It’s been an eventful week. I participated in a pitch event on twitter. The rules were simple. Pitch your book in 140 characters or less, and mark it with the tag #pitmad. Agents were following the tag, and if they liked what they saw, they’d favorite your tweet. I had three agents request mine. Which means there are now three agents with pages from Random Acts of Nudity in their inbox (plus a fourth who had requested pages off a similar event the week before). So now I wait to see if any of them ask for more. And I try to not to obsess over the undiscovered typos that appeared in the excerpt seconds after each time I hit send. Hopefully a missing quotation mark here and a random paragraph break there won’t ruin the query’s chances, but who knows? Having an agent/s request pages is a small goal to check off on my mental list of “things that mean I’m a real author.”
It would be very easy to get carried away, imagining that because they asked for pages, I’ll be signed and have a book deal by next month, but that ain’t happening. In truth this isn’t that different from the unrequested queries I’ve sent. With those I sent a query letter and five to fifty pages of the manuscript, which the agent or their assistant would read and then choose to pass or ask for more. (So far it’s all been passes). In this case the agent has only seen a one to three sentence description of the book. The pages will be the first sample of my writing they’ll see. If they ask for more, that will be exciting (and another check on the list).
The major difference, and it’s a significant one, is that these agents already like the concept of my book. With the blind queries I never knew for sure if the agent passed simply because they didn’t like the idea of the book. These agents are into the idea of a high school girl with a sex-tape (uh…a book about a high school girl with a sex tape, I’m not implying they like child pornography. Whoops) So now it’s a matter if they like my execution of the concept.
So as I said, it’s all about waiting. Though what I’m waiting for is hard to say. I only know I’ll hear from them if they like what they saw. None of the agents said they’d contact me if they didn’t. For all I know they’ve already read the pages and decided it wasn’t up to snuff. Or it might still be in their to read piles, and they might not make the decision for several months. It’s best to just celebrate that I qot a couple of requested queries, and go back to business as usual.
In other writing news, I made some progress on my work in progress. And I got another couple of chapters edited. Plus starting this week I’ll be taking an online course on professional editing, which will hopefully make the self editing process easier and more productive.
That’s all for now.
Ooh, an online course sounds like a good idea.
It must be so hard to wait, but so cool have contact and interest from real agents!
I remember reading that some fairly large % of manuscripts editors receive are rejected for typographic errors in the first couple of pages. I’m sure some novels “survive” that initial rejection criteria even though there are errors, but the idea was that there are simply so many novels they have to review, finding some minor errors was a good way to narrow down the pool quickly. So yeah, my point is that good editing is even more important at this early stage.
Good luck Susie! You’ve taken this “writing thing” so much farther than I ever did. I have no doubt you will eventually find success!