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Joan Medlicott:  FAQ

Q. How long have you been writing novels?

A. My first novel with a major publisher was published in 2002.

Q. How long does it take you to write a novel?

A. The Ladies of Covington Send Their Love took two and half years to write. These days I write a novel in about a year.

Q. I have written a novel. Do I just send it to a publisher?

A. Generally no. Publishers do not want unsolicited manuscripts. Occasionally, in some writers magazine you might see a notice that a publisher invites you to send your manuscript, but that is not the norm. Publishers depend on agents to screen author's work and their manuscripts come to them via agents.

Q. How do I get an agent?

A. When your manuscript is finished and has been carefully edited, go to a book called Writers Market and go through it carefully. Pick out a minimum of 25 agents who are interested in your type of work. (They tell you what they want) Prepare a one page query letter (There are books to help you write the best possible query letter) and send that letter to the 25 agents you have selected.

Q. How soon can I expect to hear from an agent?

A. If you send a simple self addressed, stamped post card with your query letter, you will probably have a prompt reply. On the back of this post card, put tthe following:
a. Please send me the entire manuscipt (and a box to check)
b. I would like to see _____chapters of your manuscript (and a box to check)
c. I am not interested. (and a place to check) That way the agent can easily indicate her interest or lack of interest, and you are more likely to have a reply.

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