making a move:

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An early christmas presentappeared on my desk a few days ago…. a computer complete with internet connection!

I haven’t blogged in a few months but I have been writing, reading and learning so having logged back on here I realise it’s time to start fresh and taking on board all of your comments hopefully I’ll not only make a better blog but also a better me.

please find me at caswebb.wordpress.com , I look forward to touching base with all of you again!

cheers

cas

 

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http://queryshark.blogspot.com/

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Click on this and you’ll loose hours trowling through the accumulated wisdom.

http://queryshark.blogspot.com/

 

That’s a ‘no’

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Ford street got back to me yesterday, a lovely well formatted letter but ultimatly a ‘no’.

so where to now?

I worry that it is not so much the letter or the story that can be improved and therefore be accepted by another publisher down the line, but that it is the genre and theme itself that the publishers feel simply isn’t right for them.

Which means that rather than putting time and effort into another query search i don’t know if maybe i should just be starting a whole new story in a whole new genre … a rose by any other name may still smell as sweet but a novel with the wrong title doesn’t seem to get opportunity to reveal it’s sweet scent.

what to do… what to do?

To query one publisher with 2 manuscripts or not?

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Two manuscripts, two queries, what’s the best way to do this?

So i’ve had 2 manuscripts that i’ve been querying for a while and i’m to the point where i’m querying publishers because i’ve run out of agents.

My problem is i’ve a publisher, black dog books, who i really like looking at one of these manuscripts whilst another has passed on the other.

I want to query black dog books with my other manuscript too but i’m not sure if that will give a bad impression.

On the one hand in the unlikely event that both books are snavelled up at the same time friction might be created between two editors trying to get my attention at once. I don’t want to be seen as a problem, or potential problem, at all.

On the other hand is there a possibility that they will see how hard i work and how much i want to be a good writer by the fact that i haven’t just given up and sat on my bum after writing book 1, but i have also writen another and worked it through edits etc.

so really to query the same publisher with 2 different works or not?

And if i do should i mention in the query that they’re currently looking at my other work two?

Agent Query Update

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So here’s my plans of attack

and my records

of Agents i’ve queried

(since beginning this blog, and i just had to search back 4 pages to find this so i’m moving it forwards)

CURRENT SUBMISSIONS AND RESEARCH

Wow… i’ve nothing that’s currently being submitted. Time to get my ass into gear.

 

PAST SUBMISSIONS:

Agent/Date/response/what was sent

  • 5/3/11, still no word and it’s now well over 3 months so no news is bad news. 25/9/10 i received a quick ‘we’ve received your query’ email today, which is great so i know the email got there safely – now i just have to wait. 24/9/10 i hit the send button on this query today! 22/8/10. Still no word from either the agent in the Uk about Kemla or Random House about Shadow Wisdom. I’m starting to go mad… and to research who my next option is.http://www.bdb.com.au/submissions/ BLACK DOG PUBLISHERS. I’ve blogged my thoughts on them separately as I do the research but they’re Australian which might be bonus. 
  • 5/1/11 lovely reply and rather quick too given that everything went through the hard copy postal system over the busy christmas period. but a ‘no’ anyway. 9/12/10 doing the research to send out Shadow Wisdom again. This time looking at Ford Street Publishers. http://www.fordstreetpublishing.com/shop.php They publish a few authors that i’ve admired for some time now so i’m a little intimidated too.
  •  

    The only thing slowing me down is that they’re good old fashion by post queries. So i have to wait until i have a day where i can print everything out etc. Hopefully everything will be in the post on the 13/12… crossing my fingers.

  • It’s been a while since this idea went up too so my guess here is they’re not interested – this time? Llewellyn publishing: http://www.llewellyn.com/about/author_submissions.php No known name to specifically address this too. This one’s for a non-fiction spirituality based work that’s been tickling me lately. It’s been an experience trying to put together the proposal but after learning the hard way about fiction series’ I’m not about to waste a second of my time on work that no one wants to read. After all my scribbled notes are good enough for me… here’s with fingers crossed and waiting for a reply!
  •  

  • It’s the 5/12, well over 3 months and no word so as they say no news is ‘sorry, not interested’ in publishing jargon. Random House. 25/7/10. For ‘Shadow Wisdom’, they publish both ‘Fallen’ and ‘Rangers Apprentice’ both in my age bracket and also of similar audiences and also very well represented. I know, they’re a full blown publishing house and not an agent and this is a huge risk but i’ve written a whole other frustrated post on this matter. Their guidelines are on their website and the email address is: kidspitch@randomhouse.com.au : Here’s with fingers crossed.
  • http://www.curtisbrown.com.au/ for Shadow Wisdom. Australian agents don’t have as much information out there as American agents – at least that’s what I’ve found, and the email address was generic so i hope i did the right thing in addressing the query to everyone in the office.http://austlitagentsassoc.com.au/members.html Said  “We prefer initial contact to be by phone or email” but their website says “We do not accept e-mailed or faxed submissions.” So I hope I’ve done the right thing in sending about three – four quick paragraphs by email as initial contact. I’m not keen on the up to 10 week turnaround but at least they’re honest about it on their website. So here’s to crossing my fingers. 15/7/10 I received a very quick and polite reply from Elle Brown with some great recommendations for other websites i can find other agents. So a no but a nice one.
  • Writers House: http://www.writershouse.com/Dan Lazar: For Shadow Wisdom mostly due to my previous like for Dan’s reputation and his note on wanting to represent a modern witch story – here’s to hoping my modern witch story will be good enough. 13/7/10 – An emailed ‘not for us’ was received on the 15/7/10 so by all accounts a quick turn around however it was exactly the same ‘not for us’ email from the last submission i sent in. I’ll admit that perhaps my work is simply to not them but it’s disheartening when they can’t even personally reply – do they not want writers to submit to them? They don’t need us anymore?“Thank you for your query. Dan Lazar asked me to reply after he evaluated your submission.We’re afraid your project does not seem right for our list, but thank you for thinking of Dan, and best of luck in your search for representation.”

– I’ve recieved this email twice now; anyone else?

  • Writers House: http://www.writershouse.com/Jodi Reamer: Yeah i know i was letting myself in for a NO here and she must get SOOO many queries by beginners and hopefuls such as myself but what writer doesn’t believe their work deserves the best? Written query sent in April 2010. written reply in March 2010. Great turnaround. Form letter from her assistant, very nice and polite. Sent her ‘Kemla’
  • Writers House: http://www.writershouse.com/Dan Lazar: A younger agent, might have more luck, but still a great agency and he likes the YA scene. E Query in May 2010, response was in a few days, very short but still polite.  Sent him ‘Kemla’.

Query editing

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This is the last Query I sent out, it wen’t to a friend of a friend type thing so i worry i may have made it a little too personal and not quite professional enough:

17/6/2010

Dear

 I’d like to thank you for taking the time to read this, I understand that your time is valuable. The manuscript I’m presenting you with is ‘Kemla’, the first novel in my young adult fantasy series set in a medieval-Celtic-type world.

 Who’s Kemla? I’ll let her explain:

“My name’s Kemla, I’m seventeen and that’s about all I own – my name and my past. The rest is hope and prayers and the idea of determination. It’s all good and well to want freedom but going out and achieving it is another matter all together. Freedom from fathers with heavy hands and short tempers, freedom from authorities with no boundaries – no limits to the damage they can do to you – freedom from magic entrapped silence, from hunters and now from slave traders.

All my hopes rest on a single slave trader, on Leon and his vein of compassion amongst the insanity I’ve landed myself in. I’ll blame myself because I can’t blame my little sisters, it’s not their fault they needed rescuing, I can’t blame my ma as she had no one else to send after my sisters – I can’t blame the traders either… blaming them could mean their deaths from my wayward magic and Leon won’t allow that. Magic – me! It’s almost a joke, only not the sort anyone wants to laugh at.

My worlds been turned on it’s head, not that it wasn’t a little skewed before.

Magic, beasts, treachery and treason and the worst new addition to my life – marriage! I guess in a way being captured by slave traders is a good thing. Now ma can’t hint at my coming of age, my need to be presentable and mingle with the townsfolk. People I don’t even know, men who could all have tempers. I don’t need a man, I need a plan – an escape – my freedom…”

And the ending to book one:

“… Fate quite possibly had a bigger hand in my life than I cared to admit. No sooner had I manage my escape – I was worried Leon wouldn’t pull through for me but in the end it was Leon who untied my ropes, Leon who shouted for me to run – and I found myself somewhere in the middle of a strange realm with bandits and Sara’s sons to worry about. It’s almost odd how I grouped an admiring guy in the same category as blood thirsty bandits but anyone taking an interest in me was in trouble – one way or another.

At least that was my first impression of him. He saw me – admittedly I’d been a mess since my slave capture – and grasped at his sword hilt. I reacted in the same way, a kitchen table between us but we were both willing to leap over it at the slightest sign of danger. How that turned into him picking me flowers and buying me presents I’ll never understand – but I’ll never let him go either.

So in the end ma was right – I’m not going to tell her that though and I haven’t agreed to anything starting with the letter ‘m’ yet. For now my sights are set on something else – settling scores with slave traders and finding Leon.”

 Settling scores with slave traders and finding Leon are matters covered in book two, in book one the heroin finds freedom, love and a sense of control over her life.

This series has been in the making for several years, over a decade, with the past two years being pure editing time. I’ve also roughed out books two and three in the ‘Kemla series’, right now they’re just waiting for book one to be finalised and I’m fully willing to tweak them all as yourself or an editor see’s fit.

I’ve yet to present any novel to a publisher though I have had some success with short story competitions, and I am passionate about literature with a degree in the subject.

Again I’d like to thank you for your time, I look forward to hearing your response.

Enjoy

 Sincerely

And when i didn’t get a reply i sent this little followup.

Dear

 My name is Cassy and I’m just following up on my Young Adult Fantasy Manuscript ‘Kemla’ that I sent through in June 2010. Please find the Query resumitted below incase cyber space disposed of my first contact Via …..

 Thank you for your time, and I hope to speak more with you soon about the project.

 The followup was sent on the 31st of the 8th, so almost a month ago, making it almost 3 months and no reply yet… but am i being too rash? I’ll post my Query editing too…

Writing yet another Query

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Is there an addiction out there with the label ‘Query’ because i think i’m getting one. Every time i send out a manuscript query to a new publisher i re-write the query letter, and the introduction and the synopsis and you have to right? every agent and every publisher is different and you have to tailor your letters to the person you’re sending the letter to right now.

 But it occurred to me, what if the last letter i sent out was wrong for that agent, but will be right for this agent? What if i’m actually destroying my chances by re-writing this letter?

So how do you know? how do you know if you actually have the perfect query but you just sent it to the wrong person? The agent/publisher feedback doesn’t often steer a writer in the right direction, so i’m left in limbo?

Just wondering…

Am i doing the right thing here? or the complete opposite?

What would you do?

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