Skip the Nitwitticism, Know Thy Industry

There were points where I felt like researching the industry was a huge waste of time. I’m not gonna lie, I often used researching the industry as a means of procrastination. I mean, reading agent/editor blogs is fun, right?

But while it might have been a way to avoid doing real work, it wasn’t a waste of time.

I’m so thankful that I read up in advance because it all happened so fast. If I hadn’t spent the time reading up earlier and internalized the process, I’d have been a bumbling idiot when the time came to actually make decisions.

Do you accept an offer right away? Do you tell other agents? Are you allowed to ask questions? Or contact clients?

These things aren’t exactly intuitive. That’s why I can’t stress enough how important learning the industry is.

Luckily, the internet has made it easy for it and agents have been kind enough to make their blogs both informative AND amusing.

I could not have gotten to this point without the following resources:

Miss Snark -Thank dog for being whacked with the clue gun, kept from being a nitwit, and snapped at by Killer Yap. If you haven’t read this entire site, don’t continue reading, just click and go.

Pub Rants -So many things to learn from Agent Kristin Nelson. Like what the heck is a boiler plate? And what does an agent’s submission letter look like? She usually posts 5 days a week and I’ve never read a post that wasn’t worthwhile.

Nathan Bransford’s blog -I love his This Week In Publishing posts. I use them to keep me current as to what’s happening in the industry. But more than that, he’s just really funny and wants to help.

Lisa Shearin’s blog -This is the perfect place to go find out what happens after you get an agent and then what happens after you get a book deal. Check out her Things I Didn’t Know Before I Was Published series

Absolute Write Water Cooler and The Blueboards -Communities of supportive authors who love to see each other succeed. My favorite parts of these forums are the Good News forums because they show/ed me that writers really can be picked out of the slushpile Ask questions and make friends. And for those of us who have ants in our pants, you can check the response times for agents, publishers, and magazines.

I’m incredibly thankful for the people that take the time to teach us newbies about the industry. I’m pretty sure the real work is about to start now, but I can’t believe that I’m that much closer to my dream.

Yay for good times!!

 

Status: Still incredibly happy, but getting ready to buckle down and do some work that needs to get done. I have tons of work for law school and tons of writing work also. I contacted one of the agent’s clients and received a glowing report. That made me excited!

I’ve been notifying the other agents that had my work that I have received an offer and asking them if they would still like to consider my project. I told you I heard back from one yesterday. Then today I remembered a couple agents still had WEIRD TATTOOS! So, I emailed one agent who had been reading a partial of WEIRD TATTOOS. I told her the situation and she said that she had just finished reading the partial and wanted a full of WEIRD TATTOOS plus SCOUT. I’m thrilled with everything right now. I can’t believe how many fabulous agents are out there.

Hold The Phone, I Got The Call

Hi. What are y’all up to? Nothing? Oh ok. How was your day? Mine was good…Oh yeah, an agent offered.

Wait, what?

Oh yeah, an agent offered.

 

YES! I GOT THE CALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I mean OMYGOODNESS I GOT THE CALL!!!

 

I got an offer of representation! Could I BE any happier? (Yes, I’m channeling Chandler Bing now and I don’t care.)

So, yesterday I told you I had the string of email conversations with a dream agent ending in “I’ll finish up with the materials and get back to you shortly.”  And I was like, “What does shortly mean!?” And I talked to people and they were like, “I think it means ‘shortly.'” And I analyzed and analyzed thinking it was a bad sign.

I’d been hanging out in the AW purgatory thread, commiserating with other waiting writers who were AWESOME by the way. And today, I’m in the middle of posting how on edge I was about the “shortly” thing when BAM!

212 shows up on my phone.

I’m thinking: that’s NYC. But I didn’t want to think that because it made me want to hurl. But I pulled it together (I think pretty well) and answered the phone calmly-ish.

And it was HIM!

I was shaking, but I hope my voice wasn’t. I hadn’t prepared any questions because I didn’t want to jinx it, but I remembered stuff I’d been thinking of and he had great insight. We talked and he so GOT Scout. Which was awesome. I was really pumped with the places he saw it going and he seemed oh so nice.

I am beyond excited and just want to celebrate. I called my parents and Nate. Nate STILL hasn’t answered his phone. What the heck?

I haven’t accepted the offer yet as I still have other agents to talk to. It was very fun sending out the email with the message in caps OFFER OF REPRESENTATION. One of the agents got back to me pronto which was great. And she wants to still consider and will get back to me Tuesday. She said she just started looking and said she loved it.

I am having a lot of fun right now. A LOT!

 

I promise I will resume my more substantive posting soon, but I had to shout it from the proverbial mountain tops–my blog. (Oh yeah, and in my facebook status, of course.)

 

To find out who my new super agent is, click here!

Topical Tuesday: Back That Thang Up

Today’s post is a cautionary tale.

It’s about a young girl. Let’s call her…Chandlerella. Chandlerella was young, enthusiastic, and oh-so-keen to become a published princess. And she had everything a published princess-in-training could ask for including her most prized possession–a completed, polished manuscript in her hot little hands.

Oh, she remembers the moment when she put that last period on that last sentence. There was champagne and merriment until…

She was cast down into a land called Absolute Write Forumia where she had to slave away in the depths of Query Letter Hell. Chandlerella thought she might never escape until one day the king of Query Letter Hell, JClarke, released her, saying that she was ready to go forth unto the world of the publishing industry.

And Chandlerella was glad. Query Letter Hell had only made her stronger and more ready to be a published princess. With her newfound wisdom and a well-written letter she petitioned a handful of Queen Bee literary agents. She hoped one would guide her through the promised land and introduce her to her Prince Charming.

Sure enough, within minutes, a Queen Bee accepted her petition and wanted to learn more about Chandlerella–all about her, in fact. Chandlerella jumped up and down in her brand new Cole Haan’s and squee’d for joy.

But life for Chandlerella was not meant to work out so easily. Her best friend and companion, the trusty ThinkPad, betrayed her. A fit was thrown and, rather than see Chandlerella succeed, the pesty ThinkPad decided to shutdown forever. And her work was lost…almost.

After weeks of waiting and spending her precious gold, Chandlerella retrieved her lovely manuscript. But, the Queen Bee had already asked what was taking so long twice. Twice! Chandlerella was so embarrassed that she had not been wise enough to back up her most prized possession, the manuscript.

While the Queen Bee was nice and kind and just, Chandlerella had to go to the back of the line and is still waiting to this day to see if she will ever become a published princess.

 

For Jay’s Take on Topical Tuesday head over Here

Status: Just got back to Philadelphia today. I am so, so tired and plan to take a nap right away. There is so much to do. Packing and writing and reading Betrayed because I can’t help myself. I went to see The Dark Knight, which I think I might discuss later on today.

I also have a great interview to post this morning!

Shiny, New Features

I’d like to draw your attention to a couple new features on the blog.

The first is the “Suggestion Box” at the top of the page. If you have ideas on how to make the blog better, topics you’d like addressed or expanded upon, leave a comment there. I’d love to hear from you.

Also, it occurred to me that only people at AW and Verla Kay knew they could be Featured Writers of the Day. I wanted to open it up to more people, so I added the information as a page on the top righthand side. If you would like to guest blog, be interviewed, have your book/lit magazines, etc. promoted, drop me a line in the comments section there or send me an email. I put my contact information up.

 

I also have an idea that I wanted to run past you. I’d like to think about getting a panel together to critique. I’d gather a panel to critique queries for a set amount of time, then maybe first pages, synopses, etc. I know you can do this on some other places around the internet, but I would get together the most qualified people I could find and you’d be guaranteed a certain number of critiques. Also, I’d plan on doing it more Miss Snark style, so it wouldn’t be a set number of people getting in, you’d just have to enter in a certain amount of time.

I could be persuaded to try to do some prizes, too, if there is interest.

5 People I Never Want to Meet

We’ll take a break from the scheduled Wednesday blog post on the process of writing because…

…I’ve been tagged!

 

This month, I’m participating in the Absolute Write June Blog Chain and Rosemerry has just passed the baton. Check out her blog post on People You meet Online who you Don’t want to Meet in Real Life.

Now, I have to take a theme from her post and create mine from it, so I’m going to generalize.

Here are the Five People I Don’t Want to Meet in Real Life…Ever:

1. Jay Leno’s wife–as far as I’m concerned, he doesn’t have one.

2. Kathy Lee Gifford–I’m mad at her for ruining the last hour of the Today Show and for dumbing down Hoda Kotb.

3. Roseanne–Just way too crass for me. I wasn’t made for that type of humor. Sorry!

4. Stephen Hawking–I don’t like feeling dumb and his brand of genius might melt my mind.

5. Denise Richards–Did you see her on E!’s “It’s Complicated?” She went on a blind date with a guy and made the poor man feel sooooooo awkward. It was just plain mean.

 

And that’s my completely comprehensive, not at all petty list of the People I Don’t Want to Meet in Real Life…Ever. Who would be on your list??

Now, it’s my turn to tag, so I’m tagging Soma at Rotating the Bear. Head on over!

 

 

Status: Today, I finished reading Forever by Judy Blume. It was a fun book and a quick read. As a YA writer, I’m pretty sure it falls under required reading. After finishing that, I headed down to the library and ordered I’d Tell You I Love You But Then I’d Have To Kill You by Ally Carter and Twilight and New Moon by Stephenie Myers. I didn’t actually request the second Twilight book, but the librarian said I ought to have it thrown in for good measure. The librarian actually said to me: It’s ok, I like all of these books, too. Then I realized, I should probably feel kind of funny ordering so many tweeny books. Oh well! I also picked up Tattoo by Jennifer Lynn Barnes.

As I mentioned in my last post, I found an artist for my graphic novel. I’m excited about him. His name is Ben and I’ll be sending him a rough query, scene-by-scene synopsis of the first few chapters, and the first several pages of script today. So I’m a busy girl in the coffee house today.