Blech. I don’t even know if I want to write about all this.
So I finished my fourth draft, *cheer* now I’m hunkering down into the query trenches *whimper*.
For anyone who isn’t familiar with the process of traditional publishing, it goes like this…
A) You write a book (obviously)
B) You pitch your book to a literary agent (the ‘pitch’ is also referred to as a query letter)
C) If the agent likes your pitch they’ll request to read your book
D) If the agent likes your BOOK they’ll offer you representation (or in other words they’ll take it to publishers)
E) Your agent pitches your book to publishers (also referred to as ‘your book being on submission’)
F) If the PUBLISHERS like your book they will offer you a publishing contract.
That’s how you get traditionally published. Although, even then G) PEOPLE have to like the book and buy it in order for it to be successful.
Needless to say, this process has been INCREDIBLY intimating. You try to do your research like a good little author but, hey, it turns out that writing an attention-grabbing pitch is incredibly subjective. Who knew. It’s like every bit of information I came across was contradicting to the last. Personalize your query letter. Don’t waste your time personalizing. Start with your hook. Start with your personalization. Put your information at the top of the email. Definitely never put your information anywhere else except under your signature. But the one thing that they all agree on? THERE WILL NEVER BE ANYTHING MORE IMPORTANT THAN THIS ONE LETTER YOU ARE WRITING RIGHT NOW.
Headache. Honestly. I haven’t even gotten any rejections yet and I feel super discouraged. I procrastinated and groaned and kicked the dust around until finally the other night I FORCED myself to proceed to step B. Yikes. I sent to a pretty small handful of agents just to get my feet wet. We’ll see.
So, now the question on your mind… Will I get to read this book?
Um. I don’t know. I hope so.
It’s a quirky little novel and unfortunately, just as the main character straddles between two versions of herself, the book also straddles between two potential audiences. Would fierce partiers and rockers really want to read about a piddly main character who is Mormon? And would a Mormon parent really buy a book for their kid that has swear words and drug references? I’m just not sure. This could be a marketing problem… (um, probably won’t include that in my query letter)
I could really foresee a kind of Freaks and Geeks cult following of those who would appreciate both sides (as I did growing up). But in a business/commercial sense it is quite risky, so if I can’t get agents and publishers to envision that kind of marketability then…. ???
So, that is it. My worries and insecurities all over the internet for everyone to see and think about. If you have any encouragement or good vibes please send ’em my way. Meanwhile, I’ll be burying my head into other projects and trying not to think about my inbox too much.