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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Are You Ready To Submit Your Novel?

Many writers sit on the fence and wonder if their work is polished enough while others toss it out there too soon. But how many really know if their book is actually ready to submit? I sure didn't my first time out. It took a lot of trial and error for me to figure it out. Its all about whether or not your work is polished enough and is right for a particular agent.

First there is the work itself. Is it going to grab the readers and therefore, an agent? Is it edited to the point where it looks professional and clean? Is the story strong enough or original enough that the agent will be able to not only enjoy it, but foresee selling it? These are very important questions that you must ask yourself.

Second is platform. Who is your audience and have you conveyed the book well enough that they will want to read it? Is it good enough that they'll recommend it to others? People buy and support books that grip them and make them feel something. Make sure you've tapped into that and you know how to convey it in your query. Have you made an attempt to connect with the people who will buy your book? Do you blog, Twitter, Facebook, or other social network that gets you in touch with your audience?

Third is the end all. Is your book going to make a publisher, and therefore an agent, money? The answer has to be yes or you aren't likely to get either. Will it be marketable in other avenues such as movies, graphic novels, video games, etc? It doesn't have to be all those things but if it can then great. The most important thing you have to remember about your book sales is that you MUST self promote. Publishers don't pay for promotion like they used to. Chances are you may not get any money for promotion at all. Be prepared to do your own. Have a plan.

For some great tips on what to know before you query check out this post by Jane Friedman of Writer's Digest. 

4 comments:

  1. Regarding the "First" seciton: I'll not send my work to an agent until I've made it as smooth as possilbe, no missing words, wrong words, or notes accidentally left in. I've been toting around the manuscript around, using clamps to keep it together. Then I found out Staples (office supply store) could put it in a coiled binder, which is awesome, for only $4.29 tax included. I plan to put pics of it on my WordPress blog later today. It's very convenient,easy to thumb through and read.

    "Second" My platform is in its infancy. I'm basically rebuilding an online presence. But, I have serious reservations about posting on the internet what my book is about, revealing character names, and settings. It's other worldly, exotic, and I slaved over making up the names so that they don't sound goofy. I don't want aspects of my story to end up all over the net that may change. I have had people read the hard copy of Part One. Six out of ten actually read the whole thing and one, a formally professional editor volunteered to edit it, improving it even more. But, on the internet I struggle between revealing too much and not enough. I come up with things like, "a fantasy novel set in an ancient world of beauty and brutality where a new nation struggles for survival surrounded by warring empires." But, that says nothing about the characters. ...argh!!! I have made "book trailers" and "the making of" on my youtube channel. www.youtube.com/artravistube, which pretty much teases.

    "Third" Everybody who has read it, says it would make a good movie. I don't allow that to pollute my vision for a good book or my ego.

    Thanks for making me think.

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  2. You're welcome artravis. I'm glad it helped! Every writer has that fear of stolen content. You're right, we have to be very careful what we post.

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  3. This was a great straight-forward check list! All three steps stretch me out of my comfort zone--in a good way.

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  4. That's awesome Samantha! Glad to hear it. I hope it helps!

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