Works of Richard Marsden

The Works of Richard Marsden. Writing and Historical European Martial Arts.

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The Contract -The Novel 7

Posted by rmarsden on October 3, 2010 at 3:07 PM Comments comments (3)

The end of our journey is at hand.


Today's topic is the contract! In the realm of short-stories, most contracts are easy, temporary affairs and pay is likely to be low enough that even a poorly signed contract won't be the end of the world. That is not the case in terms of a novel.


What the Contract States

A novel contract is an agreement between the publisher and the author. The publisher promises to publish, edit, market and pay ...

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Where to Submit - The Novel 6

Posted by rmarsden on October 3, 2010 at 2:29 PM Comments comments (0)

Welcome back!


Submitting a manuscript is a fairly easy process. It usually starts with a cover letter, progresses to a synopis, sample-chapters and eventually a full manuscript. This can be done online or through traditional mail.



For all the big publishing houses look up their websites and they'll have information on how to submit without an agent. TOR books is a good one for the sci-fi crowd.

For smaller publishing h...

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Marketing and Art - The Novel 5

Posted by rmarsden on September 12, 2010 at 9:06 PM Comments comments (0)

Welcome Back,


Today's discussion is on Marketing and Art.


Marketing (which art is a part of) are the tools used to drive sales. If no one knows about a book, then no one will read it!


A large publishing house will take care of marketing for an author.


For smaller presses much of the marketing is in the author's hands. Marketing can be very expensive and the payoff can be difficult to judge. The internet is loaded wi...

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Sample Chapters - The Novel 4

Posted by rmarsden on September 8, 2010 at 7:11 PM Comments comments (0)



Time to discuss sample chapters.


When an agent/editor likes a proposal they may ask for sample chapters. Sample chapters are a snap-shot of the author's writing prowess. Where as the synopsis is mostly about the 'story' in a nut-shell, the sample chapters are about the writer's 'talents' in a nut-shell.


Editors usually ask for about 3-5 chapters as a writing sample. This is where the author needs to shine. Editors are not looki...

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Synopsis - The Novel 3

Posted by rmarsden on August 29, 2010 at 12:10 PM Comments comments (0)



If an agent/publisher likes your work they will ask for a synopsis. A synopsis is a little tricky. It's purpose is to give the reader a shotgun blast of the plot from start to finish.

Like the cover letter, a lot of information has to be jammed into a small amount of space. A synopsis is generally around 6-10 pages and has a few rules to follow.


1. At the top of the document be sure to have your name, address, etc. just ...

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Cover Letter - The Novel 2

Posted by rmarsden on August 23, 2010 at 1:53 AM Comments comments (0)

Welcome back!


Today's topic is the cover letter for a novel submission. Unlike short stories, in which the cover letter is mostly just a 'hello', 'title' and personal info, the cover letter for a novel is different.


What the Novel Cover Letter Does

The cover letter in a novel is what gets an author in the door or not. An editor will look at this short bit of information and decide then and there if to consider the book or to move o...

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Publishing Types - The Novel 1

Posted by rmarsden on August 23, 2010 at 1:51 AM Comments comments (1)

Over the past few weeks I wrote several posts on how to get short stories published. I have had enough success in that venue to be fairly confident on the topic.

Now we will move into the topic of how to get one's novel published. I'm not as firm here. I have two 'novels' to be released within a year, but since they aren't out yet I'll be exceedingly brief on topics I don't know much about.


Let me quickly cover how I sold my two works.


The first, a ...

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Submitting - Short Stories 6

Posted by rmarsden on August 18, 2010 at 7:01 PM Comments comments (1)

Short Stories Conclusion


All roads must end, and our journey on this comet to the sun will end off on where and how to submit your work.  is by far the best thing I've come across. The search-engine feature makes it easy to tailor a publisher to you! You can determine story-length, reprints, sim-subs, print, electronic and so on to find out what markets are out there!

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Format - Short Stories 5

Posted by rmarsden on August 18, 2010 at 6:58 PM Comments comments (1)



Today's topic is format.

Format is how you lay your manuscript out (not the cover letter, it is seperate!) and I have good news and bad news. The good news is there are essentially only two ways to do this. The bad news, is there are exceptions!


The Good News

The first way! For most magazines they will want you to present your story in what is called 'Standard Manuscript Format' and they will link you to this site...

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Cover Letters - Short Stories 4

Posted by rmarsden on August 18, 2010 at 6:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Today I'll discuss something that is fairly easy for the short story market, and that's the cover letter. We'll talk about novel cover letters later. On a side note, I already had a book-deal for my short stories and today I was just offered a contract for my sci-fi novel by a small-time press. I'll let you all know if I accept or not when we discuss getting novels to market.


Back to cover letters.


The cover letter is either a physical letter you send w...

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