Back on the Wagon

I had to skip two agents: the one who wanted a synopsis, and the next one on the list who wanted a synopsis and 50 pages of double-spaced manuscript by snail mail. But I did send in a query letter (via online submission form). Woo!

Oh, and I looked at my list of query letter submissions, and I haven’t submitted one since 10/19. So it took 4 months to revise my book and do another query letter. Working full-time certainly cuts down on the amount of time I have to spend on my book. But it pays a hell of a lot better. 

I probably shouldn’t say this publicly–at least before I get an agent–but why on earth would any agent want to still get unsolicitaed manuscripts by snail mail? It seems so primitive… and time-consuming. It’s so much easier to reply to an e-mail query with a form letter and then delete it. Dumping stuff in a trash can is work–especially if you have to then empty said trash can.

But maybe it separates a little bit of the chaff from the wheat; people who aren’t serious aren’t going to go to the expense and effort to put 50+ pages in the mail. There will still be crap arriving in the mail, but not quite as much crap as will arrive in the e-mail inbox.

Still, I am not up to the point of desperation to snail mail unsolicited partials. If an agent requests a partial via mail, I will run over people to get it in the mail box. And if someone asks for just a query letter by mail, I can spare the 44 cents. But $2.00 and a lot of copying for a high probability of rejection? I’ll keep my money and paper. I can rack up rejections for free!

Oh, the coincidence! As I was finishing up this blog, “Paperback Writer” by the Beatles came on my Pandora radio station.

Dear Sir or Madam, will you read my book?
It took me years to write, will you take a look?
It’s based on a novel by a man named Lear
And I need a job, so I want to be a paperback writer,
Paperback writer.

It’s the dirty story of a dirty man
And his clinging wife doesn’t understand.
The son (The Sun) is working for the Daily Mail,
It’s a steady job but he wants to be a paperback writer,
Paperback writer.

Paperback writer (paperback writer)

It’s a thousand pages, give or take a few,
I’ll be writing more in a week or two.
I can make it longer if you like the style,
I can change it round and I want to be a paperback writer,
Paperback writer.

If you really like it you can have the rights,
It could make a million for you overnight.
If you must return it, you can send it here
But I need a break and I want to be a paperback writer,
Paperback writer.

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One comment on “Back on the Wagon

  1. Christine/Leonor says:

    Just a note about synopsis requests- as that’s what I do for a living- as an editor- it is typical of publishers for a print book and sometimes for an e- Book to require a synopsis prior to submission. Several publishing companies that I know of won’t even accept a submission without a synopsis, many agents are the same. They want to see your ideas to see if you are worth representing not to steal them and none of them want to read the book right away bc once its gone thru copy edit and then line edit, it will look like an entirely different book and no one escapes editing.

    Many will accept a query letter and then require a synopsis before agreeing to represent you. I’m sure there are a million “want to be published sites” that tell you otherwise but I don’t want to be published I’m on the other side’s team. Right now I deal with Military Fiction, Horror, alternative romance, romance and whatever they can’t find someone else to do…

    The snail mail request is probably bc it is too easy to change things on an email submission it is to protect your material as well as to protect the agent from “attack” by the author for “destroying” their manuscript. (MS) Its amazing some of the crap that goes on.

    Like I said I work for the “other side” so I can see what works and doesn’t work on submissions. I work for 1 particular publisher that does eBooks and print books and I do freelance on the side for other co.’s and some SciFi authors to help them get ready for submission to wherever- with the understanding that the publisher will re-edit their book with their guidelines regardless of what work we have done on it 🙂

    Anyhow my 6 cents worth of experience.

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