#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.

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Where is the GMC in the PLOT?

I am half way through a best selling novel and I must pause to reflect. I remember when I strictly read for enjoyment; when I did not care where the story went as long as I was entertained.

Apparently those days are over. When I crossed over that line from reader to writer, something happened to my reader radar. Not intentionally, but now I critique every book I read.

In this particular best seller, I would have quit reading eleven chapters ago if this was not a book club read that I need to discuss next month. Without naming the novel, it took until chapter thirteen to reveal the plot. For twelve chapters I kept trying to figure out why and where was this story going. There appeared to be no goal for the protagonists, no motivation to do anything and no conflict.

I must confess. I had to find out how this author got away with this gross error in our unwritten laws of writing. The answer is: wait for it, it is his fourth book. He obviously had a book deal. I can not imagine any new writer getting a chance in hell with a book that actually begins on chapter thirteen. True, the writer is witty, and outrageous enough to make for good conversation, but seriously? Thirteen chapters in?

The other thing I noticed were the forty five word sentences. What? So much for the test of a proper length of a sentence being if you can read it aloud without taking a breath.

This is one of those cases where once you are established you can break all the rules. For my fellow authors, has writing ruined you from strictly enjoying a book without picking it apart? Do rules broken jump off the page at you? Or am I perhaps just a bit jealous that others can get away with what I can not. I would love to hear from you.