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Archive for the ‘Literary agents’ Category

Recently I participated in the #Pitmad in September.  If you do not know what it is here is a brief explanation.  You have the great opportunity to pitch your manuscript to editors and agents on Twitter with just 135 characters.  This also means that for those next eight hours on Twitter you are watching the feed like a mad person, hence the Pitmad.  I tweeted about two of my manuscripts every hour and knew that more than three of the pitches had more than 400 engagements.  I had four agents favorite my tweets and I was very excited.

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This meant that they were interested in my pitch and wanted me to query them.  Out of the four agents I have heard back from three and one of them sent me this very personable rejection letter:

 

Hi Jessica,
Happy Sunday. I hope you’re enjoying your weekend so far. I’m sorry for the delay in getting back to you. I know waiting is the hardest part. I finally had a chance to read over some of the requested material for AN OCEAN OF SECRETS. I’m a lover of mermaids, and I loved the premise of this story. However, after reading, I didn’t feel a real connection to the main characters. In the first six pages we’re introduced to an underwater magical kingdom, but we have no idea who are characters really are. Getting to the action quickly is so important and I feel like you’ve done just that. But doing so while introducing our character’s personalities is important as well. 
I’m so sorry I don’t come with better news. I do encourage you to pursue other agents because their views may differ from my own. I wish you the best of luck with your writing/publishing journey. 
Good luck. Keep writing, you’re good at it! 
Warm Regards,
A really nice agent
Give me a Break!
I took this letter to heart and I am now revamping this manuscript to this person’s specifications.  After I cried for like hours.
Some writers would say that I shouldn’t rewrite anything and just try another agent, but what if she was right. Either way I was very impressed with the time this agent took in sending  me such a detailed letter about her likes and dislikes.
I can say I have close to a hundred rejection letters and out of those hundred there are probably ten or so that were personable like the one above.  When you have been working on your craft as long as I have (which is going on eight years) you can start to see what really works and what doesn’t.  I know some writers get discouraged by the time they hit year three of querying but truly it takes as long as it does because of the wait time.  One author I am friends with has an agent after eleven years of trying. Read about her story : http://theitsybitsywriter.blogspot.com/2015/05/how-i-got-my-agent-steven-chudney.html
Share your success stories.  Everyone can learn from each other.
Have a great writing day!

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After months of waiting, I finally received my manuscript back from an editor in California.  He was really nice but direct.  I loved it.  He gave me the highlights of the book and told me what I needed to work on.  Which is everything, more or less.  So, I have a lot to work on.  But that’s okay because summer break is right around the corner and I can’t wait to have the time to just revise the manuscript.  There will be revisions with the plot, characters and writing style.  The whole process could take months.  But will be worth it in the end.  “Good things come to those who wait.”

Writing by a beach somewhere might be the one thing to inspire me for great works.  Or it might be the biggest distraction in my writing process.

 

crw-beach

 

 

Next on the list, after this huge undertaking of revising is to look for a new literary agent.  It’s a daunting task.  And one I feel that I have tackled so many times before in the past.  Acquiring the right agent is such a tricky business. I feel I might just reach out to some friends to see who is hunting for their next dream author.  I recently saw a fellow author post on Facebook that she finally signed with an agent.  It only took ELEVEN years!  Yikes!  This is a little too long for me to wait.  But I’m glad for her.

Maybe I should just make it to one of the big writers’ conferences held by Society of Children Book Writers and Illustrators in L.A.  There would be a lot of opportunity to meet-and-greet lots of potential agents and publishers there.  We will see.

Have a great summer, fellow writers!

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This is a great site for all the information you need about Agents and Editors.  Lots of links under this post with helpful tips for landing the right agent or editor for your manuscript.

 

 

Submissions: Agents & Editors.

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Some great advice for all the writers out there:

Brooklyn Arden: A Ramble: The Elements of Writerly Talent and Improvement.

 

writing (1)

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Why is your manuscript being rejected?  Mike Wells, a bestselling author, lists some reasons why.

Mike Wells Official Website: A Dozen+ Reasons Books are Rejected by Agents & Editors, and Set Aside by Readers.

 

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I loved this post by Chuck. There are so many great hints of what agents want. Finally a real look into what they think of you.

Writers In The Storm Blog

By Chuck Sambuchino

medium_2581582826How does a literary agent define their “ideal client”? The question is extremely important because it’s one that factors into an agent’s mindset before and after they sign you.

If an agent has read your complete novel or book proposal and wants to sign you, the next step is almost always to arrange a telephone call where the two of you get to know one another. You ask the questions you want to ask about her and her style; she does the same regarding you and your style. During the phone conversation, the agent is trying to gauge whether you’re compatible enough with her to be signed as a new author in her stable. She’s already sizing up whether you can be a good, long-term client, or close to it.

Then after you sign with the agent, the two of you begin a long process of working…

View original post 992 more words

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Learning by internet is so fun! Not only do you get to come as you are but you can do whatever else too. I have taken college courses online and now I attended a webinar online. It was hosted by Writers Digest and featured agent Jennifer Laughran. She gave great advice about what is hot now in Middle Grade children’s books. Lots of facts about what is selling and what is not. Also we were told what to expect from agents in general to query letters.
I have lots of new websites to check out like Queryshark and Preditors & Editors.
Jennifer Laughran also will be giving those that attended a critique on the first 500 words of their middle grade manuscripts. That’s exciting!
Now I am off to a library to check out some middle grade books like “When You Reach Me” and “Penderwicks”.

Cover of "When You Reach Me"

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