The Frontlist

One of the great frus­tra­tions for any writer, pub­lished or unpub­lished, is the dif­fi­culty of get­ting your work under the noses of those who mat­ter. Only recently I sent a let­ter to an edit­or at a major pub­lish­ing com­pany and, though the let­ter was not a query about an unpub­lished manu­script, it was treated as such by this person’s sec­ret­ary. There are many people between you and your poten­tial editor/agent, and any­thing that can help close that gap gets the thumbs up from me.

For a few months, I’ve been cor­res­pond­ing with an author who knows I don’t yet have an agent. Yesterday he sent me a link to a new site called The Frontlist.

This is a writer’s show­case site where would-be authors can upload their stuff and have it rated. What’s the dif­fer­ence between that and the pleth­ora of writ­ing show­case sites (UKAuthors and Laura Hird’s show­case spring to mind), I hear you cry? Well, each month the admin­is­trat­ors of The Frontlist will for­ward those pieces with the highest review marks to agents act­ively seek­ing new authors in spe­cif­ic genres.

According to Tom Lodge, one of the people behind The Frontlist, the agents are all reput­able (i.e. are lis­ted in the W&A Yearbook) and have been engaged in the pro­cess since the begin­ning. If an agent likes an author’s work, the author is free to pur­sue the rela­tion­ship. The Frontlist doesn’t ask for an ‘intro­duc­tion fee’; it’s also free to upload your work.

What’s the catch, I (also) hear you cry? Well, in order to upload your own stuff (syn­op­sis and sample chapters) you must review the work of oth­er authors. Such reviews are quite detailed and, if you’d like to see what people have been writ­ing about your own stuff, The Frontlist will sup­ply them for a small fee. That’s how they make their money.

I think this site is def­in­itely worth a go. Bear in mind that, at the moment, there are few pieces on the site. That means you’ve got a bet­ter chance of being the best-rated in a par­tic­u­lar genre at the end of the month.

Perhaps I should fin­ish by say­ing that I’m not involved with this site (though I’ve upload some stuff to it).

Author: Ian Hocking

Writer and psychologist.

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