I Have a Request…

I didn’t get chosen for the agent round of the blind Speed Dating contest. I was…”bounced” by the bouncers. I would be a lot sadder about this if not for the other thing that happened February 12th. I saw the announcement of a pitch contest on Twitter for Carina Press, a digital first imprint of Harlequin, scheduled for February 11th, but decided not to pitch my finished novel because I was in the speed dating. I second guessed myself, but I missed the window & couldn’t participate. The morning of the 12th, I saw the second chance Carina Pitch. Since I’d been feeling some regret for missing it before, I pulled out my speed dating pitch and tweaked it to suit the guidelines of the pitch contest. I hit send on my entry & forgot about it.

Checking my twitter feed, I noticed I had a new mention. I nearly keeled over at my desk when I saw it was Kerri Buckley, an editor for Carina Press, requesting to read my story!! cue happy dance in my chair & mad rush to co-worker/beta reader’s office for squeal party.

It’s been a mad rush to write a winning query letter & synopsis as well as rap up the last couple chapters’ revisions to submit by the deadline. This was my first query letter & synopsis, so I’m not sure if they were exactly right, but I did it. The letter was professional & focused and the synopsis detailed the main characters, plot, & conflicts, so they at least do what they are required to do.

I’ve added one scene and extended two scenes since I sent the chapters to my critique partners, & I think they really strengthened the manuscript. As soon as I hit send, I was plagued by doubts. I had too much of this or should have tweaked that more. But at the end of the day, I know using the additional couple hours I would have after work wouldn’t better the manuscript enough for me to push so close to the deadline. I know I sent in a good story, & I know that the rest of the series will be as strong or stronger. I’m content with the book I submitted.

I should hear something by the 21st of March. In between now and then, I have my birthday, 11 book reviews, book 2 to continue, & 2 more detailed outlines to complete. If you think that will keep me from obsessively checking my email way too soon, you don’t know me at all.

The point, though, is I’ve taken a major step in my publishing journey: I got a request & I submitted directly to an editor. That’s plenty to celebrate…for now

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I Propose I Write A Book

One thing that is different about this Some College project for me is that I think I have a story I can approach an agent with, something that could be shopped around and sold. The only thing is, I didn’t know the first thing about that. Luckily, I follow a blogger with an agent who is working on her book proposal to send to said agent to shop around for a publisher (or there is already a publisher interested? I’m very fuzzy on the details). Through the powers of internet research, I find that a book proposal is a great way to get your work into the hands of a publisher. Apparently, agents can shop these around, and book publishers can get a good idea of what your work is about and whether or not they want to advance you money for it.

The first thing that really brought this into focus for me was reading Eat Pray Love. Elizabeth Gilbert publisher purchased Eat Pray Love and advanced her money for travel before she embarked on her travels. I don’t know how involved of a book proposal she wrote, whether she knew that she would use the unique structure she decided to use or if she included statistics and comparison titles in it, but I do know that she was able to secure a LOT of money and, more importantly, time and experiences.

My purpose in writing a book proposal wouldn’t be the same as Ms. Gilbert’s. I don’t need the money to have the experiences to write the book; I had that for free. My purpose in writing a book proposal will be to have something concrete to send to an agent that proves that my little book deserves a chance to sit on a shelf and be picked up and read by someone other than my mother. Aside from the aid in finding a publisher, do the statistical research and evaluating the market is a great way to get thinking about what happens once “butt in chair” has accomplished all it can and it’s time to try and sell this thing.

I’ve taken a look at the methodology for a study that was done regarding the very thing that my book is about, and I have noticed that I am EXTREMELY qualified to write this book. They “disproportionately-stratified” a sample to “over-represent” me. There was a program on American Radio Works specifically targeting this issue. The group of people who fall into this category is growing. The government attention is being drawn to this issue. This is the perfect time to get this book out into the world. That’s why I couldn’t write it any sooner.

All of this is a long way of saying I’ve started working on a book proposal for Some College. Prepare to see many angry posts about how I never should have started this stupid thing, how I’m never going to find an agent, let alone a publisher, and how I’m going to have to lose a ton of weight and get staggeringly beautiful to deflect from my otherwise failure at life status at my 10 year high school reunion in 2013. Please, please, please pray for me and my sanity.

On a totally unrelated note, I have contacted a graphic designer to create a logo for me, which is step one in my journey to self-hosting my own website. I think I may have a domain name and overarching concept for the site (which will not affect this site…for now), I am playing with color schemes and a possible theme for the  look of the site, as well as an updated About me section. I have been looking into a good camera to start adding pictures to my entries, as well as finding a photographer for a professional photo shoot to capture my whole vibe. Next will be trademarking and licensing, etc. This is a long term project, a one step at a time thing. I’ll keep you posted as things progress. Wish me luck!