Pitching Eve’s Swath directly to niche publisher

Yes, there even are niche publishers dedicated to UFO stories. At least there’s one.

By accident I stumbled across The Invisible College Press, which is dedicated to UFO and conspiracy stories, both fiction and non-fiction.

Now that’s a dark, kooky world for which I have no interest, except that I’ve written a novel about that world. I probably would have never considered such a niche publisher. But that changed when I read The Invisible College Press’s webpages. It seems the publisher, too, thinks of it as a dark and kooky world and shares my amusement of the culture. That’s what Eve’s Swath is all about. It seems like a good fit.

So I’ve pitched them the book. It seems to me that among direct-publishers you might as well pick one that understands your market. Actually, I have no idea how they market their books, but they’ve published a bunch of them, including some that look and sound, based on their write-ups, to be pretty interesting.

Besides, how can you turn away a publisher that lists, among its staff, “Minister of Propaganda.” I assume that’s the marketing director.

None of this means they’ll publish Eve’s Swath. First, they have to like it. They will. That’s not what worries me. But I’ve got to like them as well. I’m looking forward to conversations with their Minister of Propaganda, as well as their Chief Physicist, their House Astronomer and their Illegal Advisor.

Eve’s Swath submissions: 2 in, 3 more out

Well, literary agents Jennifer Jackson and at Browne & Miller are at least merciful in their swift rejections.

Those two regrets came in on my Eve’s Swath queries.

So I’ve responded by sending out three more, to Wendy Sherman, Loretta Barrett and Evan Ellenberg. Two in, three out. That should keep me from feeling much disappointment as the rejections trickle in. But this sort of pyramid strategy can get tough to manage after a while.


How many agents is it appropriate and practical to query at once?

How many agents is it appropriate and practical to query at once?

There are many agents who insist on getting exclusive submissions – meaning one. I’m not talking about them. I skip them. I’m sure many others would hope and assume (but can’t really realistically demand) that we submit to only one at a time.

But let’s face it, at the 3-6 weeks to never that agents tend to reserve to respond even to a query, the prospect of querying enough to get that one-in-a-100 bite would go on until forever.

So I ask you writers and realists: how many simultaneously?

My standard has been five to ten. ¬†That’s for practical reasons. You want to research them. You want to personalize your pitch, accentuating your manuscript’s stengths and your own strengths to appeal to an individual agent’s interests. And frankly I have a hard time keeping track of more than five or ten at a time. Continue reading