Sage Advise

I am reading a book that was recommended by one of the agents I submitted my MS to. The Guide to BOOK Publishers, Editors & Literary Agents by Jeff Herman. Although I’ve hardly begun reading it,  I am already taking in a lot of information that makes sense.

He states what Literary Agents are and what they are not. One of my former misunderstandings is the lack of critique I have received, now I know that is not their job. Now that has been cleared up — another interesting piece of information I learned is, according to Jeff Herman, agents reject 98% of the work that goes through their in box.

Out of 18 queries I have sent; ten of them for Woven In Time, my first novel, I have seven rejections, including the direct pitches I gave at the WDC2015. I have four total rejections out of six submissions for my second book Curious Allure. The other five I have received no response, which is also to be expected according to the book.

Another important detail is that the agent has a relationship with the publisher, usually more than one that they deal with. It is critical that the agent is diligent as to what the publisher wants to market, their credibility is at stake, and their careers depend on their rapport with the publishers.

It gets harder every year for a writer to sell their story, especially unpublished writers who are an “unknown” in the industry. The query and submission process is far more critical, it is an advertisement of your work and needs to sell the story before they get to the sample MS.

I knew all that ahead of time, or perhaps one third of the way through the process. My pitch and query have improved but it is not quite there, obviously.

Now I have to consider what my next step is. I have been obsessing over that for a week now. Changing genre, re-editing or complete re-write? Right now, I am considering pushing through my third book, do the final run through, write a query, synopsis and pitch. I am thinking about the genre of Women’s Fiction, The Tea Room is about five girls who are caught up in the terem system. I was intrigued by this tradition that was in practice until the early Eighteenth Century in the country my story takes place. It still continues to this day in some countries.

I still have reason to preserver, I am glad I purchased the book that was recommended to me. I didn’t get any “quit now while you are still ahead” comments only encouragement to keep at it, so, for now that’s what I am doing.

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