Mar 7, 2009

Don't Be Afraid to Submit

Don't be afraid to submit your query for review, even if you know it needs work. This is a great way to validate where it needs work the most.

I'm projecting my own experience onto you all when I say the biggest fear is that someone will find something that warrants a re-write in the manuscript, and none of us want to go through that (again!). But truth is, if it's needed, it's needed. And you're better off knowing where it's needed if you want to sell your manuscript.

That's what agents and editors look for. What will sell. Even if it's a sold to a smaller audience, like many argue the true "literary" market to be, if it is a known market and there is predictable revenue from the sale of your manuscript, agents and editors will put it on the market. You may get a smaller advance and less overall income, but you'll get the sale. If, of course, the manuscript is up to par.

I know that when I give advice and criticism, a lot of it is filled with nuggets I gleaned from the agent and editor blogs. Not plagiarism - just learning from them and re-telling their wisdom in my own words. I do it for people who may not have seen that particular post, or follow that agent's blog It's a great way to pass on valuable information. Plus I do have my own ideas to share...

The link to submit is at the top right of this blog.


Lady Glamis said...

It might take awhile for people to get things prepared for here. I know that I have queries I wish to write and get ready, but they just don't exist yet. I will be posting them in here for sure when I have them at least written. :)

Keep this up! It is such a great idea. I may have to do an entire post on it to lead some others over here.

Rick Daley said...

I mentioned this blog in a comment on Nathan Bransford's blog, and he responded that he may provide a link to in his This Week In Publishing post next week. That may help prime the pumps.

I have this vision of hundreds of queries a day, and it excites and frightens me! I think it would be very cool if this takes off. A lot of writers could benefit.

If you - or anyone else following - have an idea for a way to make it better let me know.

For now I'm going to tag each post with the title and genre, so it will be easiest to sift through the queries when the list grows, especially if people submit a revision...then the tags by title will be helpful.

Mira said...

Hi Rick,

I'm not submitting queries (since I haven't written anything), but I just wanted to say a 'practice blog' is a really great idea.

Good luck - I hope this goes really well!

ryan field said...

I can't offer anything in the query department, but I'm going to be lurking all the time.

It's a great concept.

Rick Daley said...

Thanks Ryan. Half of this is posting the queries, the other half is the feedback.

With that in mind, lurkers are quite welcome, especially when they have great professional insight to add to the commentary.

T. Anne said...

Thank you, this wil be interesting. Lord knows I have enough queries to toss in the pile, but am I brave enough????

Tara Maya said...

Yeah, I'm sure it will take off. It's such a great idea!

I better get my query in before the flood. :)

But, as Lady Glamis said, I need to make a few changes first. I recently finished revisions to my WIP and need to re-write the query to reflect it.

Suggestion: Have one section where the posts are sorted by genre, and another, separate sidebar section where the posts appear by title.

Rick Daley said...

I don't think I can break the sidebars out for different labels / tags, where one is title and the other is genre. As far as I can see in Blogger it's all or none.

Niki Schoenfeldt said...

This is a great idea. Kudos for thinking of it. My novel is yet unfinished. Can I submit a picture book query?

Rick Daley said...

Hi Niki,

I don't see why a picture book query wouldn't have its place here. Actually, I have one I sent out not long ago, but hadn't even considered posting it here until you mentioned it.

Let's go for it!

Niki Schoenfeldt said...

Alright Rick, I'll guess I'll jump right in. Let me look through my long list of pb queries and I'll send one on! Thanks.

Teri said...

This is a great way to get my feet wet. You'll be hearing from me soon.
Great idea!

Rick Daley said...

Thanks Teri, looking forward to it!