Monday, December 23, 2013

Scary Query

After sending out my third query letter, I feel elated and a bit more at peace with the process of putting my work out in to the world.  This is wonderful, because honestly writing three simple paragraphs, promoting myself and my picture books (PB) can be daunting and oppressive.

For weeks I researched and read advise on the art of the query, what to do, what not to do, what to include, how to format, and on and on . It boils down to a few hard fast rules:
  1. Choose a receptive publisher/agents (TIP:  #MSWL)
  2. Follow Submission Guidelines
  3. Keep it Short
  4. Send It!
  5. Repeat Until Desired Effect is Achieved.
Of course there many other little nuances that you can let drive you nuts as I did with the first letter, I spent at least two weeks  writing, revising and sharing it with everyone for suggestions. As you might guess another slew of revisions until I hit send. The total sum reward was a lot of waiting for no reply. Passive rejection is almost worse that the hard no. I almost let this undo me, the thought of that grueling process over and over again is kind of daunting but SCBWI came to the rescue.

During a conference a wonderful editor gave a great talk, during which she revealed she always read the first page of the manuscript first if that did not capture her the query was never looked at. Hmmmmm.  She also mentioned a huge piece of advise, if you go to a conference and a agent presents they normally accept queries from the audience for a set time after. ("Query her" you are saying, Rule 1 - She is in  MG and YA publishing I am pitching PBs)

What a weight lifted from my shoulders as I look at the query a bit differently now. I want to present a taste of the manuscripts story line and hook mixed up with a glimpse of my personality and ability. The second query letter I wrote one day and sent it the next. I received a confirmation of it's receipt, just that was a feeling of accomplishment. One month later I have sent another query for different manuscript, it is much easier now since I stopped getting in my own way.