Actually, the synopsis writing isn’t going too badly. I made one start, got it about halfway done, then decided it was boring. Then I made a second attempt and decided it was considerably better–if a bit boring towards the end. Then, based on another synopsis I saw, I added some information to it, which I think makes it even better.
I have a friend who has experience editing and helping authors with their presentation materials, so I am going to throw my query and synopsis at her and get her opinion.
She has mentioned that in the fantasy/sci-fi genre, many authors go straight to publishers, rather than getting an agent first, and that many of the larger publishers are used to helping authors directly with their marketing (which is traditionally the task of agents). I had thought that I would only tackle submissions to publishers after I had exhausted my list of agents, but I’m starting to wonder if I should rethink that.
Most agents reply in 2 months or less (2-3 weeks seems about average for e-mailed queries), but publishers take 6-12 months to reply. Which is disheartening, but at the same time, it seems to make sense to send them queries now–while continuing to query agents–because, hopefully, it puts me that much closer to getting published. If I wait until, say, July to start sending them queries, then it will be next year before I hear anything back. But if I start now, I might hear something by the end of this year.
I would really like to have an agent or publisher by the end of this year. If not, I believe I will give serious consideration to self-publication of my first book.
Here are some links for others needing help with their synopsis:
How to write a synopsis
Hunting for an Agent (this has a nice sample synopsis, and I liked her layout so much, I copied it.)
How to write a synopsis (this is not as informative as the first link, but there are a lot of good tidbits and author talk in the comments which can prove helpful)
Synopsis Samples (these are all synopses for romance books, which may not translate exactly into other genres, but it does at least give you a place to start)
Although maybe I should have gotten a picture of Miss Thang, who just walked past my office window–wearing a sweatshirt, gym shorts up to her butt cheeks, and a pair of cowboy boots. I would proclaim her Her Royal Hawtness, but given that it’s 50-something degrees outside, I don’t think she’s anything but an ice princess with those bare legs.