips

Postby Guest » February 11th, 2007, 3:03 am

I am currently finishing up a literary manuscript that chronicles the life story of a famous magician.

There is significant interest from a top tier literary agent --but she is awaiting finishing touches before approaching publishing houses.

Are there experienced magic authors in here who would like to discuss

the ins and outs


dos and dont's


nuances & pitfalls

of smoothly getting a manuscript from the home computer to the bookshelves?


Re: Publishing Tips

Postby Guest » February 11th, 2007, 6:15 am

What follows are some brief (and perhaps not very helpful) thoughts from a guy whose writing and publishing resume in magicdom is quite humble indeed. But the wording of your question prompted the reply.

You asked about ... getting a manuscript from the home computer to the bookshelves. Thats what I had to worry about because I was the writer, photographer, designer, editor, publisher and marketer of my book. But given the direction in which you seem to be heading, it sounds like maybe your only real worries should be writing a strong book and, if you think you need one, selecting an agent. Not that those two tasks are easy by any stretch, but being able to focus on them almost exclusively should greatly simplify the process.

It may be that the breadth of your question simply reflects the way you go about educating yourself, i.e., youre thirst for knowledge is omnivorous and so you want to learn everything about a process. But if your discussions with this agent have you thinking that how she markets the book to potential publishers, and how in turn a publisher would market the book to the general public, are important matters for you to learn about and manage (or hire somebody to manage), that would raise a caution flag for me. As we all know, magic is a niche market even in its own niche! So in order for a magicians biography Im assuming thats what youve written to get picked up by a general trade publisher, my guess is that biography had better sell itself.

Just my .02. Whatever you decide to do, Chris, good luck with your project! And if it doesnt work out with the big guys, at least you know there are several quality magic publishers that you could consider. At least in the little world of magic, there is always room for a good biography.


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Richard Kaufman
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Re: Publishing Tips

Postby Richard Kaufman » February 11th, 2007, 7:50 am

Chris, your question doesn't make any sense.

If you have an agent, then there is nothing for you to do other than turning over your manuscript and waiting for the agent, and then the publisher, to tell you to change it to suit their ideas of what they think has a better chance to sell well.
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Re: Publishing Tips

Postby Guest » February 11th, 2007, 9:58 am

Thanks to everyone who has contacted me offline with the extraordinarily helpful advice. I'm so glad my question made advanced sense to some of you.

Richard, please allow me to clarify.

My understanding is that second time authors tend to understand far more about this supposedly
simple process than first time authors do.

Even with the relationship with the trusted literary agent, aren't there red flags to look out for within that initial period of courtship?

Aren't there bits of advice that will better allow the agency relationship to flourish?

What might be the rules of thumb when it comes to percentages (and other cornerstones of the deal) with the fiduciary that a fully trusting newbie such as myself would wish he knew in retrospect?

As though a wrinkle within the normally smooth paradigm Richard advanced, I have already learned that nonfiction projects can often be sold to acquisition editors well before the manuscript is completed.

I'm also in the process of learning what might possibly be negotiable with the agency, despite what they might attempt to postulate and what signs to look out for that might indicate your lit agent isn't of equivalent calibre of Cracker Jack.
(not that she isn't great.)

I would greatly look forward to any insight the published writers on the Genii boards might have in regards to this magical and mystical business process.

In closing, I hope that I may too, despite my drain bamage, some day grow into that very same professorial role.

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