Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Hot chocolate for the soul

Today is a hot chocolate kinda day. High whispy clouds create a sky of white-my favorite color by the way-the trees are bare, snow covers the ground and it just looks cold out there. Luckily, I have hot chocolate to help me stay at the computer writing.
Watched, my first novel, is finally done and I've started the querying process.

What is the querying process, you ask?

That is the same question I had when I decided I was ready for my book to be published. It would seem that once you have finished your book, you would just send it off to publishers and they would read it and accept it. Wham bam thank you ma'am. No such luck.

The reality is, submitting a book to be published is a multilayered, multiparus, multinightmare. (Mulitparus is a new word for me, too.)

There is so much information out there on querying, that it has kept me busy for two weeks-and I've just scratched the surface. Whole books have been written on the process. WHOLE BOOKS! I'm not a fan of research, so it has driven me to blogging out my frustrations.

It seems that everyone has a different opinion about the best way to write a query. The subjectivity of it is daunting. An author or agent will write a blog or article on their website about how to do it, along with tips, and then some will even include examples of ones they've liked. I dare anyone to find a single example that matches the tips given.

What I have learned the past two weeks:
  • There is a pattern for a query
  • The pattern varies wildly dependant on what the agent/publisher is looking for
  • Interest of the agent/publisher is what really makes them think a query is great
  • Reading all information out there on querying could take your entire lifetime
  • Creating a cookie-cutter query for all agents and publishers is impossible
  • Researching the agent/publisher is the best way to know what to write in a query
  • A query is a must
  • Queries open the door to agents and publishers
  • Write a trillion, pick a few
  • Individualize queries for specific agents/publishers
  • Don't sweat it like I did
  • Get them out as soon as you can
  • And last, but not least, enjoy the ride. Writing queries can be fun, if you know a few things up front. Keep this list handy.


kbrebes said...

Wow! I'm not there yet, but thanks for the good advice! I'll be prepared now.

Toye Edmondson said...

Hey! just found your blog. Cool.

kbrebes said...

Okay, Cindy. Where's all your current posts? I love your writing and can't wait to read more! I'm looking forward to the 20th to receive your next installment. : )

Julie Daines said...

Nice summary to the act of querying. The query is a tricky letter to write.