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Thread: [Editing] Creative Inspirations, Inc. / Writing 2 Sell (Michael Garrett)

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    [Editing] Creative Inspirations, Inc. / Writing 2 Sell (Michael Garrett)

    after getting "Not for me" from over 50 agents I've decided maybe I should look into a Book Doctor - I know, I've read all the evil stuff about them and I clearly can't afford one but Michael Garrett looks to be 'not too bad' but then, I am naive and he could just be a better conman. Anyone know?

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    Art is Resistance emeraldcite's Avatar
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    Welcome, Robert:

    I'm going to move this post down to Bewares and Background Checks. You should be able to get an answer there. Thanks!
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    novel

    Quote Originally Posted by RobertS
    after getting "Not for me" from over 50 agents I've decided maybe I should look into a Book Doctor - I know, I've read all the evil stuff about them and I clearly can't afford one but Michael Garrett looks to be 'not too bad' but then, I am naive and he could just be a better conman. Anyone know?
    Did fifty agents reject your novel, or did fifty agents reject your query letter? Big difference.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamesaritchie
    Did fifty agents reject your novel, or did fifty agents reject your query letter? Big difference.
    Query letter mostly - a couple requested my feeble attempt at a synopsis and a couple requested the first 30 or fifty pages, then told me not for them.
    Still, I figure it can't hurt, except if I get ripped off, to have a professional look over my manuscript for a few bucks and show me where to fix it.

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    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    It sounds as if, so far, what's mostly being rejected is your query. I'd say you should revamp your query letter (and maybe take a look at your agent researching process--are you sure you're targeting agents who sell the kind of thing you write?) before you spring for a book doctor, who will probably cost you a lot of money and may not improve your chances.

    - Victoria

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    What? I have a title? Julie Worth's Avatar
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    Is there such a thing as a query doctor?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Julie Worth
    Is there such a thing as a query doctor?
    cute

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    What? I have a title? Julie Worth's Avatar
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    You might want to post your query and get some feedback. Look at the Query Letter Critique sub-forum under Share Your Work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Julie Worth
    You might want to post your query and get some feedback. Look at the Query Letter Critique sub-forum under Share Your Work.
    Ignore the signature under this post that says, "Any opinions expressed are likely insane."

    Julie's given some good advice here.

    Also, Victoria's question about targetting your submission is important: Do the agent's you're querying work with the kind of material you've written?

    There are some hopeful signs: Some agents did express enough interest to request a synopsis and/or partial. So you've got something.

    I don't think a "book doctor" would help you. If he doesn't know what he's doing, he could even give advice that could make the book worse.

    I'd suggest posting the query letter, as Julie did, but you might also want to go further and invite some folks who know what they're doing to take a look at the synopsis and the first chapter.

    Also, Noah Lukeman's book, The First Five Pages, gives great advice on how to improve those crucial first pages so that editors want to read more.

    Good luck, Robert!

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    Quote Originally Posted by RobertS
    Query letter mostly - a couple requested my feeble attempt at a synopsis and a couple requested the first 30 or fifty pages, then told me not for them.
    Still, I figure it can't hurt, except if I get ripped off, to have a professional look over my manuscript for a few bucks and show me where to fix it.
    It may not hurt, if you find a really qualified book doctor, but it may not help, either. Agents and editors like things the way they like them, which is seldom the way even a (rare) good book doctor likes them.

    It does sound like you need to learn how to write a better query letter and synopsis. Even if you have the best novel ever written, a bad query letter/synopsis means almost no one will ask to see it.

    The record for novels a book doctor has worked on is really no better than the record for novels only the writer has worked on, so it's usually money ill spent.

    I think you should spend some time working on how to write a good qquery letter/synopsis, and some time working on the first two or three chapters of your novel.

  11. #11
    haz a shiny new book cover Christine N.'s Avatar
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    Where is this guy located? His name sounds familiar.
    Christine

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    What? I have a title? Julie Worth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christine N.
    Where is this guy located? His name sounds familiar.
    Birmingham, AL

  13. #13
    Elf Queen Yeshanu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christine N.
    Where is this guy located? His name sounds familiar.
    Is it this guy?

    http://www.writing2sell.com/

    If so, it certainly looks like he's on the up and up, and knows what he's doing. Likely to be pricey, though.

    However, I'd still echo James' advice, and work on your query, synopsis, and first few chapters.
    Last edited by Yeshanu; 03-20-2006 at 08:55 PM.

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    Query doctors

    Never heard of a query doctor, but some of the bigger writing conferences have query critique sessions (and pitch critique sessions), often with agents and editors sitting in and carping.

    And, of course, the estimable Miss Snark occasionally (too often, for my taste, though she's a saint for doing it) runs her Query and Synopsis Crap-O-Meter.

    Has your novel been through the critique-group/workshop mill?

    Most writers need feedback other than from family and friends. In fact, semi-hostile feedback can be the best. But community college workshops and university extension classes are cheap--and usually have a fine selection of the semi-hostile.

    In addition, a few of the better conferences--such as the venerable San Diego conference (http://www.ces.sdsu.edu/writers/)-- have editorial advance reads, where, instead of pitch sessions (which they also have), you can submit your first ten pages (months in advance) to acquiring editors of your choice, and get their feedback. (You may also get their Best In Show Award--I did, WOOF! WOOF!--which then makes you suddenly sexier to all of the agents at the conference. You may also be invited to submit your mansucript, thereby hopping straight through the transom without landing in the slush pile.)

    It is interesting that agents at the San Diego Conference don't do advance reads--only editors. Agents inhabit a more rarefied, red-carpet plane than the rest of us (see below).

    ------------------------

    My advice on dealing with publishers: Let your agent do it. Agents are more important than publishers. Agents are more important than anyone. Which brings me to my advice on dealing with agents. You can’t. They won’t speak to you. They’re too important.

    —P.J. O’Rourke

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yeshanu
    Is it this guy?

    http://www.writing2sell.com/

    If so, it certainly looks like he's on the up and up, and knows what he's doing. Likely to be pricey, though.

    However, I'd still echo James' advice, and work on your query, synopsis, and first few chapters.
    yup, that's him. I figure if I consider the cost of a seminar or two and things of that sort $200 is not bad especially if he's correcting ‘my’ stuff. It, hopefully, will be better than trying to understand some abstract or even concrete concept based on something someone else wrote. If I remember correctly Stephen King alluded to that in his book On Writing. Someone in another forum suggested one can learn to write by reading what one likes. I'm the guy you see waiting for the elevator, or in line at the bank, with a book in is hand telling others to go ahead, I just have one more page.



    While I can believe there is always room to improve my query letter and synopsis a couple agents have said they couldn't get excited about the story idea. It's classic detective, lovely woman asks P.I to look into the death of her sister. When I look at the NY Times best seller list I see lots of detective novels. Maybe I should have him look for the Holy Grail, no wait, that's been done. In "How to Write a Mystery", by Larry Beinhart it says what people want is the same, but different. That's what I think I wrote.



    Someone else also suggested I may be sending my queries to the wrong agents. I looked through A Guide to Agents, Publishers, etc by Jeff Herman and picked all the agents who are interested in mysteries. My only consolation is that the majority of the agents say their rejection rate is 95 to 99%. So I'm in good company.



    I’ll try the other forum and see if someone has any suggestions about improving my query. Thanks for all the advice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by UrsusMinor
    Never heard of a query doctor, but some of the bigger writing conferences have query critique sessions (and pitch critique sessions), often with agents and editors sitting in and carping.

    And, of course, the estimable Miss Snark occasionally (too often, for my taste, though she's a saint for doing it) runs her Query and Synopsis Crap-O-Meter.

    Has your novel been through the critique-group/workshop mill?

    Most writers need feedback other than from family and friends. In fact, semi-hostile feedback can be the best. But community college workshops and university extension classes are cheap--and usually have a fine selection of the semi-hostile.

    In addition, a few of the better conferences--such as the venerable San Diego conference (http://www.ces.sdsu.edu/writers/)-- have editorial advance reads, where, instead of pitch sessions (which they also have), you can submit your first ten pages (months in advance) to acquiring editors of your choice, and get their feedback. (You may also get their Best In Show Award--I did, WOOF! WOOF!--which then makes you suddenly sexier to all of the agents at the conference. You may also be invited to submit your mansucript, thereby hopping straight through the transom without landing in the slush pile.)

    It is interesting that agents at the San Diego Conference don't do advance reads--only editors. Agents inhabit a more rarefied, red-carpet plane than the rest of us (see below).

    ------------------------

    My advice on dealing with publishers: Let your agent do it. Agents are more important than publishers. Agents are more important than anyone. Which brings me to my advice on dealing with agents. You can’t. They won’t speak to you. They’re too important.

    —P.J. O’Rourke
    thanks, who's Miss Snark?

  17. #17
    Preditors & Editors Requiescat In Pace DaveKuzminski's Avatar
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    Miss Snark is an agent with a blog at URL http://misssnark.blogspot.com . Well worth a visit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Julie Worth
    You might want to post your query and get some feedback. Look at the Query Letter Critique sub-forum under Share Your Work.
    Thanks, I tried to go there but it asked for a password then said I couldn't get in.
    That sounds like a good idea though. I don't mind having people walk all over my stuff. I'm the new kid on the block and I'm well aware of the fact that I have a lot to learn.

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    The Mystery Biz

    I don't write in the genre, but a number of agents have been complaining that the mystery biz is overloaded and sinking fast.

    Sure, there's plenty of big sellers in mystery/suspense, but the slots are filled already with big names.

    My agent says she isn't even bothering to try and move debut mysteries any more, especially PI novels. MIss Snark has also remarked on the glut.

    I'm not trying to discourage you--I'm just noting that that it may not be your book, it may be the current state of the market.

    Unlike most genres, however, there are a lot of potential outlets for mysteries, including decent small presses where agents are not required.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveKuzminski
    Miss Snark is an agent with a blog at URL http://misssnark.blogspot.com . Well worth a visit.
    thanks, at first glance it looks too intellectual for me. I couldn't figure out what a lot of the references were about. Maybe Ijust need to spend more time there. I'll look again when I have more time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by UrsusMinor
    I don't write in the genre, but a number of agents have been complaining that the mystery biz is overloaded and sinking fast.

    Sure, there's plenty of big sellers in mystery/suspense, but the slots are filled already with big names.

    My agent says she isn't even bothering to try and move debut mysteries any more, especially PI novels. MIss Snark has also remarked on the glut.

    I'm not trying to discourage you--I'm just noting that that it may not be your book, it may be the current state of the market.

    Unlike most genres, however, there are a lot of potential outlets for mysteries, including decent small presses where agents are not required.
    I've heard similar things. I'm thinking of giving up on the "big time" and checking one of the smaller presses here that specializes in mysteries. Then, after great sucess, I'll lock my doors to all those agents who never got to know me when, lol

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    Let's see what's on special today.. Bufty's Avatar
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    Welcome, RobertS. Pull up the MAIN LIST OF FORUMS and run down till you find the SHARE YOUR WORK FORUM. The password's right there - you're looking at it!

    Quote Originally Posted by RobertS
    Thanks, I tried to go there but it asked for a password then said I couldn't get in.
    Everything yields to treatment.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bufty
    Welcome, RobertS. Pull up the MAIN LIST OF FORUMS and run down till you find the SHARE YOUR WORK FORUM. The password's right there - you're looking at it!
    sorry, guess I'm not clever enough I can't get in, what's the password?

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    What? I have a title? Julie Worth's Avatar
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    vista

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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by Julie Worth
    vista
    thank you - I still don't get it though, did Buffy's message imply "An avenue or other passage affording such a view"? I had to look that up - and that was after the fact. How long before someone discovers a person of limited intelligence such as myself has gained access to this forum and denies me further access?

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