Sunday, November 8, 2009

Status -- November 8, 2009


76% complete on proof-reading/polishing

1st set of queries sent to agents:
- 4 responses back so far:
-> 2 rejects (waah)
-> 2 requests for full manuscript (yay!)

The Bad:

As I predicted, life has tossed a few curve balls. Day job is up to ~60 hours/week and will be for another week or two. This burns time, energy and creativity. So that’s slowing things down.

I also opted to do another draft...a polishing draft. Doing line-edits on hardcopy: catching typos, eliminating extraneous words, reordering sentences for greater impact, etc. Sentence level stuff. In preparing material for the queries, I found a few embarrassing typos, and noticed a lot of extra words and other minor problems that jumped out at me when I read printouts. Figured I better do that for the whole thing. Luckily, this kind of editing goes much faster than writing, so I’m 76% through it, but the process is trending toward two weeks to complete.

This means next weekend for assembling the beta-reader version (was shooting for today--waah). A bit later than I hoped, but still have a chance to get them out by Thanksgiving.

The Good:

I’ve started marketing the book. First volley of queries went out at the end of October. So far, two agents have asked to see the full manuscript--very encouraging. For those of you not in the business, let me explain:

Getting an agent doesn’t get the book published, but an agent can get the book in front of interested publishers significantly faster than an author can, which greatly accelerates the process. In addition, agents will generally be able to negotiate a more favorable deal. So, an agent seems like a good idea.

What does it mean to have an agent or publisher request the full manuscript? Well, the hierarchy is like this: query->partial->full. Partial = synopsis + three chapters. Full = the whole book. A request for partial is a lukewarm response, the person hasn’t ruled you out, but doesn’t want to spend too much time on you. On the other hand, a request for ‘full’ implies stronger interest, as in “This project looks interesting enough that I’ll take a few hours to read your book.”

Having a request for full is exciting. Having multiple requests for full is very encouraging. Having those requests come in right away is mind blowing. I’ll know in a month or two if any of them want to represent it. Fingers crossed.

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