Sunday, June 03, 2007

Do Online Matching Services or Email Blast Programs Work?

How to get a book published can be a daunting task for any writer. Should you use an Online Matching Services or Email Blast Programs?

These services, for a fee, put your query letter, synopsis and first chapter online. Acquisition editors and literary agents then have the opportunity to peruse the offerings. You have to ask yourself if you truly believe that the average literary agent, who receives 1100 unsolicited queries a year, has the time to look at these websites. Don't be surprised if you're contacted by an editor that works at a vanity/subsidy publisher.

The reverse, or maybe it’s the inverse, are services that have databases of agents and publishers. You specify the genre of your book and up pops agents/publishers who have said they are interested in your genre. Sometimes the agents/publishers have provided their acquisition specs and sometimes the owner of the database has just input the information from other sources.

Finally there are services who will email blast your query letter to agents/publishers. If the participants have agreed to receive the query letters there is a higher probability you will be successful. But, again you have to wonder, with all the unpublished manuscripts out there looking for a publishing home, why would an agent/publisher feel it necessary to sign up for these types of services. Agents who require an upfront fee (never pay an agent upfront) are members of these services. Before you get all excited do a brief search on the agent before you send them your manuscript or book proposal.

Every author asks the question "How to get a book published?" If you're considering using one of these services ask for references. You can also ask about the success rate of the program.

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