Friday, February 4, 2011

A Quickie and a Query!

Yesterday I completed my second revision of my novel AND I also wrote an alternative ending—then sent it off to my editor. I will be sending it to some beta readers to get some more eyes and feedback.

The next step is querying agents. I’ve gone back and forth about whether or not I want to go through traditional publishing or self-publish. I decided I will ‘try’ the traditional route first and if that doesn’t work out then I’ll self-publish. If I self-publish, all control is in my hands, which includes finding someone to do the cover art, binding the book, distribution (won’t be in stores), sales, and marketing and publicity. If I go the traditional route, I need to get an agent (receives 15%), the agent finds a publisher and they do the cover art, distribution to stores, but I’ll mainly be responsible for marketing and publicity. The publishing world that existed when John Irving and Stephen King started their writing careers is long gone.

Since I am going to attempt traditional publishing I need to get an agent first, which means I need to write a great query letter. A query letter is a letter that pitches your book idea. Agents receive hundreds of queries a day, so they don’t have time to shuffle through words to find out what my book is about. I’ve been doing some research about querying, such as  writers with similar books, who their agents are and how to write one. Hopefully, I can start practicing now and get some drafts done.

That’s it for now folks! What’s going on in your part of the world? I hope my family and friends dug themselves out from the Chicago snowstorm.


  1. Good luck with your Query, Bea! That is the one thing that really wriggles my brain and makes it want to crap out :P I suppose great ones come with practice and some more practice!

    If you need a beta, I'm available too. :) (I'm sure you have great people, but I'm here, nonetheless)

    Remember, Enjoy this expeirence!!

  2. Practice makes perfect, right? *shrugs*

    Oh, Kara, I might take you up on your offer. That would be great. Don't be surprise if you receive an email from me. Thank you so much for the offer.

    I'm enjoying it. I guess nervous thinking about all I need to do, but right now I'm enjoying it.

  3. I'm thrilled for you to be at this stage. I will encourage you to go the agent route 1st. Wear out that list - then try small publishers before going self published. At least you have been around enough people going through this to know what to expect. Do get help with the query. I got a lot more requests on one where I had another set of eyes!
    Good luck & my shoulder will be here when you need it, Love!

  4. I'll be following your journey to publication. :D Thanks for sharing your steps along the way.

    I know everyone (at least on AW) frowns upon self-publishing, but hmm...I can't help but wonder if someday things might change for the publishing industry the way it did for the music industry...

    And yes, we're all shoveled out over here. That blizzard was really something! (But I love winter and all things snowy, so truth be told-I was thrilled like a little kid would be. No need to throw anything at me; I know I'm in the minority! :P)

  5. Hey June, Thanks. I do plan on testing the waters there, and yes, being around my published friends I know what to expect, which is why I’m hesitant. LOL! And of course I’ll get someone to read my query. What I don’t see, others will. Thanks for your shoulder my friend. I will save all my rejection letters and put them in an album. :D I appreciate you stopping by and commenting.

    Hello Barb, WOOHOO! I have a publication follower. Okay, that adds to the pressure of publishing.

    I don’t frown upon self-publishing at all. As a matter of fact, many writers have gone in that direction instead of traditional because they want their book out. If I can recall correctly, someone told me more people self-published in 2010 then they went through traditional publishing. The publishing world has changed, and unless you’re a big time celebrity, many don’t even want to take a chance with you. And I’m a control freak, so I am struggling with the traditional publishing idea because of that. We will see.

    My mom loves the snow too. I don’t mind it, but then I want it to go away fast. LOL! It’s pretty—then go away. Thanks for your input.

  6. Sounds like an agent query is close to a resume review at a busy organization. I understand that perhaps only 20 seconds is devoted to someone reading a resume. As always the very best of luck to you! I’m looking forward to buying and reading your first published book.

    As far as the snow in Chicago, I think the biggest challenge was getting my back door pushed open so I get started removing the snow. LOL! The high winds created some very tall and wide drifts. The amazing story was the two neighbor kids that came out to help me shovel. I didn’t really know them. They tried to refuse payment and I could only get one to accept anything. Last Friday I was going downtown and the lady was on the cell phone behind me calling several of her friends relating over and over again her ordeal of being stuck in her car for 10 hours on Lake Shore Drive. I thought there was adequate warning not to go out the night of the storm especially on Lake Shore Drive where there was also the potential of tsunami type waves from Lake Michigan. What was she thinking? But again her story told of kindness people showed by coming out of the buildings on Lake Shore Drive and offering bottled water, granola bars and bathroom access.

    How refreshing and grateful I felt to see and hear of the good that this storm brought out in people!

  7. Thanks, Veejay. I’ll personally sign it when I publish whether it be traditional or self-publish.

    Aw, thank you for sharing those nice situations. It isn’t often you hear of good deeds. The media is full of anger and violence, so it’s wonderful to hear that kids were willing to help without expecting something in return. I did hear that people were warned to stay off Lake Shore Drive and it’s unfortunate that some didn’t heed the warning, but to hear that people offered food, water and bathroom access is extremely nice.

    Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. I’m glad to hear you’re doing good and survived the snowstorm of 2011.