Someone OTHER than WordPress E-mailed Me!

Hey guys!

I just had to share this bright little bit of sunshine! It’s nothing big, but…

I set up an email specifically for submissions. For the past week, all I’ve gotten in that inbox has been notifications from WordPress (Which I would REALLY like to stop. I check the blog often enough and seeing that I have something in my inbox gets my heart racing. If you know how, PLEASE leave a comment!). I just made my sixth submission (I know I was supposed to get up and go outside, but I thought, “Hey, why not one more?”) and I got an email! It’s just a confirmation e-mail from The Cooke Agency saying they have recieved my query safely, but it felt SO good to see something OTHER than WordPress in my inbox!

This is getting exciting, guys!

OHHHHH! WE’RE HALFWAY THEEEERRREEE!

I’ve just made my fifth submission and we’ve officially made it to the point in the first round where I don’t need to pause and fill out anything new–no new CVs, no new Bios. From here on out, it is simply different variations of the query letter, the synopsis, and specific page numbers! What a relief that is!

I have only had major issues with one submission so far: Sheil Land Associates. Honestly, I’m not even sure what went wrong. I got a new laptop a while back–a nice little notebook that fits my tiny hands perfectly!–but it has Window 8 and the newest Microsoft Word. Because I was living out of LibreOffice on my old laptop, there were some serious formatting issues when I swapped over programs. I spent a couple days sifting through and making sure things were in order, so I’m not sure where the issue is coming from, but the double spacing option in the new Word is pretty similar to the 1.5 spacing my manuscript is still in from its days in LibreOffice. Imagine my surprise when I copied my fifty pages into a new .docx document to attach to the email and all of the sudden it’s only 35 pages. Long story made short, I had to make a decision: Do I convert to the new .docx and have more room, but possibly go over my alloted pages if it reformats differently on the other end of the email or do I stick with what I have? In the end, I decided to stick with what I had (It ended in the PERFECT place). I ended up having to sacrifice one of my old .doc copies of the manuscript I was keeping as back up in order to get the spacing to be consistant, but I have enough copes of this beast of a manuscript that I could justify it.

ANYWAY! That was my conundrum for the morning, but I made the submission to Sheil Land Associates and also the submission to Zeno Agency Ltd.. I would be making another, but I need to run out into town for a few things. I’ll probably make more submissions when I get back, but autumn has descended on Ireland and the sun goes down fast these days!

I would also like to say hello to all of the new people following me! I think we’re up to 14! Not bad considering I thought I would only be followed by people I knew! I hope this is helping someone out there!

Author CV

So, I’m three down, seven to go and next up is Sheil Land Associates. They’re a British agency I found in my much-loved Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook 2015. Super helpful book! Anyway, I have begun piecing together the required bits and bobs for the submission packet, but one of the things they require is an author CV.

I found a really helpful template here. It’s a couple scrolls down the page, but there is a downloadable word document that was really handy in figuring out what I have to offer…which isn’t much, as it turns out. My initial CV had three bulletpoints:

  • My objective is to obtain an agent who is pationate about my novels.
  • BA in English with a concentration in Creative Writing
  • Founder and member, Wexford Writers Critique Group

Yup…. that was pretty much it. Sad, isn’t it? I have since found other things to flesh it out (without lying) and it’s shaping up into a nice half a page. Luckily, the submission guidelines requested specifically that I explain why I write, when I started writing, and what genre I write in. Yay for “About Me” sections!

But the fact is that pretty much everyone I’ve mentioned it to find this to be a rather odd request for a debut author. I have to admit, I did too, but I have other agencies asking for Bios and I didn’t think anything of it, so I guess it’s kind of the same thing. I just hope they’re not expecting anything extravagent because I have zero publications, zero pertinant work history. Nada.

I guess we’ll see how it goes!

Hello To My Hollins Ladies!

So I woke up this morning to find that I *officially* have my first three followers! And isn’t it just like a little Hollins reunion in here? I’m still working on getting everything up on the site (you may have noticed a distinct lack of synopsis on the ‘Query and Synopsis’ page). Unfortunately real life takes over every now and then and I have to do annoying things like make dinner and spend time with the man creature. Okay, well, that second one isn’t annoying. I still have these dreaded moments of remembrance of when he was over here in Ireland and I was back home in Ohio/Virginia/Pennsylvania. Definitely not annoying.

Anyway, back on track! I’m up early (and actually awake for once) so I’m thinking I’m going to get a good bit done today. Nevermind that I say that every morning. Sadly, I re-learned (as I had forgotten and placed her in the wrong chunk of agents) that Jennifer Azantian is closed to submissions until January 2015. That’s not too far away, so I’m not absolutely heartbroken, but that means I needed to add a new name to my list. So, move the names all up a slot and my new number ten is Ginger Clark of Curtis Brown Ltd. After I post this, I’ll be creating a new page for my current round. I will be crossing them off as I send submissions out and turning the text red when/if I get a rejection.

If any of you followed my last blog, you know the possibilities of failure are high, but morning routines and a great big scoop of excitement helped to keep me on track today. Maybe it will continue in the future.

Round One Submissions

I was reading an interview by Brian McClellan, author of The Powder Mage Triolgy, the other day and he recommended something interesting. He said when you’re first starting to submit, you should send it out to ten agents. If they all come back with rejections, there are changes you need to make to either the query letter, the synopsis, or the manuscript. I thought this was a pretty interesting point, so I went ahead and chose my first ten agents:

  1. Jennifer Jackson, Donald Maass Literary Agency
  2. Lisa Rodgers, JABerwocky Literary Agency
  3. Jennifer Azantian, Jennifer Azantian Agency
  4. Kaylee Davis, Dee Mura Agency
  5. Sheil Land Associates (You don’t get to pick a specific agent. If one is interested, they will contact you.)
  6. John Wordsworth, Zeno Agency
  7. Rachel Letofsky, The Cooke Agency
  8. Paula Munier, Talcott Notch Literary Services
  9. Caitlin Blasdell, Liza Dawson Associates Literary Agency
  10. Sara Megibow, Nelson Literary Agency

Now begins the task of following all of the submission guidelines. *Note to writers: Yes, ALL of them. No matter what. Nothing gets added, nothing gets left out. Nothing gets half-assed. Agents can get upwards of a hundred queries A DAY (I’ve seen agents with numbers that have hit well over 200 a day), so not following their specified guidelines is a good way to get deleted. Most tell you exactly what to put in the subject line of the e-mail. This is fantastic, but also tedious as it varies from agency to agency and if you put the Subject line for Agent A in Agent B’s submission packet, it will likely not even make it past the first round: the spam filter.

But the good thing is that 99.9% of agencies these days not only accept, but prefer electronic submissions. This not only saves me from spending time and money printing and mailing everything, but also allows agents’ responses to reach me faster. Some of my choices respond in 2-3 weeks, some in 8, others in 12. So whether you’re here to follow my book’s progress or you’re here for research before you send your own, get ready and get patient, because this part is called The Waiting Game.

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