I have developed a new children's book concept - technical/educational/literary, new to the international market. I am in the process of applying for a patent in the United States.
How can one get through to an agent or a publisher when one cannot send a query letter which is specific enough to allow someone to copy the idea? The idea of sending out prototypes to random agents and publishers frightens me.
I have tried to set up appointments with potential publishers on a confidential basis to no avail (thus also learning the term nitwit).
Where should a foreigner unaccustomed to wading in alphabet soup begin?
When exactly are you planning to reveal your new concept? In confidential meetings at publishers? Are you planning on frisking the attendees? Making them surrender all pens and pencils at the doorway? Undergo Vulcan mind meld to make sure they don't even think about stealing your idea?
You're quite right to be wary of agents and publishers trying to steal your ideas and concepts. We live for that. It's why most of those letters with SASE's don't get returned. We steal the ideas, copyright them (cause of course we tell you you don't need to do that, remember) and then publish them as our very own. John Grisham, Dan Brown, Sandra Brown, not to mention Encyclopedia Brown don't actually exist. In fact the only mistake about the James Frey affair was the casting....we should have picked a guy to play the author who didn't snivel quite so much. But water under the bridge and all that.
When the patent office gives you your patent, and dog knows the way things are headed there, they just very well might, then go knocking on doors. Make sure you take an SASE with you. I have the patent on those.