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Blog: Utah Children's Writers (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: query letters, query, Add a tag
Blog: Paranormal Point of View (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: query, WHY?, Add a tag
There are good reasons for this, my friends.
- There has to be a way for agents to sort through the multitude of manuscripts they receive on a daily basis. By doing the hard work, and writing a great query, you can set yourself above the rest and get a request for a full or partial.
- If you have trouble summarizing your book, it may be a sign that you need to look at the plot again before it's ready to send out.
- First impressions mean everything. It's cruel in a way, but true. When you go on a job interview, you strive to make a good impression. Well, your novel is making that impression, and if it wasn't hard to do, everyone would do it. Of course, it seems that everyone does do it, but the truth is that many people never even finish one draft of a book, let alone revise until their eyes bleed and research and agonize over the query letter.
Blog: Reflections on Writing (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: creativity, Visualization Techniques, Query, c, workshop, writing, Add a tag
2 Comments on A Creative Approach to Writing, last added: 9/22/2011
Blog: Galley Cat (Mediabistro) (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: Agents, Authors, Allison Winn Scotch, literary agency, manuscripts, query, re-query, revisions, Add a tag
In a recent blog post, author Allison Winn Scotch tackled one of the toughest questions facing aspiring writers: should you ever re-query after an agent?
Here’s an excerpt from her blog post: “if in your heart of hearts, you think that Agent X will fall in love with it and may have overlooked it in her slush pile, I suppose it doesn’t hurt to retry. (But I would do so with very few agents.) As for those you never heard back from? Well, I’d just query them as if it’s your first time. They may not have really read your query very closely, and I doubt that it will be remembered such that they’ll find you annoying or pushy.”
Scotch (pictured, via) also suggested that authors don’t attempt to re-query an agent if the first was sent less than six months before–because revisions require a lot of time and effort. What do the agents in the audience think?
New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.Add a Comment
Blog: Laura Manivong (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: submissions, query, the biz, Add a tag
Blog: Caroline by line (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: query, grants, contests, writing, Add a tag
Blog: Mermaid's Musings (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: Strategy, query, Add a tag
I attended a work meeting today where the topic was strategy. Our speaker noted that 9 out of 10 times, we write down and design a perfectly great strategy. But here's the kicker, 80% of those strategies will fail.
Why? Why? Why?
You spent all that time writing down your strategy on pretty paper then hanging it on the refrigerator or you've created some nifty spreadsheet in Excel to manage what you want to accomplish. How could it possibly not work?
So why do most of our strategies fail? Because we fail to execute what we planned.
This got me thinking. As writers, should we have a strategy for managing our writing career? These strategies could even be broken down into mini strategies such as Strategy for Writing Book 1, Strategy for Revising, Strategy for Querying, Strategy for Marketing your book,etc.
From personal experience, I know I had a 'plan' of sorts in my head. Did I execute that plan? Hell, no. Not even close. Why? Because I let my emotions and the heat of the moment get in my way. This is why it would have helped to have a well developed, thought out, and written plan in place before I took the next step in my writing.
I would have created the strategy when I wasn't so emotionally invested in the outcome so logic and reason would have a stronger voice.
Most of us plan our careers, have an idea on how we want to parent, have a strategy to buy our first home, get our of debt, etc.
It seems reasonable that since we should be treating our writing career as a business, we should have a written business plan or strategy.
Here's an example of one that I just made up off the top of my head to get the juices flowing.
*Research literary agents and create a list of agents that respresent what I write and that would be a good fit for me
*Create a spreadsheet so I can track my submissions (Yes, I love Excel)
*Decide on the 6 agents I want to query first.
*Find out more about those 6 agents, read their blog, interviews, tweets, etc.
*Submit to 6 of those agents and wait for feedback/response.
*Promise not to check e-mail every 5 minutes looking for a response
*If I get no requests for a partial or full, revise query. Get some query critiques.
*When I get the first rejection, I will treat myself to something pretty then use the rejection letter as kindling.
*When I get my first request for a full, I will jump, sing, and tell all my writer buddies
*If fulls and/or partials are requested and I get the same consistent feedback such as Plot doesn't work, characters don't keep me interested, take another look at the novel and possibly revise
*Lather, rinse, repeat
So back to the example, if you had create a strategy before you start querying, you'll have an idea on how you want to handle the query process and how to best leverage the responses or non responses. It provides a back-up plan to help you handle the feedback/rejections and move on to the next step. It can help keep you focused and on track toward your end goal.
We all know rejections are hard and painful. They can send your day into a tail spin and plants the seeds of doubt. By having a written strategy, you've given yourself a way to move forward and tackle the next challenge without acting like a crazed serial querier.
So what are you waiting for? Get our pen, your Excel spreadsheet, your iPad and start creating strategies that will lead you toward your writing goal.
Blog: ScribeChat (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: Topic, agent, Query, querying, Add a tag
Imagine you are a literary agent. You’ve just battled the insane New York traffic, got through the ridiculously long security check in line in the lobby, fought for a space in the packed elevator, and made it to your office. You take a sip of your now lukewarm mocha and open your email only to [...] Related posts:
- TOPIC: The Do’s and Don’ts of Querying
- TRANSCRIPT: The Do’s and Don’ts of Querying
- TOPIC: Lit Agent Mary Kole at ABLA announces “Novel Beginnings” Submission Contest
- TOPIC: Writing a Breakout Novel in a Challenging Publishing Climate
- How To Submit
Conner was nothing but smiles during the football game at Wildcat Hill!
Catie's favorite cheer: Our team is D-Y-N-A-M-I-T-E!
Carlie loved watching her big sister cheer for the Wildcats!
Carlie, Courtney, Catie, and friends from school giving each other manicures and pedicures!
After spending the majority of Saturday afternoon watching Catie cheer at Britton Field and then back home to a house full of rambunctious youngsters, I had every intention of mopping floors today and catching up on some much needed laundry. Unfortunately, due to a vicious stomach virus that crept into our safehaven, little Carlie is home from school with a terrible tummy ache.
When Carlie's symptoms began yesterday afternoon, I felt certain her loss of appetite and sudden fatigue was a result of intense play with her big sister and friends from school. But when I heard her feet scurry across the upstairs bathroom in our home, I knew it was something more. Throughout most of the night, Trae and I rotated shifts of being nurse-made to little Carlie, changing her sheets after an accident occurred and refilling her water cup in order to prevent dehydration. WHEW! This definitely brought back memories from years ago when the twins were infants. To this day, I'm still not sure how we survived those first months of sleepless nights and around the clock feedings.
With less than a few hours of sleep, we rolled out of the bed this morning feeling as if a freight train had struck us during the middle of the night, while Carlie awoke in the best of spirits. She is definitely showing signs of improvement, cracking jokes with Courtney and keeping a birds-eye-view on her little sister as she put together a Dora puzzle on the floor nearby.
So as I look back on the past twenty-four hours with Carlie, I realize that even though my laundry pile has tripled in size, I'm so thankful for being able to care for my little munchkin.
Hopefully, if your Monday has kicked off to a crappy start, this post helps you see that it's best to find the good in times of distress than to dwell on the misfortune in our day! Happy Monday, everyone! Tory
Oh, one last thing before I go! Still no rejection emails from Dear Super Agents:) YEAH
Blog: Head in the Clouds (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: query, First Book, agent, Add a tag
After an adventurous (and a bit stressful) week of shuttling the older children to and from school, helping w/ homework, entertaining Courtney at home, cooking, cleaning, yadda, yadda, yadda, I have some pretty exciting news to share with all of you.
Over the past few days, I've been extremely busy preparing email submissions for my first young adult novel because TWO remarkable agents have taken interest in the concept and have requested the full of my manuscript! *squeals loudly and does a happy dance in the kitchen* This now brings the total of requests to 5 partials, 4 fulls, and plenty of rejections and no responses in between. But as the old saying goes, "It only takes one YES to become a published author."
Take the story of Theodore Geisel for example (used from Adventures in Agentland). Theodore had written a picture book manuscript called THE HOUSE ON MULBURRY STREET. He shopped it around. He sent it to twenty-two editors and, after that twenty-second rejection, Theodore decided he would go home, shred his manuscript, and give up his dream.
On the way home, he ran into an old friend of his, who had become an editor. His editor friend convinced him to let him see his manuscript. The editor changed the name of the book to THE CAT IN THE HAT, and Dr. Seuss was born.
Once again, thanks for all your support! In more ways than one, your kind words and encouragement have kept me chasing the dream of becoming a published author. I promise to update as soon as I hear from either agent. Have a great weekend, everyone! Tory
Blog: KC Oliver's Blog! (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: query, agents, query letter, Add a tag
After my rather humbling experience recently, I realized I want more info on the elusive query letter.
Writing a query should be easy, right? You just scribble out a short cover letter introducing yourself and your work, cuz you know your work is marvellous and should sell itself.
Even if your work is bestseller material, a fumbling query letter is going to get you into the ‘rejection pile’ and no where near the bestseller list. This is your opportunity to sell yourself -- to make the agent sit up and take notice.
So, how do we write the most amazing query letter possible?
Let’s break it down.
First – research, research, research. Even though there’s a basic format to query letters, don’t write one generic query and send it to a bunch of different agents hoping to strike it lucky. That’s like playing Russian Roulette with your career. Read up on your choice of agents. Follow their guidelines to the letter. And don’t forget to browse their blogs – this is where the real nuggets of information are gleaned. Maybe they might even give you an example or two of what they consider a great query. (Yay!)
Next – write a query that’s tailored to the agent you are submitting to. What does that mean? Give ‘em exactly what they ask for; nothing more – nothing less. This can include attachments versus inserting manuscript material into the body of an email. Or, even a paragraph synopsis versus a full-page synopsis. Deviating from their provided instructions just tells them that you can’t follow directions. That’s fast-tracking yourself right out the door.
Another next – the query itself. I like the way writing-world.com sets it out. Though the author is referring to article pitching, I did find this site helpful. It talks about the five basic components of a query:
• The hook
• The pitch
• The body
• The credentials
• The close
Each component is crucial. The author at the above site breaks it down well and is a good read. She even includes links to related articles – check out the sample query letter.
Another site fictionwriters.com has some good do’s and don’ts.
This website charlottedillon.com has a bunch of examples that landed the authors agents. Note that they are all quite different.
What I find interesting is that the above samples prove that queries need to be agent-specific. Note that one letter may start out with a hook, while another starts with an introduction. It would seem that while there are rules, these rules can in some cases be bent a little.
This too can be said for the do’s and don’ts as well. During my research I came across an agent who actually liked a little butt-kissing. (Say what??)
Nah. Gimme a professional any day.
Blog: Writers Mirror (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: Thundertail's Tail: The Legend, Cindy R. Williams, Sparkin, Query, Add a tag
What's a query letter you say? It's a letter that is meant to convince an editor that your story is the greatest story ever told and that they absolutely have to have it even more than chocolate. A query letter is your proposal of sorts, your calling card, you’re desperate plea to "PICK ME! PICK ME!" without sounding the least bit whiny or desperate.
I have been flying on Sparkin the dragon's noble back over Arizona for three years now and yet found the query letter about as much work. Wait a minute, hold the phone, and your horses or whatever it is you hold. I actually found the book an absolute delight to write. I love the characters, even the sinister ones and many times had to be called back to this planet to fix dinner, and attend to the worldly needs of my wonderful family. The query letter was more of a tear out your hair exercise that lasted through several months of research and 42 --not a typo --different versions, one to please each query letter expert. I studied the blurbs on the back of a gazillion books, and finally had an epiphany. Why not complete the exercise outlined by one of my most favorite agents that I was blessed to attend her presentation last April at the LDStorymakers Writers Conference?
So after the "why did it take you so long to figure it out?" moment, I finally hit upon what the heart of this book is about and what makes it unique. I realized it is a story of youth learning that they can do hard things, and learning that it is okay to be yourself even if you are different than others.
As Sparkin of the amazerful Stoneloch Dragon Clan would say, "It is ever so sweet" to have it complete. Add a Comment
Blog: Christy's Creative Space (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: follow Critter through Blogland, query, Add a tag
First of all . . . we must have our priorities. Critter is in the Virgin Islands. He's traveling for the sake of St. Jude, so please follow him during his travels and let others know about Critter's cause. He'll be auctioned for St. Jude when his adventures are complete. Did you know that St. Jude operates mostly on donations alone. And that their DAILY operating costs are 1.5 million dollars per day!!!!! Yowza Yikesers!!!! So . . . spread the word about Critter and his cause so that we may be more likely to reach those who have the heart plus the resources to help the children of St. Jude.
In other writerly news . . . this is an awesome blog re: what to include in a query if you lack credentials. http://askaliteraryagent.blogspot.com/
Blog: Head in the Clouds (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: query, synopsis, agent, Add a tag
Recently, after visiting different writers' blogs, I noticed several authors had posted their story summary in hopes that followers would provide feedback. For the majority, the responses were great. There were even a few that received comments from bestselling authors.
But I have mixed feelings on this (Yes, I'm a scaredy cat when it comes to posting details about my story).
1.) Is it safe to put your synopsis online (before landing an agent), exposing it for the world to read?
2.) What if someone steals your plot? *gasp and cry for hours/days...*
3.) But what if an agent stumbles across your blog and falls in love w/ your synopsis? *happy dance* Isn't this worth it?
I'd love to know your thoughts! Have a great Friday, eveyone! Tory
Blog: Head in the Clouds (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: query, contest, Humpday Reads, Kathleen Ortiz, Add a tag
As of 8:03 P.M. last night, I officially landed a spot at Querytracker's agent-judged query contest in which the super talented literary agent, Kathleen Ortiz, volunteered to critique the first 100 entries received.
Phew...I'm still stoked about this one!
You see, from countless hours of stalking Ms. Ortiz' blog (www.kortizzle.blogspot.com) and other social networks, I knew this contest would fill within minutes. So, with help from my ever-so-patient husband, I was able to sneak to my mom's house and complete the online form with nothing more than seconds to spare before the contest filled. Seriously, I barely had time to verify if I'd cut and paste the first chapter of my YA novel successfully to the contest form.
But I did!!! *Cue confetti falling from the ceiling*
Now, to some of my friends reading this post, you may not understand what all the hoopla is about. Let me explain!
Anytime an aspiring writer *imagine ME waving a huge, red flag* receives feedback from a top-notch agent, the effort is worth this and so much more! As brutal as Ms. Ortiz' critique may be (she seems super sweet and very professional), I'm still hopeful she connects with the first chapter of my YA novel and asks for more. At this point in my writing career, any feedback is good feedback.
Okay, given that I hear little footsteps running around upstairs I'm going to quickly switch gears and list my book recommendation for this week's version of Humpday Reads.
I suggest: The Wicked Lovely Series by Melissa Marr All her life, Aislinn has been able to see faeries, and they are everywhere, invisible to mortals except for her. And these are not your average cute Disney pixies -- they are the same size as humans, and can be very nasty, especially to those mortals who can see them. To survive, Aislinn has had to learn to pretend not to see them, and to live behind steel walls, which keep them out.
All Aislinn wants is to explore her growing relationship with Seth, finish high school, go to college, and lead a relatively normal life. But now she's being stalked by the faeries, especially one, Keenan, who is the Summer King and wants her for his Queen. Keenan is able to endure steel, and will have Aislinn whether she agrees or not -- if she doesn't, the power of his mother, the Winter Queen, will be unchecked, and winter will descend on the earth forever. (www.commonsensemedia.org)
I hope you enjoy! Tory
11 Comments on Amazing Contest & Humpday Reads!, last added: 6/5/2010
Blog: Rodents Of Unusual Size (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: Marshall Karp, RE:, Books, Moonstone Bay, Query, Maine, Add a tag
Now Playing - Crazy In Love by The Puppini Sisters Life - Hello everyone out there in World Wide Webville. My name is Kristopher, and I want to be a blogger. Well, actually, I want to write kid's mystery books, sixties crime pulps and run a motel in Oregon. But for now, blogging! That's right, it's been so long since I've written a post that I feel obligated to reintroduce myself.Display Comments Add a Comment
Blog: Karen Cioffi Writing for Children and More (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: final stages of self-editing, submissions, query, log line, self-editing, synopsis, proofreading, Add a tag
In Monday's post we covered Steps 1-5 of Final Stages of Editing; today we'll finish up and focus on the remaining points.
Final Stages of Self-Editing Steps 6-10:
6. Check formatting
Now it’s time to check the formatting of the manuscript.
Are your paragraphs all indented with proper punctuation?
Did you use the Show/Hide function in your word processor to check the inner workings. For instance, years ago the proper spacing between sentences was two spaces. Now, the protocol is one space between sentences. The Show/Hide function displays a dot for each space.
Is your manuscript double spaced?
Did you use the correct formatting for dialogue?
7. Get your manuscript edited
When you think it’s perfect, have it edited before you start submitting it. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know, you think this step is overkill, and it will cost money. You’re right on the second part, it will cost money, but it will be money well spent.
No matter how many times you self-edit, and how many times your critique group goes over your manuscript, there will be errors. Ask around for a reputable editor.
8. Create a log line
A log line or pitch line is a one sentence description or your manuscript. This may take a bit of trial and error.
9. Create a synopsis
A synopsis is a short description of your story. Your writing should be tight and focused--leave out the fluff. The content should be self-edited and proofread before sending it off to an agent or publisher. You are trying to grab the reader's attention and let the reader know that you are grammar literate.
Basically, the synopsis should briefly let the editor know what the book is about: the beginning of your story, your main character/s needs or wants, how he strives to reach his goals, the obstacles/conflicts in his way, and how he overcomes the conflicts moving forward to the final outcome.
I read an interesting article recommending that your synopsis should be created using your detailed outline.
10. Create a query letter or proposal
A query is a sales pitch. It should be three paragraphs and only one page long. The first paragraph quickly and interestingly describes the story; it’s the hook. The second paragraph tells a bit about you, your qualifications for writing the book. And, it’s a good idea to include a bit on how you intend to help market the book. The third paragraph is the conclusion; keep it short.
11. Final Step: Submissions
Okay, your manuscript is polished and shiny, now it’s time to submit. But, hold on . . . check each publisher’s guidelines before you submit.
In fact, don’t just check the guidelines, you need to study them, and follow them implicitly. If a publisher asks for submission by mail only, don’t email your submission. If the word count on an article or story is up to 1000 words, don’t submit a story with 1150 words.
There is just so much involved with self-editing, and as I keep learning new tricks I'll pass them along.
2 Comments on Final Stages of Self-Editing Part 2, last added: 4/21/2010
Blog: Head in the Clouds (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: stalking, query, blogs, family, agent, Add a tag
I'm ashamed to admit that I'm officially a stalker of Wonderful Secret Agent's blog in hopes that she will update today with something I can squeal about.
Let me explain. Last week, after e-submitting my manuscript to a fabulous agent in New York City, I stumbled across her blog and have since become obsessed.
By far, she is the coolest literary agent, and I would be knocked off my feet with enthusiasm if she were to connect with my YA novel.
It's funny because I'm not alone on the stalking issue. My mom, husband, and oldest daughter are also obsessed with checking out her blog for updates.
Given that Wonderful Secret Agent usually posts the number of manuscripts she has requested in a day, I know that mine was one of eight from a pile of 63 query letters (OMG!).
I wish you could hear my mom and I analyzing each of her posts. We have disected each phrase in hopes of finding something promising (maybe even a secret code or hidden message saying, "Yes, Tory, I want to represent you!").
She hasn't updated in a few days, so needless to say, I'm anxiously awaiting her next post.
So, to all my writing buddies out there, I'd love to know if any of you have ever stalked the Internet for information regarding the agents you've queried. Thoughts, please!
Have a wonderful Sunday, everyone! Tory
Blog: Darcy Pattison's Revision Notes (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: agents, agent, first chapter, foreshadowing, novel, opening lines, openings, query, story plot, write, write a novel, writing techniques, writing tips, Add a tag
The holidays and the end of the year are bringing out the generous nature of agents!
The 2nd Sort-of-Annual Stupendously Ultimate First Paragraph Challenge
- Deadline: 7pm. EST, Thursday, December 11, 2008.
- Who: Literary agent Nathan Bransford, Curtis Brown, San Francisco office
- What: Post the first paragraph of your WIP and compete for the prize of a partial critique, query critique or a 15 minute phone call.
- How: Skip over to Bransford’s website and post your paragraph in the comments.
- Warning: The competition is stiff. With 10 hours left, there were 1176 comments/paragraphs.
- Attention: This is a learning opportunity. Read through at least some of these paragraphs and see which you like and which you don’t. What grabs your attention? Check back when Bransford posts the winners and vote on the finalist. Do you agree with his choices or not? Why or why not?
For more on opening lines:
Take a Holiday Break from Queries and Submit a Chapter Instead
- Dates: December 15 to January 15
- Who: Firebrand Literary
- What: Firebrand agents want to read your first chapter and will forego the usual query. This is a big task for those agents and a great opportunity for writers of all kinds. For those of you who have never got a request for a partial (probably because your query was weak), this is your golden chance. Let your writing speak for itself.
- How: Go to the Query Holiday posting on Firebrand’s website.
For more on opening chapters:Add a Comment
Blog: Jrpoulter's Weblog (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: Uncategorized, Fiction, Reading, Reviewing, Reviews, Writing, books, children, children's books, children's literature, children's stories, creative arts, fantasy, humour, illustration, picture books, science fiction, story books, teen fiction, young adult fiction, agents, editors, hooks, publishers, query, Query Tracker, writers, Add a tag
The amazing folk at Query Tracker are celebrating their 2nd anniversary - celebrating and giving US the presents!!!!!!!! Details below……
Help us celebrate QueryTracker’s second anniversary, and you could win a website custom designed for you and your writing. Yes, your own website designed specifically for you.
We will be holding four different contests, each with their own prizes. Prizes range from free QT Premium Memberships to query critiques by agents and authors.
The Grand Prize (The Custom Website) will be awarded in a random drawing to take place on the last day of the festivities. To get your name in that drawing, all you have to do is enter any or all of the four contests being held.
To increase you odds, you can receive additional entries into the drawing just by helping us spread the word about the contest. Simply announce the contest on your blog or forum, let us know about it via email, and you’ll be given another entry into the drawing. You can read more about this option at
A custom designed writer’s website to showcase your craft.
That’s a $600 value provided by Purple Squirrel Web Design (http://PurpleSquirrelWebDesign.com).
Purple Squirrel is a web design company that focuses on writers and the writing industry.
You already know their work because they are QT Blogger Carolyn Kaufman, and Patrick McDonald, the creator of QueryTracker.
Good luck. And thank you all for two great years.
For details about the contests go to http://QueryTracker.net/carnival
Blog: Christy's Creative Space (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: query, agents, Add a tag
Have you ever wished you could be a fly on the wall as a editor or agent goes through their query stash? Just to get a glimpse into what they are thinking . . . now that would be good info to possess. If only I had enough of this inside info I could be like . . . like a writing Jedi; enlightened, wise, and my likeness could be cloned into a pointy-eared action figure.
One nice thing about twitter is that you can "follow" agents and editors without looking like cRaZeD stalker. Sometimes you get a glimpse into what they are looking for or other nuggets of info that might make you a better writer or query-ster or you can get a better idea of what is going on in the world of publishing.
Yesterday Elana Roth, Agent at Caren Johnson Literary Agency, tweeted some of her "realizations" about her thoughts as she went through her query stash. I found them interesting, so I thought you might too. I've quoted a few of them, but you can head on over to the agency blog where she compiled her entire list. Click-ity, click right here to swoosh on over to Elana's post.
- Slush Realization #1: I guess I'm just not a fan of non-human characters and narrators.
- Slush Realization #2: I really hate e-stationery.
- Slush Realization #3: If you hire someone to query on your behalf (don't), wouldn't you want them to have read my submission guidelines?
- Slush Realization #4: Sometimes people make up things so strange that classifying them as "fantasy" still doesn't help me understand them.
- Slush Realization #5: Apparently just saying "no thanks" can equal feeding the trolls. A rejection letter does not a dialogue opener make.
- Slush Realization #9: If an email doesn't LOOK cleanly formatted, I tend to think words-on-a-page might not be your thing.
Blog: Caroline by line (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: submission, query, agent, Add a tag
I have never consistently looked for an agent. Every couple of years I'd send a few queries, but I mainly subbed to editors. Why? Because in the children's market, you can sell without one.
Four years ago, I sent a dozen queries. One resulted in a full request, another in a partial. The full came back with a handwritten page gushing about how great my manuscript was for young girls and how someday I'd sell this and have to let her know, but, you guessed it, it wasn't right for her. That manuscript has since been through three major overhauls, changing it from a multi POV to first person, from a journal format to straight narrative, and from a three-year time frame to one.
The partial was returned with "I think I'll pass."
I got caught up in revision, other manuscripts, and the lure of conference one-on-ones that lead to full requests. The agent search never really got off the ground.
Until this year. I've had to be honest with myself. If I want to look at my writing as a business, I've got to be doing some serious planning. No more hoping the next editor will snatch up this manuscript or that. No more waiting on fulls eleven plus months with no word. If I was going to walk away from the classroom and write full time, I needed to be acting like a professional. I needed an agent.
So, mid-spring I started subbing in earnest while my students were off at Spanish and PE (thanks to all who now take e-queries!). I'd send about three at a time, submitting between twenty and twenty-five total. By May, I'd gotten my first full request. In June I got two. In July two more. In September another two.
The thing is, I've been querying agents with my mind in matchmaker mode: I pick the manuscript that seems to best fit the agent's interests, query, and hope Mr. Agent will fall so in love, the other manuscripts will be loved, too. So, these seven full requests have been for four different manuscripts. Evidentally, this isn't the normal way to do things, I've been told, by an agent who requested a read.
Blog: Blogs and Blurbs (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: Query, C.R. Williams, Add a tag
I finished what I thought was the first book of my Thundertail's Tale Series. It came in at 200,000 words. YIKES! I immediately found a good halfway point, and it divided it into two books. I did have to beef up the climax battle scene, and then spin some new threads but it works great. I also chopped words because I'm not of the mind that I will be able to publish a 100,000 first book in a series. In fact, I don't really have much of a mind anymore, but back to the topic at hand. After writing essentially two whole books why in the world can't I write a dazzling one page single spaced query?
I have agonized over this query for three weeks. I have research and printed off and studied blogs and articles on queries from successful authors, agents, and writing friends.
I have woken up in the middle of the night with what I thought were brilliant ideas for my query only to jot them down and read them in the light of day to find they were horrid.
Why in the world is this sooooooo hard? I have my two protagonists, one, a 10 year old boy with acrophobia who loves dragons, and the young dragon with his own issues of being the only dull dragon of the clan. The boy rescues from the sinister, bad guys. There are fairies, mermaids, goblins, shibber goyls, bodochs and cyclops. He and the dragon must forge a friendship and go on a quest to battle the bad guys and save the world. Now why can't I write a brilliant pitch that will impress an agent and convince them that I am the next big thing?
I'm going around and around in "Query Nightmare Circle" where it has all become a blur and I just want to go for a walk around the block, eat chocolate, take a nap, preferably all at the same time and just plain forget about it.
I looked up Query: It's both a noun and a verb. It says: query is a request for information, a doubt or criticism, same as a question mark, to express doubt or objections about something, to ask something or ask a question. Okay, my question is "Will you please represent my novel about a boy, a dragon, magic and choices." There, I said it, now I'm done right? Wrong!
Jeff Savage, or J. Scott Savage as he's known to his fans, told us at our ANWA Writers Conference to make a list of 20 agents, then send your query to the bottom five. When you get responses back, tweak your query, then send it to the next five. Keep it up until you have a compelling query to present to your top five agents. Novel idea, pun intended, but I'm afraid you have to have some kind of a coherent query to start this process. If you read this Jeff, HELP!
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Blog: Rodents Of Unusual Size (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: Work, Query, Bugaboos, Add a tag
Now Playing - City Of Ember DVD Life - My wife finally found a job out here in Maine! Hooray! And when I say finally, I mean she waited until we had two cars, chose one place that she was excited by, went in, talked to someone for 20 minutes and had the job a couple of days later. Freakin' show-off. I think she'll like it. The job is night audits for a fairly swank hotel/spa/weddingDisplay Comments Add a Comment
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