Diet Coke and Cheerios

Published 26/05/2012 by Lily Crussell

I am a simple girl of simple tastes. It doesn’t take much to make me happy, i.e the title of this blog entry. I honestly think I might be keeping Nestle in business with the sheer volume of Cheerios I eat.

What doesn’t make me happy is querying agents. So the DC and Cheerios are to help me through the process.

If you haven’t heard the term before, when you want to get your book published, there is a long old process to go through. Misguided, naive little creature that I was when I started, I assumed you send a letter to a publisher, they offer you a tonne of money for it, then you retire from your rubbish retail job and happily write all day.

HOW WRONG CAN A GIRL BE!

Before you even think of approaching a publisher, you need an agent. Most publishers won’t accept manuscripts (your book) if you don’t have an agent. To get an agent, you have to send out a polite letter telling them about your book, why it rocks and why they NEED you. Here is an excellent example put up on the blog of an Ex- agent http://blog.nathanbransford.com/2006/11/anatomy-of-good-query-letter.html

You have to spend a very long time making this letter perfect, then you send it out into the world and wait…for months. No exaggeration, I am getting letters back about things I sent out in October 2011. People often ask if they should apply to one or more agents at a time. Do you want to get through all the agencies before you die? You NEED to query more than one at a time or you will be waiting forever.

Once that has happened and they LOVE your book, it will be submitted on your behalf to publishers. I have never gotten this far. I had a HUGELY Desirable agent interested in my work, she called me! She wanted it! She was HUGELY enthused, but I messed up because I didn’t understand how it all worked. She listed rewrites. I assume she wanted them ASAP so killed myself to get it done in a couple of weeks. She was expecting months and as such I rushed it. I am still kicking myself about this. I’m not going to name names, but she is the Best in her field. Go me. Unfortunately, there is no accounting for trends. The Angel fad was over pretty soon after so I had missed that boat. Hence the Kindle route.

But, the current book I will be querying is almost finished, and as such will need a lot more work done to it, but I want everything ready for then as I it’s the part I hate most. In the space of a page, you have to make someone want your book. I’ve never been good at selling  myself, I’m shy and self conscious, avoiding being centre of attention wherever possible, but this is a learning process. If you want something enough, you have to go outside of your comfort zone and put yourself out there.

So my afternoon will be spent wrestling with the evil entity that is known as QUERY LETTER! What’s the new book about? oooh that would be telling… ;p

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