Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Trying to Get Published - Part Three

The US agent wrote to whom I had sent my book proposal wrote back:

I'm afraid this material is not for me. I'm very anti-religion and all the references to Christianity made me uncomfortable. I realize you can't do a history of any aspect of the Middle Ages without dealing with Christianity, but for a book to be right for me, it has to deal with Christianity as a purely anthropological phenomenon. I certainly wouldn't say your book is any kind of pro-Christian propaganda but it definitely had a feeling of warm sympathy for the Church, a gentle bias, which does not fit with my own interests or prejudices.
I had been prepared for the agent telling me my idea was not commercial or that I couldn't write well enough, but this was a big surprise. Most annoyingly, he didn't actually say if he thought the book was any good. Back to the drawing board.

Next, I decided to send my proposal to the UK agents who had initially responded. However, before I had sent anything off I happened upon a useful website. It belonged to a literary agent in London called Andrew Lownie. He gave some useful submission suggestions and also said he welcomed initial contact by email. I dropped him a line and he quickly replied asking for me to email the proposal to him. I reworked my material according to the format that his submissions page asked for and emailed it off. You can read the book proposal here. Again a week passed and then Andrew wrote back to say that he had received an excellent report from his reader and would be happy to take me on. Before long, I had both an author page and a summary of my book on his website.

Finding an agent had been a good deal easier than I expected, but getting published has so far proved much harder...

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