Thursday, August 27, 2009

Awesome Webinar Today with Chuck Sambuchino!

Right Now: Kids are at school. Cleaning lady is here and she just broke something in the other room... Ugh... I'm afraid to see what it is.

Listening to: My snoring dogs.

I just finished listening to an awesome webinar with Chuck Sambuchino. The topic: How to Land a Literary Agent. I will share some of his wisdom here:

1. Really do your homework on your agents. Google them. Then rank them. Give them what they want. No more, no less.

2. You should have the following prepared before sending your query. (Other than a completed manuscript that has been edited and beta-tested): logline (1 sentence description), a pitch (like a jacket of a book), short synopsis (1-2 pages) and long synopsis (5-8 pages).

3. There are 3 parts to a query: Intro (name of book, genre, word count and why you're contacting that agent), Pitch (the heart of your query where you explain the story and the conflict without giving anything away), Bio (info about yourself).

4. A "no" from one agent at an agency is a "no" from all.

5. If you haven't heard back from an agent, it's okay to re-send the query by pasting it into a new email and saying that you're resending it in case it got caught in the spam filter.

6. Go to conferences! It's a great way to connect with agents! (I need to do this.)

Well, there was lots more, but I gotta get back to work!!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

How to Land a Literary Agent-Webinar

Right Now: Jake is crashed out. Olivia and her 2 friends just woke up. (Yes, we had a sleepover here last night.)

Listening to: Chatty girls in the other room. Why do they have to be so loud??

I was browsing the web and came across an ad for this webinar: Land a Literary Agent with Chuck Sambuchino August 27, 1 pm EDT. Just $79!

Here's the description: Subjects I'll be talking about include, but are not limited to: queries, pitching, proposals, synopses, conferences, avoiding scammers, where to find agents, self-publishing, and how to pick the best one for you. Do you know how to begin a query letter to an agent? I'll show you. Do you wonder about contacting multiple agents at the same time? We'll discuss that. Are you curious about how to protect yourself and your ideas from scammers and rip-off artists? We'll address that, too - and more. Finding a literary agent isn't an easy process, but I can help make it easier. Register Now!

I'm definitely going to sign up for this class.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Update on Editing and Querying

RIGHT NOW: Kids are laying on the couch watching Hotel for Dogs. This is their last week of freedom--school starts next week!

LISTENING TO: Iris by the Goo Goo Dolls

So what's new with me? I've made a really cool online connection with Georgia McBride. Her website can be found here. She's a YA author who has also written a book about angels. She is way ahead of me with her agent search, and will probably get one soon! She was kind enough to look at my query and give me some suggestions. I'm super psyched about the changes and will be sending out my new query soon.

I also came across this great site. It has a list of Middle Grade and YA Publishers and Agents updated 8-1-09. It has several names that I haven't hit yet, so that's good!

And, of course, I'm still editing per my unofficial editors Deborah Lawson and Lisa Isgitt. I should be completely done by next week. I'm super excited! All this prep puts me one step closer to my agent. Yahoo!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

My Query Letter Approach

Right Now: Olivia and Jake are at Critter Camp. Olivia didn't want to go today, said there was a bratty girl in her group who uses the word 'like' in every sentence. I was like, are you serious? She was like, yeah.

Listening To: She's a Bad Mama Jama by Carl Carlton (a classic!) I'm feeling like a bad mama jama today...

I had one of my friends ask me why I haven't sent more queries. The answer is simple: I'm sending them very methodically.

First, I've tweaked my manuscript since sending my first query letter. Then, I put a hold on queries altogether while I polished and refined my work. Manuscripts today have to be perfect in this highly competitive market.

Second, I'm doing lots of research, following blogs and twitter, getting a pulse for what agents who represent YA authors are looking for. It's the lawyer in me, doing my research very diligently, and it's paying off.

Third, I'm sending my query to veteran agents and new agents. New agents are actively looking for clients. The agent who requested my partial is a new agent. They're hungry, like me. A new agent is more likely to take on a fresh new author as opposed to a more established agent. But don't get me wrong, I would be thrilled to get an established agent. Really, just any agent who loves my story.

So, with all my ducks in a row, I plug along. I know I'm going to find an agent soon. I can feel it.

Monday, August 10, 2009

An Awesome Vacation!

RIGHT NOW: Jake and Olivia are at Critter Camp at the Houston SPCA. I know they're going to come home begging to adopt a new pet. The answer will be no. We've hit our limit in this house with pets. I'm listening to World In My Eyes by Depeche Mode.

We spent all last week enjoying my Up North family in beautiful Traverse City, Michigan. The weather was cool at night, in the 50s, and sunny during the day, in the 70s. Talk about paradise!

We hiked in the woods by the Boardman River, took a pontoon trip to Torch Lake, kayaked, swam, (yes, the water was freezing) searched for Petoskey stones, had some awesome family dinners, and basically just enjoyed being unplugged.

I miss it already...

But now I'm back to reality! And excited to be sending out more query letters! I plan to send out about 5 today. I'm feeling really good about it. I just know I'm going to find an agent soon.