Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Second query out

I queried Agent Two today. Have not heard anything from Agent One. Already I will count this as a victory of sorts: I know someone who got a rejection from Agent One within ten minutes of hitting the Send button. So I'll imagine there's some initial hurdle that I did make it over.

Agents One and Two are both heavy hitters, representing three of my favorite historical authors between them. They're longshots, but why not try?

I wish I were clever enough to post a sort of bar-graph showing the progress of my various queries and submissions. I have a mental image of it, but no idea how to make it and affix it to this blog.

Next up is the conference, and then, Agents Three and Four.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The First Transport is Away

Empire Strikes Back reference. No particular reason.

Anyway I've just hit the Send button on my first query letter. First query letter ever. I've sent materials to agents I've met at conferences before, but this is my first unsolicited query.

We will call this agent Agent One. All she wants is a query letter, so I'm starting with her. In the next few days I will query Agent Two (who wants a query letter plus a chapter) and Agent Three (who wants a query letter, five pages, and a short synopsis). Then we'll move on to agents who want bigger chunks of manuscript (like fifty pages) and fold them in with the partial requests I've been sitting on.

After that, the full requests. Hopefully by then I'll have a few more full or partial requests from next month's conference. And maybe, if luck is really with me, a bite or two from the queries.

Stay tuned.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Still on a Roll

My RWA chapter conference, which must be the coolest chapter conference in the nation, has a bonus contest this year: if you registered for the conference by a certain deadline, you got to send in the first hundred words of your pitch. Then a senior Harlequin editor, who'll be presenting a workshop at the conference, went through all the pitches and picked ten people to have appointments with. (She won't be having any other appointments at the conference.) And I'm one of the ten!

It has been a very good year, contest-wise. I fear to jinx myself by entering the Golden Heart.

Anyway, now I've got three pitch appointments at the upcoming conference. Crossing my fingers they'll result in some requests for pages. And this week, I plan to send out my first unsolicited queries. I've never sent an unsolicited query before, so I'll be curious to see how that goes. The statistics on rejection vs. requests for pages are certainly daunting - it seems a lot easier to get a request through a pitch appointment.

One of my first targeted agents (for query) wants a synopsis, though, and I've got to pull a new one together. Seems like most agents want either a 1-page, 2-page, or 5-page synopsis. Mine is four pages, a length apparently of no use to anybody.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Finalist again!

Loyal readers, if there were any, would recall that back in May I took a short break from the current MS to begin the next in time to enter it in a contest. And the call came September 1st - I'm in the finalist round!

This will make the chapter conference even more fun than it was already going to be. And it gives me one more credit to drop into query letters.

Polishing on the main MS continues. Here's a development almost too mortifying to admit: I found out my word count was way off. I'd been using the old "one page equals 250 words" method rather than relying on Word's figure, only I didn't realize that method was from the days of nonproportional fonts. When I reformatted everything from Times New Roman into Courier, it ballooned and I learned my MS was too long by nearly 50%!

So I've had to cut, which feels a little like trying to do intricate carving with a chainsaw. Had to re-shape the arc, had to lose a lot of stuff I'd really loved. But I'm getting close. Now I just need to figure out in what order I want to send out my requested fulls, requested partials, and queries. And how I want to coordinate that, timing-wise, with the pitching appointments I'll have at the conference next month.

Enough! Back to work!