Monday, January 2, 2012

So much to do.....

It's official, I probably won't be doing much new writing until I feel like I've got a few things finalized with SURRENDER. I'm getting close to being done with the synopsis, I hope. They query letter is another beast that I'm slowly tackling. I'm starting to understand why it's taken me so long to actually take these steps toward getting my novels published. This is a lot of work. It's stressful, sometimes heart crushing... I don't know, the list goes on (fill it with negative words). Just when I think I'm done with something and get feedback it's like "nope, not yet." I can't even imagine what I'll feel when/if I'm successful at finding an agent who wants to represent me and they want me to make more changes. Will it ever be 100 percent? This is a very difficult process. I'm determined not to throw in the towel, although it's tempting at times.

Today I spent a little time looking at the agent list that I compiled months ago. I'm always shocked at how overwhelmed I get when I work on different elements of the submission process. First paring 510 pages down to 10 (the synopsis and I need to cut those 10 to one page). Now the big issue is finding something about my top 15 agents to personalize the query letter. Each publishing book that I read suggests that writers find a way to connect to the agent--make them feel special. I understand this completely (on agent I'm looking at says that they get 10,000+ queries a year!), but it's difficult. So far my reasons for querying are: 1) they represent diverse projects (I won't always write YA), 2) they're looking for writers who want to develop their skills and the agent-writer relationship (check, I totally want this too), and 3) I really liked one of the authors they already represent. Who knows if the last one is a valid "connection" or not.

I think when it comes down to it, I need to trust my instincts. If I feel it's as close to final as I can get it, then I just need to go with it and not try to get a second opinion. Another issue is that I want all of this to happen tomorrow... that definitely isn't realistic.

I guess I'm just having a hard day with this process. And I still don't like the title.

I'm overwhelmed for sure.


  1. Honestly, the title isn't important since a lot of people say that their editor/agent ended up changing it anyway but look through a thesaurus and see if there's something that means the same thing but sounds better.

    And when you haven't met an agent it's hard to come up with connections so I think what you have currently makes sense.

    And honestly, what makes it harder on you is the fact that the story you've written is currently super hot on the market but since you're coming in at the middle there are a lot of other people pushing the same concept even if they don't write it the way you did.

    And yeah, I know it's probably going to hurt but Meg Cabot was rejected how many times?

    Just take a deep breath and keep pushing through, there are people who were rejected for years before they made it, and I know that doesn't help a lot, but it's some perspective. It might seem impossible but it's not, even if it hurts while you're trying to get there.

  2. Yeah, all good points. I think at times I just feel this level of desperation to make my dream come true. I have moments were I'm completely rational and know that I'm going to be rejected tones of times (I mean I have at least 60 rejections for short stories already, so it's not really something that I'm unfamiliar with). And then I have moments where I'm like "the first agent is going to love me and want to represent me and my book will sell right away!" It really is a roller coaster in a lot of ways. Hopefully by the time I actually submit I'll have a more rational brain plugged in.

  3. You probably will, it's probably just the fact that everything is getting closer to be real so it's more panic inducing, lol.

    Have you looked into any online publishers for your short stories or even the first Killing book? That might be one way to get your foot in the door even if it's not major New York publisher.

  4. I've sent my short stories to a few online journals (is that what you mean?). I haven't really tried to submit them since this summer though. My plan is to put KM1 online. I haven't looked into any online publishers though--I assume that most people are now turning that into ebooks?

  5. online publishers are like traditional pubs in the sense that you have an editor and one main site that publishes your book and they get a percentage of your income.

    An example would be Samhain -

    They were one of the very first epubs out there and they've lasted quite a while and have a solid reputation, only thing is that they're mainly a romance publisher and I don't think they accept YA.

    Here are their submission FAQs:

    Harlequin has an epub I believe, but rumour has it that it's actually a self-publishing platform so I'm a bit iffy of that for now.

    They also have a YA line out and they publisher the Soul Screamers series by Rachel Vincent that has been doing very well but I believe that they are now only accepting agented submissions for that series.

  6. Ok, so now I'm all caught up =) Have to be honest, I don't really get your title Surrender I mean what is it that she is surrendering to? I reckon a more appropriate word might be metamorphis or something to so with change more than surrender however, I don't know if she does surrender to something, I've only read the first four chapters so you really are the best judge of that. Then again from Jammi's comment you might just wanna leave it if you might have to change it again later =)
    Oh I'm a bit sad to hear that Arabelle Wild isn't going to be put up yet but that's no biggy because hopefully soon I'll be buying your books in store! I know it's a long process but don't get disheartened, your that much closer to being stocked on shelves than before!

  7. Yes, see... that's the issue. In the very first draft, the title worked because there was a type of surrendering to something, but I cut the last 100 pages of the book and changed the ending. So, therefore "Surrender" really doesn't work. Something about "change" would be better, I think. Maybe "chrysalis" or something along those lines. I need to really brainstorm it (and how it'll fit in with the next two books). So, while it's not completely important to have it figured out now (since it might change) I still want to figure it out. :)

    Also, I hope you have books of mine to buy off the shelf too! Dream come true.