I'm Trying to Get a Book Published! discussion

Advice/Questions > Quary letters!? Agents? Ugh

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message 1: by Nate (new)

Nate So it sounds like writing the book was the easy part....Any tips on quary letters? How do you find a reputable agent?....& does the agent help with getting a proof reader/editor? *I'm seeing stars*

message 2: by Victoria (new)

Victoria Dixon (ronempressblogspotcom) | 12 comments There are numerous ways to find reputable agents. One is the Writer's Market. You might consider signing up at Author Advance.com, Query Tracker.net or Agent Query.com - they all have similar services and lists. There's also Absolute Writers Water Cooler.com. These are both social media for writers and databases of agent data. There's also Publisher's Marketplace which costs $20 a month. I'm told it's worth it, but I don't have the funds.

You have to approach the agent with your book already proofed and edited. Do not assume the agent will take care of it. That's not their job.

I would take care to write at LEAST five complete drafts of your novel before you even think of contacting an agent. If you've just finished your first draft, let it sit for at least six weeks in a drawer. Go write another story in the meanwhile. (Stephen King's suggestion, but it's a good one.) Doing that gives you fresh eyes on your ms. A writer usually takes about 10-15 years of writing and perfecting their skills before they're ready for publication, FYI.

message 3: by Nate (new)

Nate Thanks I'llcheck those sites out. & I'm on...... I've lost count of the number of drafts...this has been over a year in the making but I still have a few spots that I'm not quite happy with....I think it draggs too much in the middle. & i know I have some grammer errors that I've missed...I've read it soooooooo many times & its hard to catch your own mistakes sometimes. LOL
Thanks again for the advice. :)

message 4: by Rita (new)

Rita Webb (ritawebb) Have you had any beta readers? They can help you a lot. I learned so much from swapping beta reader duties with others.

Check out the Query Shark blog (google it). Read every post, and when you're done, start crafting your query letter. I spent a month working on mine. Some days I just kept reading the same sentence again and agains, changing a word, then going off to do something else, coming back, reading it, wondering how to change it, going off to do something else, coming back. I'd finally get that one sentence just so by the end of the day.

message 5: by Nate (new)

Nate Whats a beta reader? lol sorry this is all new to me.

message 6: by Rita (new)

Rita Webb (ritawebb) Someone who will give your story a trial read and give you feedback on areas that need work. In short, it's a fancy name for a friend who will act as an editor.

message 7: by Nate (new)

Nate I've had plenty of friends read it. But surprisingly none have volunteered to edit, lol they just read for enjoyment. Which I suppose is good too.

message 8: by Rita (last edited Aug 31, 2010 07:14PM) (new)

Rita Webb (ritawebb) Involved in any writer's groups that edit? What about Writer's Who Write?

Also you can check out On Fiction Writing. They don't do reviews/edits, but they talk about writing rules and how to self-edit.

message 9: by Victoria (new)

Victoria Dixon (ronempressblogspotcom) | 12 comments Books on Editing you should check out:

Self Editing for Fiction Writers by Dave King & someone else (apologies to someone else!)
The 38 Most Common Fiction Writing Mistakes - Not sure who the author is but this book is priceless.
Fire In Fiction by Donald Maass or his workbook on Writing the Breakout Novel.

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