Notes From ThrillerFest 2016: Part 3

This post addresses the topic of what agents and publishers are looking for, how to approach them, and what to expect. CAVEAT: it just scratches the surface.


·      The first 3-4 pages tell a prospective agent or publisher whether the book is publishable

        o   Polish chapter 1, keep going back to it

·      Use action words in the first sentence. Come back to them at the end of the novel

·      Traditional publishers appear to be shying away from series, but the opposite seems true of self-published thriller writers because the more books in the series, the more overall sales. Also facilitates building a brand.

        o   Series seem to work better today because readers feel they have an investment in the characters and want more of them

·      CAVEAT: It’s difficult to earn out a big advance from traditional publishers, so if your first 2 or 3 books don’t earn out that advance through sales then you may be cut loose with a reputation in the industry as a “failure”

       o   An opposing view says get as much as you can up front because often there is no earn out

·      Be very clear with publishers as to what they will do (viz., marketing efforts) and make sure they do it.

© John Wayne Falbey 2017 All Rights Reserved