• We’re running on a new server at a new host with a new forum software called XenForo. Some things are different. Some things may not work as expected. I am working on it as fast as I can. Please be patient. Please read this post.
  • I'm going to be working on the forums for a while. Things may be wonky. I may turn the forums off without notice. Consider this a bit of a public beta test as we figure out the new software and make adjustments. But you've been much missed, and we can't wait to see you again!

The Next Circle of Hell, Vol. 2

editing_for_authors
Editing for authors: because every writer needs a good editor.

Sonya Heaney

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As someone who is STILL unagented, I can only speak for editors, but my experiences with each one have been wildly different. In a creative field, I don't think there's much point picking people as "dream" anythings based on a dot-point list online.

I bought my "rival's" book today; it's so similar in themes to my next book I'm worried it's *too* similar. We shall see. It's annoying because I'm so much more interested in this book than my last two. It's nearly twice as long, and has shipwrecks and murder and gold and stolen identities. I'll have to brace myself before I read the other author's.

I'm just home from my surgery. I need another one in late February, but today was meant to be the bad one. My mother dropped me off and took me home, and asked if I wanted anything. I said: a bottle of champagne so we can celebrate the inauguration (it's on at 3am our time!). Yes, bad idea after surgery, but no, I don't care. :roll: I might regret that now the anaesthetic has started to wear off!
 

RaggyCat

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Editors definitely vary, even within the same publishing house. I have four different ones across three books!

Sonya, how are you feeling a few days on from surgery? I hope the champagne managed to ease the discomfort of the anaesthetic wearing off! But I love that your request was champagne! And have you got any further with your rival's book? I have to say I am always find it tough to read rival's titles - either they leave me cross because they're (IMO) not as good as the hype suggests, or they leave me feeling horribly discouraged.

I think we need some sub glitter on this thread, for those of us on sub. It certainly had a magical effect a couple of years ago! So... I'll duly throw some sub glitter around. *throws sub glitter"
 

RaggyCat

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Maybe it's the talk of sub glitter that did it buuuuuuut...

I have some good submission news, guys. :)

Now excuse me while I hyperventilate. There is hope for YA and books that have been on submission 10+ months!
 

Carrie

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It's a bit like leaving a job - sometimes the problem is the relationship just isn't the best fit for your publishing goals. It's always okay to politely and professionally terminate the relationship, even with a wonderful agent

My! I have missed some interesting conversation. I had to jump in because I am also, inadvertently, in the agent-wooing biz again. Last spring, I put out a handful of queries to test the waters. Like several of you, it never occurred to me that people left their agents! I remember how grateful and amazed I was to get representation while still in my late-in-life graduate writing program. But there were many issues in the selling of my first book and, while it certainly was "my first rodeo," even at the time I felt things were not handled as well as they could have been. In retrospect, I am sure of that. And the communication has been, frankly, terrible.

So I sent these queries out in the early days of the pandemic to see if I was totally deluded in thinking I could land new representation. I only sent out to top people; it was just a test, after all. I got enough requests for full manuscripts and nice personal rejection notes to decide I wasn't a crazy person, and I decided I would finish the entire series before continuing to look for new representation.

Then, yesterday, six months to the day after I sent a query, I hear from the CEO of a big NY agency, who is "very interested" in reading more and wanted a bunch of other additional materials. I haven't thought about submissions in half a year! I had to drop what I was doing, dust off my original manuscript, do some revision (of course!), create a new bio, etc., etc. It's a lovely opportunity and, while I am not optimistic, it was good to revisit marketing for a mad 24 hours.

Anyway, I thought I'd pop in. This site drives me mad. I get flashbacks to the early 90s. I expect to hear the squeal of my dial-up modem. But, seriously, you guys are the only ones I "know" who are really in the trenches and it is so lovely to hear what you are up to. I plan to visit more often. Perhaps I can learn to knit or something while waiting for the page to load...

Best wishes on all your endeavors!
 

Carrie

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Now excuse me while I hyperventilate. There is hope for YA and books that have been on submission 10+ months!

Whoo-hoo! You must have posted while I was writing. Great news, RaggyCat!
 

RaggyCat

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Hello, long time no chat! Who has made it back after our down time? Any sub news (good and bad)? Or general writing/non writing news?

I posted just before the forum went down but my YA sold (after 10 months of sub). Not announced yet, but I've signed the contract, so it's going to happen! My last book was published in 2013 so it's been a long time in the wilderness for me.

Looking forward to catching up with you all! Hope you're all OK.
 

be frank

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Oh, hey, congrats, Raggy! That's amazing news!! Congratulations. :)

I'm currently waiting to hear back from my agent about my new MS (fingers crossed it doesn't need toooooo much revision work!). Very happy to see the forums back up for the moment!

eta: Oooh, we have reactions now! Features, yay!
 
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RaggyCat

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Ooh, good luck, be frank! I always find sending a new MS to an agent nervewracking. I'll be in the same boat as you by the end of the day. Just polishing my new YA before sending it along to my agent.

Sorry to hear about that, lizmonster. Working on the next thing is always the best way forwards, for mentally moving on. Then you can enjoy being surprised if something does come up good.
 

be frank

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Ugh, I'm sorry, lizmonster. It's so hard having a book (probably) die on sub, especially when it had such potential and expectation. Hopefully one of the remaining pubs pulls through for you.

I always think publishing is like a toxic relationship -- it's so awful to us in so many ways, and yet we're all desperate for it to love us. We get constantly rejected and smacked down, but we keep crawling back against all sense.
 
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lizmonster

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I have many Thoughts on the business, none of which are appropriate to express right now. :)

ETA (and bc I'm on mobile and my fingers are clumsy) I have a couple of self-pub projects in the works, so I'm going to see how that avenue goes. One thing my previous experience got me was a reader who's also a professional graphic designer and ebook formatter. He's done some branding stuff for me, and has hooked me up with a cover illustrator. So you never know how things will fall out, really. I'm just hoping self pub is somewhat less traumatic.
 
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A.P.M.

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Good to see everyone again!

My MG still on sub, but I worry it's dying on the vine. My agent believes in it 100% and we revised it heavily after feedback (we added a whole new POV and a third to the length!) so I still have some hope, but after this long I'm kind of preparing for it not to sell.

I have another YA with my agent and I'm working on another MG and another YA, so we have options. But I did think this was going to be the one. Oh well. No one can control the whims of the market.
 
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Carrie

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Hullo, Everyone!
Congrats to RaggyCat! I can't help but note that the last thing I posted (and the last post before the site went down) was congrats to RaggyCat, and now she gets more congrats. What's up with that?!? So sorry, Lizmonster and APM. Hang in there! This is not a sprint and it is not for the faint of heart. ♥️

The timing of this is ideal because I shipped the last of my queries for the summer yesterday. One went by snail mail, the others were electronic and I've decided to pause until I get some sort of feedback. Since I last wrote, I have removed all doubt and regret about leaving my current agent. It may be a long haul to get the next one, but I am very firmly convinced I deserve better and will get it. So!

To date, I've had one intern reject me. (I believe her name was Erin. I imagine she is twenty-two and working for free as mummy and daddy pay her rent. No bitterness here.) Then I had a very odd moment when the head of William Morris Endeavor referred me over to a senior partner -- and I mean "senior" in every sense of the word. He wanted my manuscript in 16 pt. font! He read overnight, said he was "intrigued," but passed because he could not stomach my villain!

Well! I happen to love my villain. But she is an elderly female and rather endearing and I know readers have found it off-putting when they learn she is killing small children. No matter. I later learned this agent also represents Ann Coulter and the Duck Dynasty and, really, I couldn't have that on my karma.

So I have decided to write for a while as the results dribble in. I had hoped to leverage some connections I had with my newspaper syndicate to get agent referrals, but that came to naught and I have literally no more connections to tap at the moment. So we do the query thing and see how it goes. So nice to connect with you all again. Happy writing/submitting/waiting in agony.
--Carrie
 

litdawg

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So exciting that we're back! Congratulations, Raggycat! I'm glad you can finally share the good news. Lizmonster, I feel like I'm in the same boat. My mss has now been to over two dozen publishers, many of whom requested full, none of whom ultimately offered. My agent has gone from quick responses to emails to weeks of delay. APM, glad you've got enough irons in the fire to be emotionally diversified :)

Be Frank and Carrie--I'm wishing all the Zen vibes you need to wait gracefully.
 

Fuchsia Groan

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Oh wow! We’re back! Congratulations, RaggyCat—I’m so, so happy for you and this book! Can’t wait to see a cover.

Sending sympathy to Liz, APM, and litdawg. This business is terrifying and often dispiriting. Please keep believing in your writing, in whatever way you want to get it out there.

I’ve lost two editors in the space of just over a year, but one of those editors bought my third book before she left publishing, and it’s in PM today:

Margot Harrison's WE MADE IT ALL UP, in which a 16-year-old moves to small-town Montana to escape her past, only to become embroiled in her new home's dark, twisted secrets when her crush—and writing subject—is found dead in a nearby cave, to Rachel Poloski at Little, Brown Children's, for publication in summer 2022, by Jessica Sinsheimer at Context Literary Agency (world).
 

A.P.M.

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Congrats Fuchsia and Raggycat! Good to see some happy news.
 
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