On Traditional Publishing If You Don't Live in the US

Photo credit: jbachman01 on Flickr
So one question I get asked with surprising frequency is whether or not international authors can get published within the US. These questions often come from writers who live anywhere outside the US and worry that they can only be agented by the tiny pool of agents in their country, or published by publishers in their country, and thus won't really be able to get a fair shot at traditional publishing.

As this has been a frequently asked question, I figured I'd write a post about it.

The easy answer is this: agents and editors within the US work with people from all around the world all the time. It's absolutely not a requirement to live in the US to get traditionally published by a US publisher, or to be represented by an agent living in the US. Most of the work that gets done between authors, agents, and editors is all done either via e-mail (where contracts and manuscripts get sent back and forth) or on the phone to discuss all manner of things. A lot of American authors haven't even met their agent or editor in person—or don't for several years—because the truth is not much really needs to be done in person.

This also works the other way—there are agents who don't live in the US but work with US clients and publishers all the time. This probably happens less often than the other way around, but just off the top of my head I can think of several agents who do this, and again, it's not a problem.

So if you're a writer living outside of the US and you're worried about your location complicating your ability to get a US-based agent and publisher, don't be. It's a pretty common scenario and shouldn't be an issue at all. :)

Twitter-sized bite:
Live outside the US and worried you can't get a US-based agent or publisher? Author @Ava_Jae says don't be. (Click to tweet)

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