Agents

How to Get Traditionally Published, Part 2

Read Part 1 in this series.

Read Part 3 in this series.

So, in case you missed Part 1, I am trying to lay out the very SIMPLE BASICS to getting published…

I emphasize “simple” and “basics” here because every author’s journey is different and because, although things seem clear-cut on the surface, they are actually kinda complicated underneath.

Overall, though, the moral of last Friday’s post was that getting an agent requires four main things:

a polished manuscript + a stellar query letter + tons of industry research + perfect timing

And sadly, today’s moral ain’t gonna be that different. That “perfect timing” component is such a bi***–and pretty much makes or breaks absolutely every author out there. (Read more…)

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LTWF: Coauthoring a Novel, Part Two

As Sarah said Monday, the casual idea of coauthoring a book didn’t become a REAL idea for months. And then the actual world-building and novel-writing happened in a matter of weeks.

We were pushing out two to three scenes a day and letting go of our egos (because how else can you let someone read your first draft? It’s scary!) . And as we wrote, a new thought weaseled in: What if this is actually good enough to publish? What if…what if…we could show this to our agents?

It was like tossing a grenade into the fray. Suddenly, we weren’t on fire for our own enjoyment—we were infernos of writing madness. There’s something about imagining your book as a REAL, published novel that motivates like no other. (Read more…)

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Crits for Water: I write for clean water

An estimated 1 billion people on earth do not have access to clean water.

Over 5000 children under age 5 die each day from unsafe water.

But there’s something you can do about it.

On March 31st, my crit partner, the amazing Kat Brauer, will begin her 3-month campaign to RAISE MONEY FOR WATER. (Read more…)

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Query Critique #10: Run, Delaney

Today’s query is our last, and it’s from a beginning writer — in other words, BE GENTLE.  While everyone has been offering amazing feedback, we can all come across harsh if we’re not careful.

So try to be helpful but sweet for this newbie — it’s her first attempt at querying!

🙂

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Dear Agent,

<insert special comments for agent> As such, I believe you’ll enjoy my 50,000 word YA urban fantasy novel RUN, DELANEY. Delaney is a teen werewolf and mother, on the run from her pack and its leader Sable, who’s also the father of her child.

Deep in the woods of the Tyson County Forest, live three packs: the Solar, the Schulsia, and the Secchi. Delaney leads a content life as a Solar pack member until one fateful night when her home, the Solar Compound is attacked with fire by an unknown enemy. Enter Sable: a charismatic rogue bearing promises to protect the traumatized Solar. He wins the title of Pack Leader and forces Delaney to be his mate. She learns of his ties to the mysterious enemy, and her own bloodline connection to their schemes. (Read more…)

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Query Critique #9: The Devil’s Utopia

This week is Query Week on Let the Words Flow!  We’re offering in-depth critiques from ourselves and several agents, so you’ll definitely want to stop by!

Today is we have my close friend Amanda Plavich at bat — the same lady who took my fabulous author photos (isn’t she a multitalented Renaissance gal?) , so please leave your thoughts in the comment section.  If you anything rude, I will <insert horrible fate> you.  Now go out and spread the word so Amanda  can get tons of helpful feedback!

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Dear Agent,

Sixteen-year-old Adelaide’s existence is defined by her role: she’s a Forsaken, and as such must always serve the Cherished.

Her remote village in the rainforest was founded on the utopian ideals of Erich Schwartz and is still ruled by this charismatic, yet cruel man.   (Read more…)

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Query Critique #8: The Insect Collector

First off, be sure to stop by Regan Leigh’s blog, where I’ve done a guest post weighing in on the negative book review “controversy”.  Quick summary: Don’t do it.  Period.

Also, this week is Query Week on Let the Words Flow!  We’re offering in-depth critiques from ourselves and several agents, so you’ll definitely want to stop by!

Today is we have the awesome Katharine Owens on board, so please leave your feedback in the comment section.  If you leave nasty comments, I will destroy you.  Now go out and spread the word so Katharine an get loads of helpful feedback!

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Dear Dream Agent,

(Personal sentence describing why I am soliciting this agent.)

Beatrice Thompson is sixteen, worried about Darfur and climate change, and quickly getting in over her head with her summer job.

Beatrice loves insects. She loves watching their behavior, capturing them, and pinning them. Spending time in their world helps her ignore her own. It helps her forget that she’s been left out both at school and in her own family. (Read more…)

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Query Critique #7: Romancing the Spy

This week is Query Week on Let the Words Flow!  We’re offering in-depth critiques from ourselves and several agents, so you’ll definitely want to stop by!

Today is we have Laura Pauling‘s query, so please leave your feedback in the comment section.  If you leave nasty comments, I will destroy you.  Now go out and spread the word so Laura can get loads of helpful feedback!

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Dear Agent,

Within five months, seventeen-year-old Jillian went from making homemade popsicles and skinny-dipping in her Nana’s creek to eating cold mush in a French prison – on charges of theft, espionage and attempted murder. Of course, none of the accusations are true, but try explaining that to a furious French interrogator, who lacks any sense of adventure.

She traces her problems back to her first date with Malcolm, when she had no choice but to leave him tied-up and half-naked under the Eiffel Tower. Don’t worry, he totally deserved it. She has twelve hours to recount the events leading up to the shooting of the beloved pastry chef and convince the detective that her role in it was purely coincidence. Or, she’ll be left to rot in prison.

ROMANCING THE SPY is a completed 75,000 word contemporary young adult story of intrigue and romance. Older readers of Ally Carter’s spy series might enjoy this story that has more twists than a French cruller.

Laura Pauling

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Leave your comments below, and be sure to keep your eyes peeled for more queries!  Everyday for the next two weeks, I’ll be posting another query, and it’s up to YOU all to help each other.  Thanks, friends and fellow writers!!

🙂

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Query Critique #6: The Elite

Today is Maggie‘s turn, so please leave your feedback in the comment section.  Remember: all snark will be destroyed!  Spread the word so Maggie can get tons of help (not that she needs it, of course)!

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Dear Agent,

After two mysterious young men show up at her high school prom, 16-year-old Avery Hunter finds herself a half-willing kidnappee on a private jet to Paris. These eccentric, wealthy people claim to be distant relatives, and their villa in Paris, the ballgowns—and the amazingly attractive young men they call knights—are all too much fun for Avery to care how peculiar they are.

But then she discovers that these same people who can shut down the Prada store on the Champs Elysees for their own private use can order the bombing of a nation’s capital and not think twice about it. (Read more…)

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Query Critique #5: What You Can’t Take Back

Melinda R. Cordell is up today, so please leave your thoughts in the comment section.  Remember: all snark will be destroyed!  Spread the word so Melinda can get tons of helpful feedback!

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Dear Nice Agent Person:

I’m querying you because you’re so awesome, et cetera.

After being bullied for the millionth time in seventh grade, Zanny finally finds a defender and friend; herself, or rather her older self, brought back in time as a ghost. But more than embarrassment and social standing are at stake. When the older Zanny tells her that Jake, the boy she’s pining for, is going to die in three days, Zanny has to overcome her shyness and lousy social status now to keep people from dying. But it’s one thing to dream about saving lives and rewriting your past. (Read more…)

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Query Critique #4: Because She Said So

Put your hands together for Holly (my fab crit partner!).  Her query is below for community feedback, so please leave your thoughts in the comments (no snark permitted).  Spread the word so Holly can get as much quality criticism as possibility!

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Dear Agent Sooz,

Because you are fantastic and wonderful and have a love of fantasy books, (Or, you know, some kind of personalization) I believe you may be interested in my 50,000 word young adult fantasy, BECAUSE SHE SAYS SO.

Sixteen-year-old Kate is trapped in a fairy tale and must escape before the story rips away her identity or the narrator orders Kate’s death.

Kate made a stupid wish to escape her life in favor of a fairy tale dream. The promise of Happily Ever After when faced with a dying brother is enticing to say the least. When the wish comes true, Kate begins to realize that fairy tale land isn’t what it’s cracked up to be. Inside the story, she is bound by the words the God-like narrator speaks and forced to play the part of the princess and repeat the same story over and over again. Plus, the venomous Prince Charming is out to kill her, there is no Happily Ever After, and Kate isn’t sure which of her so-called friends is actually helping the narrator control her. (Read more…)

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