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Posts Tagged ‘agents’

Jessica Faust at Bookends has a wonderful blog today on queries. If you’re a writer and don’t follow Bookends, you should and I don’t say that lightly. Jessica gives common sense, friendly and knowledgeable advice about the writing industry and the quest for publication and readers

In this blog, she suggests you find a few friends (50 or so) who haven’t read your MS to proofread your query before you send it to agents.  She also says if you aren’t getting at least one request for every 20-25 or so queries you send, you really need to stop and evaluate your query and then gives two reasons why it’s failing.

I love her ‘no excuses’ policy. Blaming others, the industry or the market doesn’t help your book hit the shelves any faster.

For the record let me say I hate writing queries. I don’t know many writers who like the damn things. But it is a craft we must learn.

So if any of you are interested in reading my query before I send it to agents, let me know. I’ll do the same for you. 

Now folks, I’m going to get some more coffee. Was up late finished Patricia’s Briggs’s Iron-Kissed… yes, it was that good, review to come. ; )

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I know that it’s all about the writing, the story, but every so often, I’d like to write a different kind of query. So I indulged. A disclaimer: This kind of letter would never work in real life. Agents do need to know what you write, but writing this query was fun. : )

 

 

Dear “Name of agent,”

 

I realize since I have followed your blog, your tweets and familiarized myself with your clients that we are starting off on unequal footing. However, as I have only 300 words to get your attention, I’d like to point out a few things. My MS is not perfect, I know this. It is as perfect as I can make it now. Should you chose to represent me, I won’t quibble over commas, I won’t blink an eye if you insist on deleting an entire character. I only ask you give me a moment to lay that loved one to rest before moving on.

 

If you say you want a revision in a week, flaming snowballs, demanding children or even need of sleep will not distract me, I’ll get it done.

 

I won’t expect daily emails. You’re not here to hold my hand, but on occasion that might be nice, metaphorically speaking; I know I wouldn’t be your only client. I’ll treat you as a person; I’ll also remember your birthday and Christmas, because I’m like that.

 

I can’t promise you the MS will sell a million copies, I’m not naïve. But I will do everything I can to see that it sells and I’ll write another one. I’m in this for the long haul.

 

I don’t have any letters behind my name, but that doesn’t mean I’ve stopped learning. You should see my library. I’m also not published, but I’ve been immersed in the publishing world for some time now, working closely with a writer, taking his book from rough to published and into the world that is promotion. And because of this, I’ve lost my rose colored glasses; writing is work, publicity is more work. But it’s work that I love.

 

Sincerely,

Me, the writer.

 

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Agents

must  be clearing out last year’s mail. There were another two rejections of my  Awakening query in my inbox today. One of which I sent at the beginning of October. I suppose in the world of publishing where everything is hurry up and wait, or so it seems, that’s not such a long time. But in the world of waiting to see, it’s an eternity. So I checked. There are six agents I’ve still not heard from. And yes I ended the sentence in a preposition. Sue me. It’s not even that big of a no no. Yup, feeling a little um, frisky today. Warehouse grocery shopping does that to me, and crowds, and the crowds that frequent warehouse grocery places are in a class by themselves. In this particular place, D4 asks to be put in the cart instead of wanting to help push it. 

I digress. But what’s new?

As I’ve said before, I really have moved on. It’s time to give the new manuscript a chance. And on that note, as I was driving home, an pitch idea for the new book came to me.  First some background. Yesterday I was reading one of the writer-type blogs that I frequent and this obviously talented writer was musing about her 10 word pitch.

Agents like a line that grabs you and as a writer, you are supposed to be able to summarize your book in the following ways: 4-6 page synopsis;  1-3 page synopsis; in a one page synopsis; in a paragraph or pitch and yes, in one line or a hook. You can dispute the names but that’s pretty much it.  I’ve actually read some agents who have said if you can’t do this, you’re not a real writer.  On my bad days, well, I won’t tell you my reaction; on my good days, I want to ask them if they want a PR person, who can write a jingle, or someone who can write a manuscript. Completely different talents, I assure you. Anyway, it must be done and since reading said blog, I’ve been mulling it over in my subconscious. Here’s what it came up with. If you can, please tell me what you think.

How much do you owe the enemy who saves your life?

 

Thanks for any input. Now I’m off to do character profiles. : ) Oh and here is a link to a wonderful and fun grammar site. Yes, grammar can be fun. I hope it works

http://www.grammarphobia.com/grammar.html

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Well, SO is safe, exhausted but safe, back half way across the world and I swear the house is two degrees colder. No, really. OB finally got the ick night before last but he seems to be doing better. He’s the last so lets hope it doesn’t make another round. And one last item: I’ve begun the countdown until school starts again.

Love the kids, really I do, but the extra week of Christmas break feels too much like summer without the option of saying, ‘why don’t you guys go play outside for awhile’.  Torture.

I’m still on par with my writing schedule. I’m thinking the rough draft is now about 2/3 rds done. Then I’ll go back and edit chapter by chapter and that will be the first draft. I’ll send it over, chapter  by chapter, to SO who will edit and send it back. We’ve gotten better, we used to do this 4 or 5 times, now just 2; but we always read it aloud before we call it finished. It’s amazing what you hear but didn’t read.  Then the synopsis and query, I’m already deep in stress land about the pitch.  ARGH I’m not even going to think of it until I’ve finished my second cup of coffee.

I am way behind on the editing front. But as this book doesn’t actually have a buyer, I suppose it’s okay. (Read SO keeps saying, don’t worry about it, finish the rough draft first and I know, somewhere behind that is the fact that as soon as the book he’s working on now, the one we DO have an option on, is finished, I will switch priorities to editing in order to get it into Anne’s lovely hands as soon as possible and He wants the rough draft done by then.)

I’m a bit worried about this third book, it’s rather large and the scope is…. well, huge. It might just be the kind of thing that is either a best seller or a flop and I don’t have much faith in the gods of chance, you know? But then I’m a newbie in the publishing world and know enough to know I don’t know anything except what makes a good story and that doesn’t always translate to sales.

So when the time comes, I’ll edit it to the best of my ability and leave the rest to Anne. I’ve grown to rather trust her judgement….too bad she’s not my editor too. : ) Ah, one day.

On that front, I received a new rejection in my in-box this morning. I’ll have to check my excel because I thought everyone who would respond, had responded. Nice polite, not right for my list, stuff. I still haven’t heard from the wonderful agent (and I did my research this time, she is wonderful) who requested a partial and I don’t know why I’m so unwilling to type her name, but I am, so there.

So far on the board (not counting query letters): I refused one offer, one agent declined after reading the manuscript (that hurt) and I still haven’t heard from the third (WA) who only has a partial.

I’m becoming resigned to the fact that this means she’s not interested. So okay, I mean I am already moving on, but its like having that one thing you really wanted to say to a new ex that you never really said… you know unfinished business.  

And now reader, I’ve put off what I really need to do long enough. Namely take a shower and get moving. In my defense, it’s cold in the house.

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