So what I’ve been up to lately?
Blurb-ing. Writing the synopsis for Crux. The third or fourth time. Cover letter-ing. It’s my job and I love it.
Queryshark has been my Bible for the last few days. Read that site top to bottom.
I am submitting the manuscript, that’s what I do. Or at least I am gathering a list of publishing houses that seem open to my kind of approach and Andrei’s writing style. And publish Fantasy, which a dear friend of mine called “the hardest genre to sell in the world”. Thanks, J, I will shake your hand after I send you a copy signed by the author! Seriously now, J thinks I am a rockstar in agent-ing. We’ll see about that.
So I actually found a few interesting guys. Independent and not among the dinosaurs that make you wait between 6 and 9 month for an answer, if ever. Four to six weeks seems like a vacation. Publishing Perspectives is a great place to dwell. You can find almost anything there. Pred Ed too and of course, Facebook. My very best playground. Oh, and LinkedIn. My other favorite happy place.
Research is a bitch. Be there 100 houses, each and every one has different rules: you’re an author, query us! Riiiiight! So here it goes: some want TNR, 12, 1.5 lines, a query no longer than a page. Others ask for half page at 2 lines. Other font, other page format. It’s either doc. or rtf. for the manuscript. It’s either the entire manuscript, or the first three chapters, or the first 50 pages. Ok, NUMBERED, I got it! Header containing info about the author. Or not. It’s either with or without author biography. It’s either with or without detailed marketing strategy from the author. Tell us the approximate number of words in the book. Give the exact number of words. And so on. I don’t actually mind doing this. It has a perverted sense of fun in it. Wonder if Hemingway had to go through all this, though…
Smart as I am, I asked the opinion of several published writers about the query. The answers don’t match. At all. My query is good. Of course it is, I wrote it. “But then… I think you should add more of… “ Or…”You know… it needs more feeling”. Great, load the query with feelings! But don’t load the synopsis with anything. No. That is forbidden. The synopsis is a cold statement of facts.
Why can’t publishers agree already? What’s with all these guidelines that make an author dizzy? I mean, and this is a legit question: say an author struggled for a year or two or five to finish a novel. After all his / her pain and work and sweat and soul breaking, he / she actually have to go through this mind blowing process? And market the book alone? And stumble upon vanity press? And publishers who ask money just because he / she wrote a book? When do the writers write anymore?
Self-publishing you say? Over my dead body!
Oh holy ghosts of Shakespeare and Dostoievsky! Nowadays they’ll never get published! Queryshark would just ravish them!
So I’m following my hunches. I’ll have one or two reviews more before actually sending the cover letters and queries and bits of the manuscript to the selected houses. I’m not taking any chances. This book will get published. Traditionally. In good taste. With royalties. With a contract. Old fashioned!
In the mean time, I made public this week’s Creative Exercise. *Huge grin on my face. Check the Page. Win the contest!