Our Masterpieces...Err, Our Novels

Monday, October 11, 2010

So You Think Your Manuscript's Ready...WAIT!

Writing Song of the Day "You Got Me" by the Crash Kings

You all know we're some conference loving fools, right? Well we still have some leftover knowledge from the Hampton Roads Writers conference to share before we indulge you with all we learned from the James River Writers conference this past weekend.
We had to make sure you all knew what to do before you send your manuscript out into the big, scary literary universe.

So, do you think you're ready to send your manuscript to agents and/or editors? Well before you do that, read this post and make sure that you have EVERYTHING in order.

Point# 1: Make sure you have a business card for pitching agents/editors in person. This is also good to give to fellow writers as well.

Point # 2: Make sure you have all the information about the business- too many writers concentrate more on the craft than on the business of writing.

Point # 3: Write your entire piece of work and polish it (this is what beta readers are for!) Hemingway said "The first draft of anything is shitty." Get as much feedback as you can before sending out your "shitty" first draft :) and remember, if you are comfortable or never scarred through the writing process then you aren't ready to submit your work yet.

Point # 4: Write a query letter and a synopsis. You must know how to write a query letter. Try to incorporate the following sentence in your query:
**I am sending my (X) to you because you represent (Y) and my work is similar in that (Z).**
X= query letter, Y=specific author/title of the book that you are comparing yourself to, and Z= specific attribute that your work shares with Y.

Visit the sites below to help you craft a great query letter and synopsis:

Point # 5- Find the right agent and/or editor for YOU! Visit sites that list literary agents. Research who and what they represent, and what they can do for you. List the agents that you want to query the most and go to work!

Now you're ready!!!
All of the information in this post was taken from an informative session ran by Marcela Landres, former editor for Simon & Schuster who is now an editorial consultant. Visit her site to learn more about her services and more on the topic of preparing your work for submission.


Abby Stevens said...

Great summary of the writing/querying process! Hope y'all had a great time at the James River conference!

Racquel Henry said...

Good info! I am not familiar with the ins and outs of publishing, so this was really helpful. Thanks so much! :)

Melanie said...

I think Point #3 is the most useful and also the most painful. Oy vey!

Pam Harris said...

Thanks for the comments, ladies! That's why we go to conferences...so you don't have to. :)

And Melanie, I think feedback can be scary. I try to think of it like getting my eyebrows waxed--just rip it off and get it over with! Okay, that doesn't make much sense, but feedback back can be painful sometimes, but your manuscript will sure look purty afterwards. :)