Yes, this is filled with whisky

Yes, this is filled with whisky

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

10 Things to Do While Agents Dawdle around with your full manuscript

1. If this book is intended to be a series, map out the next three to five books.  A plot thumbnail, character development, setting. 

2. Clean up your electronic presence.  Review your blog posts for the last year for spelling errors, or flabby sentences.  Make sure your contact information is up to date.

3. Read as many debut authors in your category as you can.  Make friends with them on Facebook and Twitter (trust me, they want to be your friend!)

4. Start the next book.

5. Read Bleak House by Charles Dickens.

6. Read a book of poems. I suggest Richard Blanco.

7. Read a book that a total stranger reccomends (Amazon lists are a good place to start; Twitter too.)

8. Increase your elevator pitch skills by writing and honing pitches for books you've read and loved (but not written.)

9. Write the synopsis for your book in three forms: three pages, one page, one paragraph.

10. Read Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry.

20 comments:

Beth said...

My husband will begin sending queries out next week. I'll hand him a copy of your post when he starts driving me crazy.

Katie New said...

Waiting on betas and CPs. Doing a few of these tips, but need to go back through old articles and clean up before resubmitting.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

11 - Purge the larder of all things whole grained and non-processed. Fill with all things on the no-no list like booze, linguini and Rocky Road.
Advil PM helps too.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

LONESOME DOVE is one of my all-time favorite books. And now, despite my towering TBR pile, I want to re-read it. :)

John "Ol' Chumbucket" Baur said...

Excellent suggestions all, and – sad to say – extremely timely.

Melissa Dymock said...

Where are people discovering new authors? I know for me personally I happen upon a book, like the concept, and read it. I have no idea if the author has written one book or ten. Most of the writers I meet are in YA, and I don't write YA.

Colin Smith said...

I read BLEAK HOUSE a few years ago, and I really enjoyed it. Does that mean I'm a real writer, now? ;)

Seriously, this is a good list, and one I hope to refer to in the not-too-distant future, when I start querying, after I recover from the shock of actually getting a full request from an agent... :)

Colin Smith said...

Melissa:

One good way to discover new writers is to follow agent blogs (and follow agents on Twitter, too). I've become a fan of a couple of Janet's clients because of her promoting their debuts on her blog. Neither of them write YA.

Google searches, Goodreads, and Publisher's Weekly are other excellent venues to find new writers (and new writer recommendations).

Terri Lynn Coop said...

11. I have to keep my whole grains, doctor's orders, but otherwise I approve of Carolynn's suggestions.

12. I still have to vote for reading Texasville. McMurtry tricked me into reading literary fiction with that damn book. I still haven't forgiven him.

13. Enter a contest like NYC Midnight.

14. Do your taxes. Wait, that's just me and it's October 15th. Okay, signing off . . .

Terri

Steve Stubbs said...

Excellent suggestions, but I have one concern. Too time consuming. If anyone did all that, s/he would not have any time left to grips about agents.

Janet Reid said...

Steve, my evil plan...exposed!

Sarah Allen said...

Lonesome Dove is one of my all-time favorites!

Elissa M said...

I like that half of these suggestions involve reading something than one's own work. Writers must always be readers first.

Karen Myers said...

Self-publish and avoid the whole situation.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Hahahaha, I'm up for self publishing...I think.

10 Things to do while you come up with, and implement, a marketing plan:
Please refer to my earlier comment. Add to that number 12 - therapy, and I don't mean physical.

BP said...

Oh, *useful* things to do while you wait. I was thinking this was going to be the list of advice about stalking Jack Reacher and procuring bourbon!

donnaeverhart.com said...

I didn't see finger tapping, eyes on clock and calendar on this list.

:>)

Love the list, I've hit at least half of them, including Carolynn's, but I have to give a shout out to #4. And that was b/c while I was waiting on agent replies, I had to prove to myself I could actually do it again.

Handy Man, Crafty Woman said...

I read Lonesome Dove for the first time in January. WOW!

Jenz said...

I don't know about anyone else, but I'm not getting a good follow-back rate with new authors on Twitter. I've been chalking that up to poor Twitter usage (you need to use lists and a Twitter client to manage them to get maximum benefit). Though now I'm considering that they just don't like me personally.

Kathy Steinemann said...

More for point #2: Punch up your biography. Make it exciting. Ensure that readers and fellow authors want to visit your blog or book page.