One Thing that Really Freaks Them Out…

I get e-mails and messages all the time from new writers who are looking for advice about querying agents and getting published. I try my best to advise, in a general sense, based on my own personal experiences in publishing.

If I don’t know something, I will direct people to either a publishing blog I like and follow, or a literary agent blog I like and follow. There’s a lot of great advice out there for free, but you have to know where to look and whom to believe.

If you’re querying an agent or a publisher, the one thing you always want to do is look professional, and at least sound like you basically know what you’re talking about. If you are not careful, there are are few little things that can ruin the entire query no matter how good it is. One of those things is when you refer to your work/works as a “Fiction novel,” or “Fiction novels.”

I know this sounds petty. But this is one of those *things* that even people with the most basic knowledge of publishing understand. And you wouldn’t want a small mistake like this to hurt your chances of getting published. You can refer to your work as “fiction,” or you can refer to it as a “novel.” But don’t refer to it as a “fiction novel.” Just trust me on this one and don’t try to rationalize it. It really freaks them out for some reason. It’s not a big thing for me, but I’m not the gatekeeper who will decide whether or not you get published.

4 responses

  1. Would that be because 'fiction' and 'novel' are basically synonymous? i.e. a novel is defined as fictitious?Kind of an oxymoron, isn't it? I'm enjoying your blog, although I'm not an author by any means!

  2. Would that be because 'fiction' and 'novel' are basically synonymous? i.e. a novel is defined as fictitious?Kind of an oxymoron, isn't it? I'm enjoying your blog, although I'm not an author by any means!

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