Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Querying again

Not that this is of any particular interest to my readers, but I’m interested, so I’m posting about it. I have begun the process of querying agents to represent my New and Improved novel, CHERISH IS THE WORD.

Last week I posted about Katie, the personification of my muse. And in the preceding months I’ve updated you from time to time about my excitement concerning her critiques and suggestions.

To give you an idea of the extensive nature of my changes, the manuscript has gone from 70,000 words to over 85,000, has a new beginning, a new ending, and some strengthening in the middle. The current product is so much better than the original one that I’m embarrassed that the original was presented to several publishers. It came close, but none thought it met the needs of their perception of “the market” at that time.

Will this new version? Who knows? I’m just happier that it’s better!

For most of 2005 I was signed by Lantz Powell’s Literary Agency for Southern Authors. Lantz worked with me extensively to get the book as close as it was to being good. And then I’m convinced he did his best to pitch it to publishers. After the fifth rejection he wrote me that he had done all he could, and that I was free to query other agents if I wanted to.

At that point I didn’t want to. But then Katie and her friend Pat found me, and the book has been transformed.

So now I’m looking for a new agent. And I’m being selective, rather than just “shotgunning” the industry and hoping to get lucky.

Lantz signed me with a little (maybe a lot of) reluctance. I don’t think he ever had much enthusiasm for the book, and that lukewarm-ness may have communicated itself to the publishers.

Or maybe I’m selling Lantz short.

Regardless, I now have a book I’m very happy with and proud of, and I’d like to find an agent who falls in love with it and will thus be better able to convince a publisher that this is good! As we all know, enthusiasm is contagious!

So, here I go again. I’m starting with agencies whose materials (web site, etc.) indicate they are interested in working with new clients and handle the Romance genre. (To be nit-picky, my book is more of an adventure/love story, but it’ll compete in the “Romance” market.) I’m also starting with agencies that are established and mainstream, as opposed to new start-ups or “boutiques.”

Is that a good plan? Shoot, I don’t have a clue. But it sounds good to me, based on personal experience plus what I’ve read.

Oh, don’t worry. Readers of this blog will be kept current on all aspects of the process.

But you knew that. Right?


Christina said...

I have absolute faith that the book will get published...eventually. Things happen for a reason, so think how glad you are it didn't get published in its earlier form. I expect to be at the top of the list for an autographed copy.

Duke_of_Earle said...

Bless you, my daughter. Consider yourself WAAAAAY up on the list.


schnoodlepooh said...

I want an autographed copy. I know you will be rich and famous. It's coming.

Michelle said...

I second Christina. When chatting to Agents your gut will tell you whether that one is right for you. And you will tell how passionate they are about their work, how passionate they are to do all they can to get your book published. If they have spark, you will hear it in their voices and feel it in your gut. I wish you the very best John because like you, your family and other blogging buddies, I would luuurve to see you published this year.

Anonymous said...

Don't sell your first version of the novel short. You found an agent, something I've never, ever been able to do, so I'm envious yet thrilled for you.

Please keep us updated as to your progress, and here's best wishes for finding an editor *and* a publisher. I promise I'll buy a copy when (not if) it comes up.

kenju said...

Good luck (and I want an autographed copy too). Now when your appliances rebel, you will not have to worry about replacing them, since you will be making so mych moola from the book!.

Candace said...

That's wonderful, John! You know I'm keeping my fingers crossed for ya. Have you also prepared a synopsis? I was asked for one, along with the MS, one time and I didn't have one ready!

r.e.wolf said...

Bravo to you for not just shelving it! And here's to finding an agent who will share your enthusiasm - it can't help but work against you if they don't.

(PS - I forgot to mention I linked to you. I truly enjoy your writing!)