Thursday, August 20, 2015

Queries, Synopses, and Submissions, Oh My!

Once upon a time I wrote a YA contemporary novel. Into this novel I put equal measures of pain, love, angst, and joy. But none of those measures equaled the amount of each that I experienced as I wrote and rewrote and revised the query letter and synopsis and pitch!! Why, oh why is it harder to write synopses and queries than it is to write the whole damn book!? But then comes the hardest part of all, the part that requires the thickest skin available, the part that plays with your head in ways few other of life’s experiences can even approach.

Yes, my manuscript is out on submission. {That’s really scary music you hear playing!}

If you have never experienced this joy, here’s a little list of what you can expect when you send your book baby out into the world:

  1. First, you have to research, and research some more, the agents that might be a good fit for your book and YOU. Remember, you are hoping to have a long-term relationship with this person. Of course, they have to represent the genre/subgenre you’ve written. Weeks are spent digging through big, thick books of agents, websites of agents/agencies, blogs, tweets, interviews while you zero in on the best ones to query.
  2. You look over your list of possible agents and pick five to send your query letter to. You read, reread, and make notes to make sure you are following the agency’s requirements to a tee.
  3. You force your shaking hand to press SEND.
  4. You wait.
  5. You wait some more.
  6. You’re getting really good at waiting.
  7. You get an email from one of the agents!!
  8. It’s a rejection.
  9. You wait.
  10. You get an email from another agent!! She wants a partial!
  11. Even though you’ve rewritten your manuscript so many times you can recite all 75,000 words from memory, you go over the requested pages with a fine toothcomb one more time before preparing it to send off to the agent. Of course you read and reread her requirements for HOW it is to be sent, following them oh so carefully.
  12. You thought your hand was shaking when you sent the query?! HA! This time you’re lucky to get that cursor anywhere near the SEND button.
  13. You wait.
  14. You think that maybe you should send a few more queries out—after all someone liked it enough to make a request for pages.
  15. Go back to number one and repeat.
  16. Wait.

Of course, there’s hopefully a Happily Ever After ending to this tale, but I’m not to that part yet. I only write what I know, after all, and this is what I know so far.

It’s time for me to go do some waiting now. Oh, and work on the next novel! That’s the most important part. Keep writing while you wait!!

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