Tuesday, February 7, 2012

February Requests

Last month was query month. This month, I'll talk about specifics once your ms full or partial is requested. This will cover email etiquette, stalking etiquette, formats for submitting, what to do while you wait, etc.

But first, I want to reiterate something I mentioned in my Query FAQs. I calculated a .19% chance of being signed from the slush pile. But then I negated all of that awesome math with this:
HOWEVER. If your query is captivating, you've done your homework, your writing is solid, your characters unbelievable (in a believable sort of way), and your plot rockin, you will get noticed and signed. Which is to say, it's not about luck at all--it's about passion, dedication, and skill.
Are you guys getting sick of people telling you to keep persevering? If at first you don't succeed, try, try again? People say it, because it's true. As callous as it may sound, if you're not being published, it's because you're not ready, because your writing isn't at the same level as those who are getting published. But that's not to say you can't get there. Or that published authors haven't been where you are now.

Also, remember. If you're at this stage, your query is getting requests, that means agents like your idea. Your pitch. You. That's half the game (maybe an eighth). Coming up with an idea to captivate your audience.

Happy writing!


Cassie Mae said...

Ooh, looking forward to the February posts!

M. Dunham said...

Perseverance is what separates the really passionate writers versus the people who want to dabble, I think.

When the going gets hard, even if they have bad days and moments of "Should I continue?", a passionate storyteller will find some inspiration and keep going. A dabbler gives up after whatever plateau is "too hard".

I'm looking forward to reading this month's posts. :)

Kelley Lynn said...

I love that. As long as we keep plugging away, eventually we will be the .19% (That's what I've always told myself. Just keep writing, learning and writing some more.)

Rachel said...

To me, it's really encouraging to visit the blog of a recently published author and check out her archives. To read back a couple years when she was sending out queries and receiving rejections. Then to that excited post when she received a request, then signed an agent, then signed a book deal. It reminds me that their perseverance paid off, and mine will too. :)

David P. King said...

I like how up front and honest you are about this. It's true. I've been fortunate to get partials requested with my last round of querying, which means I'm on the right track.

Here's to perseverance!

Cortney Pearson said...

Such a great post! I think we always need that little reminder to persevere and keep learning, to keep improving! I'm with Cassie, can't wait to see your February posts! :)

Anita Saxena said...

Love the fuzzy panda on his head, and of course, the message of the post. :-)

Carrie Butler said...

I always appreciate your candor. :) I'm looking forward to your next series of posts!

Mark Murata said...

In terms of a full manuscript, should New Adult be the same length as other novels, or should it be shorter, like Young Adult?