Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Sending Out Queries

I queried a few agents today and a publisher. I'm thinking it's going to be a no-go on all accounts, but here's hoping I'm wrong. I'm probably not wrong, though. Rejection comes with the territory. I'm used to the idea of it and have no problem being told no. If I couldn't hear the word no, I'd be in the wrong business. Fortunately for me, I take rejection with a grain of salt, sure in the knowledge of... oh who am I kidding? I'm not sure of shit. All I know is I've written books and I need someone to publish or represent them. But that is like looking for a needle in a haystack... and this is one big ass haystack!

Now, I know I'm not the Next Great American Author. I know I'm not the best there ever was. Not even close. I'm only just, after writing for nearly fourteen years, getting around to publishing... or hoping to. Until a few months ago, no one had ever even read anything I've written. Those who have read my works have made comments ranging from "This is fantastic! I loved every second of it." to "You were born to write. A natural. Don't let anyone tell you different." to "Sheesh, what is this junk?" and "Why do you write that way?" Opinions vary, I guess. But... It would suck to find out all that time I spent writing was for nothing. But it wasn't, really. My life isn't focused on publishing. I'm a writer, not a publisher. My business is words... their business is the printed page. I'm going to focus on what I do. But being a writer also means you have to sell what you write, if you want it to do anything more than collect cyber-dust on your hard drive, that is.

So, how to sell it? I have to make it sound good. I have to make them want to represent me. How? Well, I'll be damned if I know. I've spent a lot of time at Writers Digest Forums trying to find out how, though. It's helping, or at least it seems to be. If you come by, I'm registered as ecoll, drop me a line to say hi and tell me where you know me from (I might just think you're a cyber-stalker if you don't). The people of the forum are wonderful and range from authors with multiple published works to new authors looking for guidance. No one is mean-spirited about what they say, although some have a sarcastically-funny nature, they mean well. I've gotten more help there than anywhere else. Made some friends as well. I highly reccomend the forum and website. Good stuff, good people, good advice... who wouldn't reccomend it?

Querying agents can be daunting and I'm seriously procrastinating. I've queried three agents and one publisher... and that is it. I think I might still be a little afraid of the entire endeavor. And rightly so. How am I supposed to know what agents and publishers want? What are they looking for, exactly? Their guidelines give basic answers, but nothing specific.

To find out more about an agent, I like to look at the books they have represented. It gives me a slightly better feel of what they like. They tend to only take books they like... after all, who would attach their name to a crappy project, right? I wouldn't. If I thought my book was crap, I wouldn't be trying to sell it. I'm my own worst ciritc, but I don't think they're crap. I'm just not sure if they're any good. Does that make any sense? Probably not, knowing me but oh well...

I like the process though. Finding an agent or publisher, that is. It's interesting and I'm loving going through and reading all the information I find on Query Tracker, Preditors and Editors and of course, the person in question's own web page. It helps. If they have a blog, I read a bit of it too, just to get a feel for the person. I don't want to work with an ass-hole. Does anyone? Anyhow, my kids are home from school, so for now... peace and love, y'all.


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