Happy Valentine's Day!!!
And we have a winner! First order of business is to announce the winner from my blog contest. The one where I said I was going to pull a follower from this site during my contest It Was a Dark and Stormy Blogfest Contest . So I pulled names from DNA's blogger followers list and the NetworkedBlog list and after random selection the winner is ...
Melissa at Chasing the Dream
She wins a $35 dollar editing gift certificate or a ten page critique or a synopsis critique (up to four single spaced pages) from CA Marshall, literary agent intern, freelance editor, writer extraordinaire. Melissa, DM me your email address on my twitter account @brendadrake and I'll send you the gift certificate.
And we have more winners! On Thursday, we posted a contest to write a story using a writing prompt, with the prize of a query critique by Shelley Watters. But rather than having one winner, she picked two! And the winners are...
(Please email Shelley at SWattersWrites (at) gmail (dot) com to claim your prize. )
More prizes to be had - Before we get to my scheduled post, DNA Writers will be holding a contest with fun prizes such as critiques, books, and an amazon gift card soon, so check back for the contest deets coming soon!
And now back to my scheduled post...
Avoid shooting yourself in the foot!
Last post we talked about the query letter and my second mistake of sending it out before it was ready and critiqued by someone other than myself, like other writers and not my mom, sister, husband, or dog. Well, once you have that query all sparkling and ready you'll want to send it out to every single agent listed on QueryTracker or Agent Query, right? Before you cock that gun and aim at your favorite agents, hold on. There's a better way other than shooting blind and hoping you hit the bulls-eye with as many bullets as you can fire at once.
Start by sending out just a few queries, let's say anywhere between eight and twelve at a time. Wait. See what response you get back. If you only getting rejections than you need to rework that query. If you're getting requests for more pages than you've got a good query. If the requests for more pages start coming in as rejections than you need to edit your manuscript more. Really tighten up those sentences and try to figure out why those pages are generating nos.
After you've done a revision from the responses don't go all postal and fire off your query to all your potential agents. Again, only send out eight to twelve more and wait for responses. Keep doing that query a few and then revise until you start getting full requests. When you start getting requests for fulls than you know that your query and your sample pages are working. Now, hopefully you'll get an agent from one of those fulls, but if you don't, maybe you'll be lucky to get some agent feedback on what's not working.
If you get agent feedback, or if you don't, this is when you need to stop submitting the manuscript to agents before you run out of ones to query. Have some new eyes critique it and then revise again. When you're done repeat the steps listed above. Oh, and while you're doing all of that querying and revising, you'll want to be writing that new story because the one your querying might not be the one that gets you an agent. It may well be a future manuscript that will get you into the coveted world of being an agented writer.
Well, that's it until next time. Thanks for stopping by.
You can find Brenda on her blog http://firstname.lastname@example.org