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  1. #21
    Senior Member Avonne Writer's Avatar
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    Cindi, thanks for your honest answers. Delving into the freelance market is overwhelming. There are SO many magazines, periodicals and such out there and each has its many departments and many guidelines.

    Wow! 10 years. Well, it really paid off for you, though. I'm certainly hoping it won't take 10 for me. Though, I'll keep writing, i'm not so sure I can take ten years worth of rejection letters. Did you have a pool of agents/publishers that you stayed with in trying to get published? I've got a spreadsheet of about 200+ agents, many of which are boutiques, that i've done pretty extensive research on. I haven't approached any publishers directly because I've read on several agents' websites that they will not consider any work that has previously been solicited to a publisher.

    As for your comments to Zoe on research, I use my font highlighter. I either interject a note to myself and highlight it a specific color, or I highlight the statement I made. (Not changing the color of the text, but actually highlighting it with solid color). Each color highlighter means something different. Pink might mean check historical fact. Yellow might mean check fact against plot. Green might mean edited this portion, double check accuracy. But, putting an asterisk in there would certainly help in the "find" field. It's just for me, the colors make it visually easier to identify. JMO

    Thanks again



  2. #22
    Senior Member Zoe Saadia's Avatar
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    Cindi, thank you so much for your great advice!

  3. #23
    Senior Member Zoe Saadia's Avatar
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    Avonne, I love your idea of colorful drafts

  4. #24
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    Oh no! Did I scare everyone away? ;-)

  5. #25
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    Hello, Cindi! Thank you for your time and abundance of information. It's been amazing reading all the posts and I actually have one of my own now:
    How do the query letters for an agent, and query letters that go direct to a publisher differ? (Or are they the same?) Are there any other parts of the querying process that are different between the two situations?

  6. #26
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    Good question, Purly. I think the query letters for agents and editors have many similarities -- you need to summarize the story in an engaging way and relay any of your writing credits or experience that relates to the work. But with an agent letter I also talk about what I'm looking for in an agent. Some agents provide editorial input and others don't. Do you want an agent who will help you with career planning? Often with the agent, I'll tell why I chose to contact him or her. (I heard you speak...you represent one of my favorite authors...) Letters to editors are more straight-forward. You could mention why you think the house is right for this book, but usually I just summarize the book and my own history, attach any material their guidelines say they want (sample chapter, outline, partial or complete) and say I hope they'll want to read more.

  7. #27
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    Cindi,

    I appreciated your comments on what you've done to foster a fan base. But I find myself wishing you'd gone further into your thinking here. Especially since you wrote that you're not a publicity maven. I'm not a networking gal.

    A little background, I had a novel published, great reviews, nice tour, all that. Several writer friends have been kicking my ass about facebooking, twittering, blogging, e-newlettering. I've tried; I really have. I just lack interest. I'm not a networking type. I detest FB. I detested blogging and tweeting. I don't want to keep taps on anyone. I don't even want to call my husband every night when I'm out of town. I loved designing a website, but have no desire keep up with readers. I've promised myself, and my cadre of old journalism friends, that I will rethink all this social networking stuff once I get my WIP off to my agent. So I'd love to hear more about what actually works for you. What pays off? What do you enjoy? How have you mangled the boring bits of social networking into something useful and/or engaging for you.

    I figure you're a superb resource for this line of questioning. With forty novels, you've been over this road upmteem times. I may well end my career with four or five novels. I'd like to have some fodder for athinking as novel two gets itself in order for submission.

  8. #28
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    Jun 2011
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    C.K.
    I know people who have had great success with social networking about their books. However, I also personally find it very annoying when I am constantly bombarded with tweets and Facebook posts, etc, about someone else's book. I am just not comfortable with that. I do have a facebook page, and I post when I have news -- I posted about being the guest here. I do my weekly market newsletter, which is something I started when I was unpublished, to share market news I was collecting. That's something I enjoy. I only do booksignings when a store invites me because I find them very unproductive. As for what has paid off for me -- anything the publisher does for you is good. They always have more impact. In 40 books I think I have tried everything -- ads, contests, book tours, book marks, giveaways. I don't feel that any of it had much impact, though perhaps over the years there has been a cumulative effect. Right now, I prefer to focus on writing the best book I can and doing the things I enjoy -- such as chats like this, my newsletter, and the occasional post on Facebook. and that's it. I'm not going to let what other people think I should be doing force me into doing things I don't enjoy. For one thing, I think that comes off as inauthentic, and for another, life is too short -- you know?

  9. #29
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    Everyone,
    I have enjoyed this so much. I have to be away from the internet for the rest of today and into tomorrow morning. I will check back here tomorrow afternoon, if anyone has any final questions or comments. Thank you so much for inviting me to be a part of this! Cindi

  10. #30
    Junior Member
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    Feb 2011
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    Thank you so very much for spending some time answering questions this past week. It's been a fantastic learning experience for me!

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