“Agent Speed Dating” – February Query Contest

Hello, all you lovely querying authors out there.

Cupid’s Literary Connection is hosting a great contest for February. Get your query seen by a fantastic list of literary agents in a variety of genres. It’s a ‘speed dating’ contest where agents can select queries to request manuscripts from, but our identity will not be revealed until the end. And we fight for the queries we want to request! Projects are screened by publishing professionals. What an exciting event! Good luck!

Agents involved are:

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Video Blogs coming soon.

I am going to start to incorporate video blogs into my posts and to start the process I want to hear from you guys what it is you want to know.

I’ve already got some great ideas via Twitter: foreign rights, what an agent does after the book is sold, communication with agents dos and don’ts, and elevator pitches.

Please share your ideas in the comments below and I’ll start answering your questions. I am going to ease into it so it might take time to get to everyone, but I want to talk about things you want to hear about so please get involved. No question is unimportant! However, if it is better suited to a written post or comment reply I may do that.

I look forward to your thoughts.

Managing Expectations

It’s one thing to have a fantastic manuscript and big dreams, but it’s another to have unrealistic expectations about how the industry will unfold in front of you. Each manuscript has a different path to publication–if it’s destined to be there–but, there are certain realities that never change:

  1. Be prepared. Know how the industry works and the processes involved. Know that not all first-time novels make it to publication so how are you setting yourself up to succeed in the long term?
  2. Don’t quit your day job. It takes a long time to see money come in from a book. Advances are split into three parts and you only see royalty payments come in twice a year, provided you’ve earned out your advance.
  3. Always keep writing. Whether you book is currently being shopped by an agent or you already have a deal, keep working on the next project. You never know what will happen so in the meantime: write! Continue reading Managing Expectations

How are you contributing to your genre?

As an aspiring writer your goal should never be just to get your work out there, but how to get interesting media coverage, stand out in a bookstore, turn heads and have ears perk up. Each genre has tropes that are expected, but to break into mainstream publishing you also need to have your own spin.

Zone One‘s Colson Whitehead said: “If you’re writing a detective novel or horror or sci-fi, you want to expand or reinvigorate the genre in your own little way.” And I think this rings true for all genres. What are you trying to do that’s different? How are you contributing to your genre? How are you helping to move your genre in a new direction?

Great examples of this are Zone One, The Tipping Point, The Sisters Brothers, Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, Wolf Hall, The Prague Cemetery, and The Stepford Wives.

Continue reading How are you contributing to your genre?