Friday, March 13, 2009

Agents and Lightbulbs.

...not that the two go together, mind you. They just happen to be on my mind this morning. Because I blog "off the cuff" and my blog posts are more like streams of consciousness coming out...

So, I'll start with agents. I've finished the second draft of my story. Which means the third draft stage will begin soon. I've written a query letter and had some close writing friends critique it and give me suggestions. Now all I need to do, is write a synopsis (hate those!) and formulate an agent list.

Why? Because most publishers won't even look at your manuscript unless it's through an agent. And if I get a sale, I'd rather have someone seasoned about the business to guide me through the process.

Sure, there's good agents and shady agents. I queried several years ago, and landed an agent who was wonderful, but not the right fit for my writing. (Only for the one story I wrote that he loved.) Now, I have a new story, and I want to "get it out there." But I need to find an agent to rep it. I spent yesterday and I'll spend today formulating my list.

What do I look for in an agent? A member of AAR. A member of SCBWI is a bonus--because they tend to "get" the children's/Middle Grade/YA book scene. I also look for agents with SALES, because agents without sales, unless they're brand spanking new, make me nervous.

Then comes the hard part. Convincing the agent of my dreams, in one page or less, that they need to fall in love with my story. Most agents these days want you to do your homework. They want to feel like you researched them, and you know what you're "getting into" with them, BEFORE you query.

Which, frankly, is an excellent idea. You don't want to query an agent, for example, who won't rep fantasy, for your fantasy/romance. You need to know what they like, and figure out how to hook' em. Which is easier than it used to be in the sense that once I get a name, I can google it and there will be interviews with said agent online, and some of them even blog. (a big bonus!) Although most agents these days are so saturated with queries and clients, a lot of them have closed their doors to unsolicited queries. THAT is scary.

The fishing will begin April 1st. I hope. I've got a list of about ten good agents I really want, and fifteen that I would query if the first ten don't work. So, we'll see what happens! I just need to get some readers and some feedback, and I'm set. Oh, and that tricky synopsis. Yuck.

And the lightbulbs--I'm just glad we switched our house out to the less-wattage curly bulbs. When the kids leave the lights on (which they usually do) I don't freak out as much any more. We're only using about 20% of the wattage we used before, and that has made a difference in our power bill. Because we have a LOT of lights and lamps. I highly recommend the "green" lightbulbs. They are expensive up front, but they save over the long term.

And that's it for me. I hope everyone has a happy weekend!

1 comment:

Michelle Miles said...

I use those light bulbs too. I feel like I'm saving money but I'm not sure. LOL!

You are going to do great. I know you can land an agent. :)