Well, now that I’ve ended my break I can resume work on finding a publisher for my novel. I have finished the work of researching, writing, rewriting, editing, polishing and finally have it in the condition I feel is ready for submission.
The process of writing a marketable piece of literature is not an easy task, definitely not for the weak willed, easily distracted, or those who have limited free time.
For me the writing process followed this path. First I needed an idea, something I felt passionate about and a topic that had legs, would warrant 60,00 to 120,000 words and possibly support addition books. Next I had to write some content and see if I could flesh out a couple of chapters, a proof of concept, if you will. Once that was started I then needed some feedback on what I’d composed. To that end I originated the Acton Writers Group, posted solicitations for other aspiring authors to join me on MeetUp.com, for a fee $$ and then herd them into a polite, supportive collection of humans who were willing to offer the constructive feedback that I required.
Now that I’ve finally got something that I’m not ashamed to put my name on I have come to what is perhaps the most daunting, intimidating, and tedious process of all, finding a Publishing House, editor, and agent who will be willing to work with me to bring it to market.
This undertaking requires a couple of additional writing tasks in and of itself. First is composing a Query letter. I’ve researched this topic and found several articles online that have been helpful. This Query letter has multiple parts or sections, first is the Marketing Tag Line (A hot one sentence description of the story), next the Synopsis (A complete, shortened version of the Novel, less than two pages. Not so easy to do.), A personal Bio, which is more difficult than you’d think. To compound the pain, every Literary Agent or Publisher has their own separate criteria for how they want a query letter and manuscript submitted, some have guidelines for what Font and Point size is acceptable, one editor dictated that each chapter must begin halfway down a new page and all desire a sample of the manuscript in differing lengths, some want the first fifty pages, others the first three – five chapters, it’s maddening. This of course requires creating an entire new copy of the MS for each submission and then reformatting it according to the whim of the target editor.
Can you feel my pain?
Here is a sample of my marketing tag line of one sentence, guaranteed to tantalize your taste buds; your eyes will never be the same.
Please consider my 93,782-word mainstream Fiction novel THE VOYAGES OF ACHMID HUCHMID AND FOLLETTI; about two elemental beings that meet, fall in love and try to save the human world from a headlong plunge into environmental disaster.”
They tell you that it is best if you can personalize the query letter, addressing it to the individual editor but seldom do they provide the name of said almighty being.
Today, an average day at my laptop, I’ve sent seven queries letters to small publishing houses and an equal number to Literary Agents.
Now I can just sit back and wait for the rejection letters to flow back in, sigh