If you’ve followed this blog at all, you might know that I SUCK at query letters. Before I send one out, I’ve rewritten it at least thirty times, requested feedback from everyone that I know and their dog and yet, I still can’t seem to nail it. One of my favorite blogs written by Janet Reid posted a dynamite answer to all of your query woes. If you are in the throws of querying or soon will be, you should check it out.
Have you ever wondered how many books an author wrote before s/he landed an agent? I have and I’ve never been able to find the answer. Until now. Thanks to Ava Jae she conducted her own survey and published the results on her blog.
A couple months ago, my hubs asked me a questions that forced me to evaluate my goals. He asked me, “What do you really want as a writer?” It made me pause and reflect on my entire journey so far. If you’ve read my blog for awhile you know I started pursuing the goal of being a published author in September 2011. I’ve written four manuscripts and am in the process of completing the first draft of a fifth one.
The reason my hubs asked me this question is because I had several writer friends who are indie authors and because I had family pushing me to self publish. (My brother runs a company that’s all about social marketing and building a brand for companies/individuals.) My mother and brother were sure if I published my last manuscript that I’d be happy with the results, especially since both of them were willing to help me market the crap out of it.
However, while I reflected on the answer I took into account my internship with my literary agent. She’s brilliant in being able to summarize the problems with a manuscript and ways to make it better. She’s a strong advocate for her writers and she KNOWS the business. Eventually, I realized that the answer to my hubs question is that I still want to go the route of traditionally published. I want a partner, one who’ll push me to be a better writer, and I want all of that knowledge behind me.
While this is the right answer for me right now, it doesn’t mean it’s the right answer for forever or that it’s the right answer for other writers. What about you? What do you really want as a writer?
Great article over at Pub(lishing) Crawl about narrative voice and who the author is speaking to when writing. I wish more authors thought about this when writing their manuscript. It would make my job easier because when I start reading a new manuscript for my agent, I always cross my fingers and hope I’m going to be able to recommend an offer of representation, but I often get stories where it feels as if the author doesn’t know who they’re speaking to or who is their reader.
If you’re wondering how many queries an agent receives or how many times that agent signed someone, agent Natalie Lakosil spills the beans.
Since I’m in the throes of editing my latest WIP, I thought I’d include links to my two favorite blogs that discusses how and what to edit in your manuscript.
Rachelle Gardner’s post from March 28, 2011 is still my number one go to site.
And Confessions of a Creative Writing Teacher has great posts in general, but for the purpose of editing your manuscript, the one from Sept. 27, 2014 is the best.
Curious as to what an agent thinks when s/he’s reading the slush pile? Here’s agent, Carly Watter’s thoughts as to why she rejects submitted pages and/or manuscripts.
Awesome news; The next Pitmad, a twitter pitch party is Dec. 4 and agent Carly Watters has great advice and tips on how to tweet your COMPLETED manuscript.
Check out this informative interview with literary agent Jessica Faust.
Incredibly detailed post by Michelle Hauck on what happens during the submission process.