Author has written 29 stories for Star Wars, Animaniacs, Honor Harrington, You're Under Arrest, Starfire, Star Wars, BloodRayne, Ghost in the Shell, and Batman the Animated Series.
My name is Nick, and I have been writing longer than most of you have been alive; try since I was 11 and I'm 59 as of July of 2012.
But writing and selling are two different things; I have yet to find an agent, and I originally compared finding an agent to Catch 22; You can't find an agent because you are not professionally published, but most editors won't publish you without an agent.
About ten years ago I got even more frustrated. Try sending out fifty query letters to agents, and only three bothered to answer; one to say they didn't do Sciencie Fiction, another to say they didn't do novelizations (Think; if you're writing an original Star Wars Story, how is it a novelization, implying something based on an already released movie?) the last that they were no longer accepting new representation.
So I came up with this; Most agents these days no longer accept a fully printed novel, and most will not even accept the old 'send us the first 50 pages' idea. Instead they want a query letter. If you haven't tried this method, picture this:
One page double spaced, or between 250 and 300 words depending on whether you use 10 or 12 point type; half on the story you are submitting, the other half about the author. This is the reverse of a word processing format; 10 point is what old typewriters used, and if you had the IBM Selectric, you had the option of Pica, which was 12 point or Elite (10 point) compared to what a print shop did, so 10 point was larger than 12. So using 10 point printshop was 250 words and elite was 300. As someone who went through the Columbia School of broadcasting, I know the average speaker says 186 words a minute so look at a Query letter this way:
You go into your local bar, and see the most attractive person in the world at the end of the bar. (Since I am a man, we go from there) Now your first impulse is to walk up to this woman. You are going to convince her that you are the man of her dreams. She is going to throw herself into your arms, marry you, and settle down to taking care of the household (Especially handling finances) while you are going out to earn the bacon, bread whaterver, and you are going to live happily ever after.
Now here is the problem; 55 percent of communication when you listen is in the inflection and tone of the speaker. A good customer service person is the one who sounds knowledgeable and warm, who convinces you with their voice that they understand your problem, and can deal with it.
However in this case (Written, no tone, inflection or gesture) Without a gesture, a tone in your voice, or facial expression, you have only about 45 seconds to convince her.
I submit that if the letter were signed by Earnest Hemmingway, and he was just starting now, he'd be rejected too.
So if any of you know an agent (Or someone who works in their office) that might help, I for one would be appreciative.
Prisoner 24601 (19)