Showing posts with label query. Show all posts
Showing posts with label query. Show all posts

Friday, September 4, 2009

Are We Suckers?

I'm desperate. I'll do anything... well, almost anything to get my book published... to become AN AUTHOR. How far will I go? Will I grasp at anything that promises me success?

It seems that when I read all the agents' and editors' blogs, I get this picture of almost gloom and doom. They leave me feeling, as maybe they should, that my ms must be the absolute best to have even the slightest chance at publication. Getting representation is like searching for a needle in a haystack.

There is all sorts of help offered. You know I love the free stuff! But what about the stuff with the price tag? How much are you willing to invest in this process? Oh, don't look at me with that 'I thought they'd pay me?' face... I'm talking critiques, query help, editing, etc. Are you willing to pay for the expertise you might require to get your book published? How do you know you're getting your money's worth?

Let me put the fear of God into with this:

Florida sues Boca Raton literary agency

This story ran today in the Miami Herald. It's worth a look. Did you think the publishing world was immune to the vultures? No matter where we go in the world, there is always someone waiting to capitalize on our ignorance. I'm not going to say guilty or innocent in this matter, as I've just now heard about it; but I will say 'author beware'.

I can see how easy it would be to get sucked up into a scheme because of our obsession to be authors. There are so many opinions out there, who do you trust? In the last few months, I've read more than a couple of articles on how to select an agent, etc., that is reputable. I'm sure there are vast numbers of sources that will point us in the direction of honest experts in all the above mention areas.

I encourage you all to follow as many good agent blogs as possible. Sign up for free newsletters from publishers lunch (where I first heard of this suit) and any other newsletters you can find. I know... You say you have enough to read. Who doesn't? Scan.

I am not yet involved in any writers' groups. I do plan to be, before I get to the point of hiring experts for help with my book. Take advantage of the wisdom out there and don't fall prey to these varmints!

Friday, August 7, 2009

In it for the long haul...

Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go. T. S. Eliot

This quote was on Judy's The Road to Here blog this morning, in her post, A Far Reaching Thought.

It quickly reminded me of one of my favorite quotes... Thomas Edison said, "Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up."

I have spent a lot of time this week reading blogs of writers, authors, agents, editors and publishers. If I weren't so determined, and I didn't have my Blogville fan club cheering me on, I could easily get discouraged. Blog after blog advises the same thing: You have to be better than the very best to have the slimmest chance of having anyone even ask for a paragraph of your work. You must spend three years perfecting your query letter, and this only after spending twenty years editing your first novel. Then, if you're luckier than a lottery winner, you must repeat that almost thirty years of work in a few months for your second book, or risk acquiring the reputation of a loser and violating your contract.

I have learned that there are plenty of people out there that make a living at helping you with your query letter, and that using them practically guarantees a letter (according to an agent's blog) that will be tossed. I have also learned that it is much harder to write a good query letter than it is to write a novel.

I have learned that you must make a terrific and lasting first impression with an agent, but must, at the same time, blend into the woodwork, so as not to appear anxiously self-promoting. There are conferences that allow you to mingle with agents, but if you get some face-to-face time, do not, under any circumstances, mention the fact that you have written a wonderful book.

I have learned that if a publisher is interested in reading your manuscript, by all means send it to them, even if it is the wrong thing to do!

I have learned that self-publishing can be a great route for many, but you'd have to be crazy to publish your manuscript without an agent... You will be taken to the proverbial cleaners!

I have learned that there are firm rules that you must adhere to, and even when you do, you'd have better luck getting struck twice by lightening.

With all this wonderful information, am I discouraged? Heck, no! How do you think people advised T.E. when he wanted to fly a kite in a thunderstorm? I'm probably on the verge of a sensational best seller!