Still pulled over …

… actually, I think I’m about to roll off into the ditch and I’m extremely irritated with myself.

I spent the day looking at agents again. The good news is that I’ve increased my list of possibilities from 4 to 14. The bad news is, I spent the rest of my time reading example query letters, interviews with agents, articles about “the business side of writing,” and basically anything that I could tell myself was constructive but in truth was a device to avoid actually writing a query letter myself.

Somebody snap me out of it!

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7 thoughts on “Still pulled over …

  1. Okay, get off your duff. This is ridiculous.

    I know of three agents that take queries, Hartline, Steve Laube and Knight Agency. I know you are slightly leery of CBA agents, but you could try…

    Besides, if you gt rejected by them, you’d be in good company! And if you’re not? Kudos!

  2. Thanks, buddy. =) You scare me just enough that I believe I will get queries out tomorrow!

    And, hey — I’m not leery of CBA, I just don’t think I fit. I’ll start with my 14 (actually, I’ll have to start with 13 because 1 doesn’t take simultaneous submissions).

    I’ll let you know as soon as I lick the envelopes/click “send.” (depending on whether they take email queries or require snail mail!)

  3. I narrowed it down to the four agents on my list that will accept simultaneous submissions, all of which require snail mail. So, no, I did not email anyone. Instead, I spent last night personalizing four query letters to include books/authors that each agent represents which are similar in some way to mine/me, which should theoretically explain why I chose to submit to them (this took much, much longer than I expected, and was at times really frustrating! In fact, there were two other agents that I was going to submit to, but after spending tons of time on each one without being able to fabricate a reason for selecting them, I realized that perhaps I shouldn’t have selected them!).

    Then I was all ready to print out the queries. But two of the agents want sample chapters with the query (which I like). So I went into my manuscript, ready to print out a bit of it, and … what?!! The formatting was positively loopy. How does that happen, exactly? I typed the dang thing in myself, no cutting and pasting or file converting, just typing. But there were headers on some pages and not on others, weird paragraphing glitches, pages with a few sentences and an unexplained apparent page break … ARGH! Pete rescued me by hitting that button that exposes formatting, and voila! Some magical little computer troll had apparently gone into my lovely “finalized” document and inserted 160(!) random section breaks. How the heck did that happen? That’s not even the default setting when I hit “insert break!” You have to intentionally click on the little bubble to get one of those! So I spent I-don’t-know-how-long going through and deleting every unexplainable section break, until finally it was over an hour past my bedtime and I was exhausted.

    Whatever! I finally have all four query letters ready to go, I have only to walk over to the printer right this minute, plug in my laptop and print them out, along with the cleaned-up sample chapters, and then I’ll run (okay, drive) down to Postal Annex and get the things out there.

    Then what? Golly, I have no idea. I think I might just lose all sense of purpose and direction. No, I’ll more likely pitch a tent next to the mailbox until I hear from all four.

    Thanks for being tough with me, James. The mark of a true friend!

  4. Okay, everything’s printed out (interrupted by an emergency ink cartridge change–thank heaven I have a responsible husband who keeps extras on hand. Can you imagine how long it would have taken me to get to Office Depot? I could have milked that for weeks!).

    In case you’re wondering, the Big Four who shall be blessed by my queries are:

    Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency (query only)

    Wendy Sherman Associates, Inc. (query plus 1st chapter)

    Dunham Literary (query only)

    The Grosvenor Literary Agency (query plus three chapters)

    Jennie Dunham is the one I think I fit with the best. We’ll see if she agrees.

    I am feeling woozy. Perhaps Pete should do the driving …

    I promise to now stop posting exclusively about every teeny step in my submission process. I hope I can still log on to the internet from my tent out by the mailbox.

  5. Mandy –

    Just mail it…then pray…and it will all happen in God’s good time…it always does! Plus, pitching a tent outside where you live – can get pretty cold at night. 🙂

  6. Hey —

    I mailed it all out later that day–the queries-only from my mailbox, and the ones that included chapters from Postal Annex.

    I abandoned the tent idea. It’s been in the 30s and below, not to mention that it’s been snowing all day today (we’d planned to go to a minor league game today! Never mind!).

    Right now, I’m trying to get all my stuff together in case one of the agents does want more. I wish writing a novel consisted only of writing a novel, but it unfortunately also includes writing a synopsis (actually, two of them–a one-page and a three-page), marketing plan, outline, and sometimes even a book proposal (though that’s usually for nonfiction only).

    I’m willing to do the work, though. I just hope I do it well!

    Thanks for the encouragement, Helene –
    Mandy

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