PDA

View Full Version : A new old author


MsBooks01
09-23-2009, 12:23 AM
I've been writing the great urban fantasy novel since June. 100K words, and in one of my first rejection emails, the agent said she was sure that I would find an agent. I was on cloud nine until I read that someone else on the net got the same line in his rejection.

If she's so sure I was going to land someone, where in the heck are they?

I went back to the drawing board, did some research on submittals and this time, after I sent them out, I came up with a request for a partial from an agent and about three form letter rejections. I would much rather receive a personal rejection than one that basically starts with, "Dear author."

I was trying to come up with a new gimmick that would separate my novel from the rest of the slush pile rejections. I read about a writer who put the query in a brochure format and had a good response. Since I'm a wiz on computer graphics, I put together a brochure and created a picture of my dream book cover and put it on the brochure. (see my avatar) I also put in it a brief synopsis and one scene when the main characters meet.

When I started this process over 20 years ago, I read a magazine for writers that had excellent suggestions on novel writing from successful authors such as Clive Cussler.

Make them laugh, make them cry, make them wait.
End each chapter with a bang.
Don't tell anyone outside your home about your novel until you finish it, otherwise you'll get discouraged when your beloved family and friends say a noncommital, "sounds neato" or "I like anything you write sweetheart. Even the kinky scene on the piano."
Plot character plot character plot character.
The hardest part of writing is selling it. (my own observation)

alleycat
09-23-2009, 12:24 AM
Welcome.

stormie
09-23-2009, 12:25 AM
Don't tell anyone outside your home about your novel until you finish it, otherwise you'll get discouraged when your beloved family and friends say a noncommital, "sounds neato" or "I like anything you write sweetheart. Even the kinky scene on the piano."
A good quote to live by. Welcome to AW!

Nickie
09-23-2009, 12:40 AM
Hi there, and welcome to AW. Good observations!


Nickie

BigWords
09-23-2009, 01:01 AM
Welcome to the Cooler.

CACTUSWENDY
09-23-2009, 01:17 AM
Welcome to AW. Hope you enjoy your stay with us.
How do you like your popcorn?

If you go to the bottom of the page to the ‘forum jump’ you can scroll down and find all the areas of this place. The SYW areas require the password of ….vista. Good luck.

cdcounselor
09-23-2009, 04:32 AM
Yep. Those novel writing suggestions make complete sense to me, including the original. Okay, so I'm beginning to see a correlation. I know two people who have won the lottery. What I don't know is how many people I know who have played. I think this getting published scheme is exactly 50% skill & 50% timing. It's the other 50% I'm still trying to figure out.

Madisonwrites
09-23-2009, 06:55 AM
:hi:

cooeedownunder
09-23-2009, 09:10 AM
Welcome :hi:

regdog
09-23-2009, 03:35 PM
http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l117/regdog/hello.gif

Cyia
10-11-2009, 10:33 PM
I've been writing the great urban fantasy novel since June. 100K words, and in one of my first rejection emails, the agent said she was sure that I would find an agent. I was on cloud nine until I read that someone else on the net got the same line in his rejection.

If she's so sure I was going to land someone, where in the heck are they?

I went back to the drawing board, did some research on submittals and this time, after I sent them out, I came up with a request for a partial from an agent and about three form letter rejections. I would much rather receive a personal rejection than one that basically starts with, "Dear author."

I was trying to come up with a new gimmick that would separate my novel from the rest of the slush pile rejections. I read about a writer who put the query in a brochure format and had a good response. Since I'm a wiz on computer graphics, I put together a brochure and created a picture of my dream book cover and put it on the brochure. (see my avatar) I also put in it a brief synopsis and one scene when the main characters meet.

When I started this process over 20 years ago, I read a magazine for writers that had excellent suggestions on novel writing from successful authors such as Clive Cussler.

Make them laugh, make them cry, make them wait.
End each chapter with a bang.
Don't tell anyone outside your home about your novel until you finish it, otherwise you'll get discouraged when your beloved family and friends say a noncommital, "sounds neato" or "I like anything you write sweetheart. Even the kinky scene on the piano."
Plot character plot character plot character.
The hardest part of writing is selling it. (my own observation)



Welcome.

I read your post on Nathan's thread, so I came looking for more posts you might have made.

Those "intriguing" responses are form letters. Don't get discouraged by them, they literally mean nothing other than "no" phrased in a less curt manner.

We'd all like personal rejection letters, and occasionally get them, but the reality is that agents don't have time to pen them for every submission they get. The increase in hostile responses and insults has also contributed to agents sticking with the blanket form letter or "no response means no" policies. It's not personal.

Gimmicks scream "amateur who didn't do her homework". The query has to speak for itself and your book. A tri-fold brochure won't do it. (and it may sound like a great idea to make a cover, but authors usually have no say in that part at all, which is another "noob" red flag).

Go to the Share Your Work forum (password: vista) here and read the stickies in the query section. They'll show you the basics of solid query writing. Read through the successful query thread, too. Then post your query letter for some feedback. It may need a tweak or two. You'll get a lot of good - and brutally honest - insight there.

Dreamer76
10-11-2009, 11:13 PM
Hi and welcome! I agree about not using a brochure style query. Unfortunately, agents don't like "cutsie" tactics like that. If you're unsure about your query letter, then definitely post it in SYW. I would also check out the bewares and background check forum. You'll see a lot of writers trying to find agents and can see how they cope with rejections. It makes you feel like you're not alone and you'll also get a sense for what agents really want in submissions. Some agents even pipe in once in a while (Roger Willliams for one).

Kitara
10-12-2009, 12:44 AM
welcome to AW from another newbie. I love fantasy! You sound like you have a good grasp on everything, just keep submitting! :)

cheers!

nitaworm
10-12-2009, 12:12 PM
Good to meet you, come on in!

YukonMike
10-12-2009, 05:59 PM
Hi MS,

Welcome to the site.

I agree with the others. I've heard that many agents don't like gimmicks. They are very busy and just want the query presented to them in a traditional manner. They may not want to have to look through a brochure -- even if it is well designed -- to find out the basics of your proposal -- word length, genre, etc.... Just give an agent a query letter he/she can read in one minute.

That's my two cents.

Judg
10-13-2009, 04:04 AM
Listen to Cyia. Absolutely do not try to stand out by doing anything other than having better ideas and writing better. It's the publishing equivalent of a teen-age girl trying to attract attention by bumping into guys in the hall.

And welcome to the Cooler.

brainstorm77
10-13-2009, 05:10 AM
Welcome.

kct webber
10-13-2009, 04:52 PM
:hi:

Mark G
10-14-2009, 01:39 AM
Welcome MsBooks01, and I'm glad I opened this thread because you're a few steps ahead of me on the same path.

I'll be looking at the query letter section myself!