I'm now at that stage in a writer's career where I step off a cliff and hope a stranger will catch me.
Well, that's what it feels like a little anyway, as I now must trust the next stage of my novel's life-cycle to someone else. While the latest technologies make self-publishing an option, I'd still like to pursue a more traditional route first. (In an earlier post I believe I referred to self publishing as being a bit like DIY plastic surgery. Nip-tuck-print Not saying I wouldn't do it, but it's not my first choice). The problem being, of course, that traditional publishers don't take unagented work. And I like the idea of an ally to help me sell my manuscript.
So...I'm sending out queries in the hope that an agent I would like to work with manages to catch a glimpse of my work glinting like diamonds in the pile of other submissions and decides to rescue it from unpublishedness.
In the process, of course, I had to write query letters and a synopsis. It's harder than it sounds to make a novel length story sound good in a short space! But fortunately I found some things to help. If you're in the process of writing query letters or a synopsis yourself, I recommend the following books, articles, and links:
- "From First Draft to Finished Novel" by Karen S. Wiesner. I can't say enough about how wonderful Karen's book "First Draft in 30 Days" is in helping to plan out a novel and this follow up has some good advice for synopsis writing and query letters.
- The December 2011 issue of "Heart to Heart", the Romance Writers of New Zealand newsletter. The whole issue is dedicated to getting an agent, query letters, etc. If you're a member of RWNZ or can get your hands on it in any other way (in my case by sleeping with a member of RWNZ) it's worth doing so. Actually, their newsletters are always good so it's probably worth joining.
- Writing a Solid Query Letter - advice from The Knight Agency webpage. They have other helpful advice there too. Well worth a read.