Wednesday, October 04, 2006

All I want for Christmas is a kick ass agent who will sell my MS. Really.

I've been reading several agents blogs recently. Kind of my attempt at FBI style profiling. If I know how agents think, maybe I can craft my query in such a way as to make several of them, OK a handful, maybe just one good one, say "I need to represent this book from Kim Stagliano."

The thing of it is, I already know how agents think, having been in sales and promotions for many years, prior to becoming an autism Mom and having to trade my day job for a day and night job.

Agents want a query that says "I and my client can sell many, many copies of this book." Fairly simple. Agents, like writers, want to sell books. I've got to believe that every agent hopes the next JK Rowling's query is in that stack of envelopes piling up on his/her desk. And perhaps they are as disappointed/frustrated by crappy queries as we writers are by the sight of our own SASE's back in the mailbox? Can you see them plodding down Fifth Avenue, eyes down, hardly daring to look in the windows at Saks, knowing that big payday just passed them by as yet another boatload of fokakta queries just hit the in-box?

I'm struggling with my query -- which I thought was quite strong, to the point and frill-free. Just the facts, ma'am. Here's the book, here's the plot, here's the conflict, here's why I'm qualified to write it and here's how I plan to market it and why it will sell. I don't go out of my way to be witty I just wrote it following the guidelines of the industry. Is it the the "A" word; autism that is a turn off? Is it the title? How do you SHOW an agent that your book is funny and sharp and fresh in one paragraph without committing the cardinal sin of TELLING them "trust me, my book is sharp and funny and fresh and saleable." You might as well say "But my mother reeeally likes this book and my writing teacher at Tick Tock Tech online authors school promises me it will be a best seller."

Maybe I'll just go watch Finding Nemo today. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming.

KS

7 comments:

TJBrown said...

Swimming, swimming swimming is all you can do, Kim. Good Luck!
Teri

Ceridwen said...

I hear ya, Kim. Good luck to both of us. Frankly, I really want to read your book and I wish they'd publish it already! :)

CJ said...

There might not be anything wrong with your query at all--maybe it's just a matter of your work not having crossed the desk of the right person yet.

I think lots of rejections are pretty much par for the course in this industry. Hard not to let it make you doubt yourself, though.

Have you run your query through a critique group? Just to see how it affects other people? Maybe you could post it here and we could tell you what we think. :)

(I found your blog through the ChickLit yahoo group, btw.)

Trish Ryan said...

If you're witty (and I know you are!) try sending some queries out with THAT voice. I wouldn't want a book that was "just the facts" when I could have the same information delivered in an entertaining manner. And you can entertain as well as inform :)

LaShaunda said...

When you get the answer to all your questions please share with all of who also want an agent for Christmas. LOL!

Kim Stagliano said...

You got it LaShaunda! I'm willing to share! :)

Richard L. said...

We rarly succeed in our first or second attempt as you well know. Perseverance has been the mark of many successful people. Be one of them!