I’ve been sick today, not much going on, but I did manage to get a few queries out to some agencies. This has been the story of my life though.
To be transparent — and the real point of this blog all along was just that — to let people in on this whole experience — I have been crazy busy with sending query letters to agents. Not just agents, you have to find the right agents. Ones that would be interested in a book like yours.
I may have gone over this in a previous blog post, but it takes some research. Quite a lot actually. You find a list of literary agencies and start going through them. What kind of books do they publish? If it seems like your book would fit into their family of other authors, then you start looking over each agent’s profile and read about them, and possibly do a little more research on them if you need to. You must find out if they are accepting queries too, and if they are looking for a book in your genre.
If it looks like you’ve found a matchy person, you must find out the submission policy of the agency and abide by their guidelines, pretty exactly. Your query letter should be personal to the agent, and if you did your homework, you’ll know a bit about them, so it won’t be hard to make it personal. You can cut and paste a lot of other information, but you may have to add/subtract, depending on what interests them, or what other materials they ask for.
They may also want a proposal, as well as pages of your manuscript. If you’re lucky, they’ll want a lot of pages, or the whole thing. Usually, they want only 10 pages. But, your proposal is probably more pages than that. It’s more important than your book in many, sometimes most ways.
In a proposal there is a synopsis, a summary (or your overview), your marketing plan, your bio, a chapter summary, past publications, list of comparative titles and their cross-categories, and who is going to read your book. Why is it special? It’s crazy, right?
Anyway, this is a long way of telling you, that for the last year and a half, I’ve been researching agencies, in NY (very few elsewhere), that could be interested in my book. I am down to the last little list, though I’ve been finding a few more here and there that I hadn’t known about before.
All in all, I have been able to query about 100 people. Hey, I’m just telling the truth. Maybe I shouldn’t. But there it is. I haven’t heard back from everyone, but I have had a fair share of rejection, and so far, no real big bites. Well, there were a couple along the way. The biggest one, I had a real good correspondence going with for over a year. He knew what I was writing, had my first query on the previous version and was very enthusiastic, knew my style of writing, waiting for me to rewrite it.etc. Once I was finished, he was eager to read it. I just got a pass from him, based on, he said, my platform. He said it wasn’t big enough. He said it would have to be huge in order for a major publisher to want to publish the book.
I’ve heard this from four other agents already, and a journalist. I didn’t count him though, not at first. And I ignored the four too. But I was almost banking on this one guy. This one great agent. He said he thought I was a great writer, but that was why he had to pass.
I only have a couple thousand peeps on Facecrook. Practically no one on GoodReads (which is where they want you to have your following), but I have a big following on other social media outlets that he didn’t even know about, though, it’s mostly art related. That would be ello. They have some writers there. No agents or publishers are cruising the joint though. I have another 600+ on twitter, 400+ on G+ and 250 or so on Instagram and I’m not very active on any. I would need to be more visible. It seems, it would be a full time job, no matter what route I take, with a major publisher, or if I self-publish.
There is no rest!
I am just sleepy all the time. I miss myself.