Wednesday, July 2, 2008

How It Works

I know most of my readers are writers, but for those who aren't, here's where I'm at...

I've polished my manuscript until it shines. I've written my query letter (the letter asking agents to consider reading, and then representing, my book) and synopsis (a comprehensive summary of the book), rehashing and revising until my mind is fuzzy. I've researched agents and the best way to get my foot in the door, to be given even half a chance.

Some literary agents get at least a thousand queries a month. Mine will be added to their piles.

I've submitted my query (with synopsis) to 6 agents so far, all of them in New York City. It will likely take weeks, maybe even months*, before they read just that much, at which point they'll decide if they're interested in looking at any portion of the manuscript.

Should one (or more) choose to read my entire book, that could again take weeks to months. If they'd agree to take me on as a client and represent me, they'd begin their job of trying to sell my book to a publisher. Yet again we're looking at months and, if a publishing house actually bought my book, it could be a couple years before it went to press. *exhales* So, after the year I spent writing the book, and the 3 months editing, my journey has only just begun.

Did you catch all those IFs?

Some writers query upwards of a hundred agents, and I still have many, many more to consider, even if one I've already contacted should like to represent me.

In the meantime... I'm corraling thoughts for novel 2...

*Especially since the later summer months are slowest in the literary world, what with conventions and vacations and such.

5 comments:

WendyCinNYC said...

I'm a couple of months behind you, Janna. I prefer not to think too far ahead--it's just too daunting.

Janna Qualman said...

You said it, chica, daunting is exactly what it is.

Melanie Avila said...

Janna! That's fantastic! You and Wendy are both motivating me to get off my butt and keep researching agents. I started off well then haven't done anything since then.

Janna Qualman said...

Good luck to you both!

And, of course, I expect you to be here when I'm down and discouraged, needing to be sucked up off the floor.

Ok? :)

Melanie Avila said...

Of course. :) I'll get the mop ready. And the brownies.