In November of 2014, I received an email that sat in my inbox for several weeks.
I get stuff all the time, videos, links to websites, pictures. I have to say there’s nothing I hate more when I ask for something in an email and I get a link for an answer. JUST TELL ME! Don’t make me go looking.
Anyway, so this link to a book crossed my path in an email. The book was called Writer’s Market.
I was putting the final touches on Forty Times Platinum with the Scribendi proofreader. It was still my intention to self publish. But after scanning a few pages of Writer’s Market, and seeing how many agents are looking for new clients, I was overwhelmed with a sense of strange hope. Even though I knew deep down that it couldn’t happen.
Things like that don’t happen to me.
I have a very strange type of luck. I am the last car to drive past what will become a ten car pileup. And on the morning of 9/11, I was on a plane coming back from L.A. And even though I was on the right plane, again luck struck and we were one of the last planes to get clearance to land at JFK. Hundreds of others were diverted.
But I don’t have the luck I feel is necessary to have anything truly great and extraordinary happen.
Because I do believe there is a sense of luck in getting published. There’s something to be said for being in the right place at the right time and being in the wrong place at the wrong time. When you strip away all the fantasy notions about a publisher, at the end of the day it’s sea of people working in an office (or at a home computer).
Think about your job and all the emails you get. Think about the days when you clearly aren’t in the mood to do a certain aspect of your job. We all have them. So to me, it’s my luck, that I will send a query to someone on what will probably turn out to be a terrible day for that editor or agent. Everything sucks when you’re in a bad mood.
Or I’m the email they’ve opened up and someone will then burst into their office with an emergency and when they get back, they’ve lost track of where they are and assume, they’ve read mine and discarded it. (More on my adventures in query writing in a later post).
Still with all that, I did also come to the realization that I was going to have to justify spending $7000 to my husband —even though it’s my own money. We’ve been married for 8 years next week and still 90% of our money is sitting in separate accounts. The reason? Lazy. My husband has the summers off and every June, I say “This year we are going to the banks!” and next thing I know it’s September.
So I found myself faced with the daunting task to start querying agents. Most editors don’t even accept queries directly. And when you get an agent, they will contact all the publishers.
I went through the book and checked off all the agents who are accepting new clients. BUT, publishing is dynamic. So while at the time, Writer’s Market was being published, an agent was open to new clients— that could always change. So every agent had to be further researched online.
And of course I had to find for those looking for material in my genre.
So there I was faced with my genre dilemma again. Is Forty Times Platinum Women’s Fiction or is it really a Romance? I decided to contact agents looking for both and figured I would write two queries (we all know how easy queries are to write) each slanted toward a particular genre.
By the time I was done, I had found 70 agents that I wanted to contact. 70 queries to send out. 70 agents to research and find out what they are looking for, who and what they published, what are their interests, are they speaking at any conferences, are they judging any contests. I created a spreadsheet that I had to end up printing on an 11×17 sheet and it was still six pages long.
By the time I was done, I knew one thing: Forty Times Platinum, wasn’t going anywhere for at least another six months.
To be continued.