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The Ups and Downs of the Book Biz

August 26, 2008

For an industry predicated on paper, it’s not really surprising that the book industry has stayed so firmly rooted in a technology-free world.  Disappointing, annoying, and expensive, but not surprising.

It was a pleasant discovery then, to find out that several literary agencies now accept query letters by e-mail.  Just think of the postage saved!  The bothersome trips to the post office! Now, potential representation is just a mouse click away.  I queried three agents in ten minutes.  Brilliant!  

And speaking of – I’m going to re-urge all writers to sign up for Writer’s Digest and Poets & Writers.  Absolutely worth the money, more so than lit mags, in my opinion.  Don’t get me wrong, lit mags should be enjoyed for their own sake, but the magazines have valuable information in their glossy pages.  Take this month’s Writer’s Digest, for example.  A list of Query Dos and Don’ts, and three pages of agents actively seeking clients – which included several agents who specialize in YA, great news for me.  Such a time saver.

Still, I made sure to Google each agent and agency, check their client list, and pay extra close attention to their wants before submitting.  (One agency, for example, only wanted the query letter – no chapter or synopsis attachments.)

…and a few hours after I began this post – while collaging my rejection letters onto my writing stand – I heard back from one of the agencies.  Drum roll, please… She wants to see more!  Her response was highly enthusiastic, and she requested my full manuscript!  Regardless of whether or not this actually leads anywhere, this is a huge step forward.  I’m so excited! (As evidenced by all the exclamation points.)

I sent off the document right away, after double- and triple-checking that the file was the most recent draft, and that it was in good shape.  I strongly resisted the impulse to comb through it again – it’s done.  No more tweaking or I’ll tweak myself right into a sanitarium.  

I’m seriously thinking about framing the e-mail.

Of course, to match that, a few hours after that I got a form e-mail rejection, but hey, waiting’s the hard part. 

 

Quote of the Day:

“When I finally had a book accepted for publication, I wasn’t just over the moon, I think I was over the entire solar system!” – Jeremy Strong, children’s book author

I’m a long way from publication, but this is definitely a step in the right direction.

Link of the Day: 10 Tips for Querying an Agent – it never hurts to reacquaint yourself with the proper etiquette.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Derek permalink
    August 31, 2008 3:11 pm

    As an aspiring novelist, among other things, I found your experiences and advice both informative and interesting. I’m still a long way from taking these steps with my own work but you’ve given me a lot to think about for the future. Anyway, I’m sure you’ll succeed in your endeavors. Best of luck.

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