I find that it's impossible for people to become members, no matter how hard they try. I've fixed the problems, and you should now be able to sign up and get your downloadable Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle script, "The Fifth Turtle." Click on the Join Us link to get started. If you have a problem, email me at email@example.com.
OK, so you’ve written and rewritten and rewritten your query letter, and you’ve done your research into other query letters, especially ones that have resulted in request for the entire book (at this stage, that’s gold). Now it’s time to send out that gem-like prose, your query letter. But to whom? No publisher will read queries, manuscripts or even Post-It notes that come in “over the transom,” as the saying goes. To get your book directly to a publisher, you will have to have a friend or client at the publishing house. That’s why you need an agent. They are the middle-men and (mostly)-women who have relationships with publishers, and who can get your book in front of an editor, with luck, an editor the agent knows is right for your book. Now it’s time to find that agent. You want to find an agent who represent your kind of book. If (like me) you’ve written a YA, or Young Adult, novel, you’ll want an agent familiar with that market. Likewise for thriller, romance, picture books or self-help. Google something like “the top [your category] agents.” Google will oblige you with any number of lists. Here are a few sites I’ve found useful:
As you might have noticed, I’m changing my blog to a subscriber version. This means (as you might also have noticed), that anyone can read a teaser of my blog posts, but only subscribers get the whole post. To sweeten the deal, in exchange for your email address I’m offering a FREE downloadable copy of the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles script I ever wrote, “The Fifth Turtle,” which was voted the number one best of all 193 TMNT episodes in a poll taken by the IGN.COM fan site. Here’s the link to the poll: Top Turtle. To get your free script, click on the ‘Join Us’ link below.
The Story Store is done. As I used to tell my writing students, That’s the easy part: now comes the hard part, selling it. And, unless you want to self-publish via Amazon, XLibris, or any one of the hundreds of vanity presses out there, you have to get an agent. Publishers will not look at an unsolicited manuscript because there are liability issues involved, and because (I suspect) most submissions that come in “over the transom,” in the lingo, aren’t worth reading. If you know an author who’s actually sold a book or two, you might request a look-see from his/her publisher, but if the publisher doesn’t like it, you’re back to square one. So: how to get an agent? Here’s my approach. Your mileage may vary.
The best part of yesterday was the chance to meet with the agents, publishers, coaches and packagers one-on-one. It was a kind of speed-dating setup, with the presenters at tables and us attendees in line to talk with them. My current aim (besides finishing my 3rd draft of The Story Store), is to get an agent, so I just met with them. Turns out, one agent also represents a writer friend. Always a good sign.
This is the agent & publisher panel. Later, we get to schmooze with them. As I thought, the presenters had good & useful tips, but wanted big bucks ($400 - $2400) to give you the whole package. I am not going to cough up my hard-earned cash until I get The Story Store sold.
I'm at a 3 day event, Author 101 University in LA at the Westin. I will post whatever might be of interest. I admit to being cynical about these things. People usually just want to sell you stuff. Walking to the meeting room, I passed a dozen booths with people wanting to sell me stuff. But hope springs eternal (see Cubs fans).
The adage “If it ain’t on the page, it ain’t on the stage” (attributed to Fred Finkelhoffe), came to mind whilst working on my 3rd draft. I realized that while I know my main characters very well, their passions and motivations weren’t necessarily clear to the reader. Also, my tendency not to put everything on the page, to want to make the reader work a little bit, might be, rather than clever, just obscure. People call that writing “too hip for the room.”
Two months? Really? Yes. I was on vacation. And when I wasn’t on vacation, I was goofing off. Poor excuses, but the best I’ve got. I finished the 2nd draft in mid-July, and put it aside for a while and did some writing on my next book or books, “Tommy Collins: One Lad’s Adventures.” More on that later.
Well into my 2nd draft, and already making copious notes for the 3rd. I thought this was going to be easier. I keep coming across writing I thought was so clever the first time around, and discovering that it just doesn’t work. The quotation I keep reciting is “in writing you must kill all your darlings.” Attributed to various authors since the early 20th century, including Faulkner, Oscar Wilde and Anton Chekov, my favorite version is from Stephen King, who wrote, “kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings.”