Posted in agents, authors, publication, writers

Mysterious World of Publication Post 6

G for Goals picture

Pretty simple: Goal = to be traditionally published.

Thanks for all of you sticking with me through my journey. So now comes the good news and the bad. The good . . . no, let me take that back, the GREAT news is that an agent requested a partial on my manuscript.

The not bad, but not great news. That is still a long way away from signing a deal. She didn’t ask for an exclusive, so I am moving forward submitting queries. And yes, I am still on target at seven a week, but in the back of my mind, I keep thinking:

What if it isn’t good enough?

What if it is?

How much will an agent or publisher want me to change?

Will my title go down the drain?

How do I feel about giving up the control I enjoy as a self-published author?

As you can see, I have more questions than I do answers.

But hang in there with me. I am only a few months into my goal of finding an agent within a year.

Have you recently found an agent? How long did it take you? Has your agent found you a publisher? I would love to hear about your journey as well.

Please comment. If you do, I will put your name in the hate for a copy of one of my currently published books; your choice, Accident, Town Without Mercy, What is Family or Within Her Grasp.

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Posted in agents, authors, contract, publication, query, synopsis

Mysterious World of Publication Post #5 No More Excuses

I made it through the funeral of a beloved soldier. RIP SSG. Danny Wenger. I tried to stay up to to date on the Query/Synopsis class from WFWA during that ordeal. Laura Drake (bless her heart) helped me tighten my query. Then I made it through a move away from my beloved island. (even if it is only five miles down the road) Everything is put away, pictures are hung, everything is in the exact right place. So…. no more excuses. Time to get back to sending out queries for my manuscript.

So far, I have sent out sixteen queries, eight have responded with form letter “no thank-you’s” and eight have been silent, which is most likely eight more rejections. But stubborn as I am, I’m not going to close those out in Query Tracker until sixty days. How many of you use Query Tracker? It is super to keep things organized and at a quick glance.

Armed with a fresh new query and a synopsis I am still not totally sure of (is anybody?), I am jumping back into the arena. I have had friends tell me that “nobody has a chance at the Big Five unless you are already James Patterson or the like.” I don’t believe it. Within the last couple of weeks, several of my WFWA friends have signed contracts with publishers. If they can do it, so can I.

#Dorothy Van Soest is excited to announce the release of her new novel, #At The Center by Amazon.

#Barbara Claypole White‘s next novel, #Missing in Madness was sold to Lake Union Publishing in a two book deal by Nalini Akolekar at Spencerhill Associates!

Congratulations to both of you!!

My goal, send seven queries in the next seven days, and seven more the next week, etc. Hold me to my task.

Are you out there querying? Getting discouraged? Let’s band together and support each other. Smack me upside my virtual head  when I whine, when I want to quit. And I’ll do the same from you. I would love to hear from other struggling authors, waiting to be discovered. Perhaps we can share queries and synopsis to help tweak us into fame and fortune – or at least publication.    #nomoreexcuses   #strugglingauthors  #roadtopublication.

Posted in agents, authors, books, publication, writing

#Mysterious World of Publication post 2

As this search for and an agent continues, one phrase keeps popping into my head that my Grandmother used to say, “Who ever said life was fair.”

The reason I think of this so often is because we, as authors, must adhere to strict guidelines for our query, synopsis or manuscript. For example, always address the agent by his/her name, put Query in the subject line, no attachments, etc. for the query. Not that I mind these, but they are “industry standards.” Another standard; synopsis must be in present tense, even if your story is in past tense. And of course, don’t forget your manuscript – double spaced, one inch margins, Times anew Roman 12 pt.

That’s all fine and good, but there is NO industry standard for agents. They can ask for a million different combinations. (maybe not a million – but you get the picture). One agent wants a query and first five pages. The next wants a query, a 3-5 page synopsis and the first chapter. Agent number three wants a query, a “short” synopsis (Does that mean a one page or a 3-5 page?) and the first 25 pages. Most now want email with no attachments, but a few still want queries snail-mailed or they Havre an online form. There is absolutely no consistency. And if you get it wrong, it is an automatic into the circular file. book stacks

Thank God for #Query Tracker. Wouldn’t it be nice if they had to adhere to “industry standards” like we, as writers do?  I know. Quit whining. Buck up. #Who ever said like was fair?

As for an update, I am plugging along, adding more agents. Not up to 14 yet, but the week is not over. Still optimistic. Non word from any of the submissions yet.  I’ll keep you posted.

Posted in adoption, agents, books, publication, target audience, writer

#The Mysterious World of Publication

This week I entered a new phase in my writing career. I would like to take you along on this journey with me. Are you  already one of my fans? Thank You. Your belief in me spurs me on. A fellow writer? Come along on this ride with me. Perhaps we can learn together. Maybe . . . you ran across my blog site by accident or from a previous post. I hope you’ll stick around and follow my progress.

Up until this week, I have been a self-published author. I’ve experienced modest success. I know my writing improves with each book, and finally, I feel like stepping into the mysterious  world of traditional publication.

If your are a reader outside of the industry you may not know the process, but I assure you, this is going to be a fun ride.

First things first. What are my goals?  To find an agent that will sell my book to a reputable publisher. So . . . do I have a marketable book? I believe I do. My target audience is clear and defined – #women book-club readers that like stories that provoke debate, with current issues that they, as a reader could put themselves into and ask, “What would I do in that situation?”

My new book is about international adoption and the process called re-homing. Never heard of it? Well, as much as it is not illegal (except to advertise children for money), unbelievable to me, it is rather covert. Want an eye opener? Google re-homing children.  Enough said.

So what’s my next step? Is it edited (and edited and edited) until it’s the best that it can be.  Check and double check.

Now we are moving into the starting gate.

So with a helpful list from WFWA (Women’s Fiction Writers Association) and the online database, “Query Tracker” I started my search for an agent. Using the parameters of: a)agents accepting Women’s Fiction, b)were currently open to new submissions and c)were in the United States (not that I have anything against agents from other countries, but I thought I’d start local) I narrowed it down to only 122 agents. That’s all, you ask? That’s plenty, trust me.

My#goal is this – research agents every week and choose one a day to submit my query letter to. Seven queries a week until I get representation.  Are you  with me?  This week I met my goal of seven queries. I should make it through the list by Christmas (If I haven’t received representation) I also know it takes 6-8 weeks before I should expect a response. So bear with me.

As my fans, my friends or even my stranger, I will share my struggles and my joys as I go down this new path. You will get an inside seat into the life of a struggling writer. And in the end, I know you will celebrate my victory with me.  So grab your hat and hang on. It’s going to be a fun ride.