Monday, September 20, 2010

Chapter Eleven: Catching Up

I sent out my first small batch of queries including the previously mentioned one that escaped before I added the agent's name and agency. Not surprising, I didn't receive any acknowledgment from them. I did receive a couple automatic rejections from other agents in short order - so short, in fact, I doubt even a speed reading specialist could've read the first sentence of my letter.

I made a real effort to carefully research agencies, seeking to identify agents who were accepting queries and were interested in my Young Adult genre. I read and reread thru the bios of multiple agents and settled on several who seemed most promising for my novel. I sent my query to those agents' personalized email addresses. In one case, a submissions clerk sent the speedy auto rejection. I have no reason to believe the agent I emailed ever saw my query. Frankly, it seems to negate that across-the-board advice to research agents and send material to the right one. Does the "right one" even get it?

Several visitors to the blog suggested I try small presses, many of which will accept queries sans agent. Some small presses seem to be quite specialized so it takes research to find likely matches. So far, I've found a dozen or so that may be possibilities. So, the quest to get published continues.

On a different subject, I bought the Oxford American Writer's Thesaurus (2008) several months ago and find it the best and fastest to use thesaurus I've tried. It's available on for about $25. If you're in the market for a new thesaurus, check it out. I keep it within hand's reach when I'm working.

I'll continue researching agents and small presses and sending out more queries. As a diversion, I'm working on a new novel. I've written a good bit of it but my notion about how it should go keeps changing. I guess the characters are beginning to take over the story and telling me what they really want to say. I much prefer the fantasy end of the publishing-stick to the business end!

Let's get published!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Chapter Ten: E-Query Flying On its Own

I've flipped my sentences, shuffled them around within the paragraphs, moved them from one paragraph to another, and flipped paragraphs. After trying virtually every combination, I'm finally satisfied with my query letter and started the process of sending it out this morning.

I copied and pasted my query into the body of an e-mail with ???? as place holders for the agent's name, agency name, and the greeting. My intention was to personalize each letter as I went. With my very first query, before I could fill in the agent's info, the e-mail escaped. At first, I thought I'd just lost it but, indeed, it was sent. I inadvertently bumped a key and away it went.

If agents get annoyed with writers who don't spell their names correctly, one of them is going to have a fit when they open my query. Worse than a misspelling of somebody's name is a string of ???? in lieu of it. I sent an apology right away but I'm not expecting a positive response.

The lesson to be learned is something I remembered after the mishap. Copy and paste the query into a blank email. Do the agent name and address and check everything before typing in the e-mail address - let that be the last thing when everything else is right and ready to go. If the query flies on it's own at that point, it's okay!