After the thrill of discovering that we could write, after writing that great first opening line and finally typing those two amazing little words, “The End” we writers have discovered that writing the book is the fun, easy, and cost-effective part of the writing journey. Marketing and promotion is a whole other story. It takes time, impeccable timing, and sometimes can cost the author hundreds of dollars to gain a piece of the marketing pie (book tours, book trailers, radio interviews, hire a publicist, travel, marketing materials such as bookmarks, etc., to name a few). So when I find a great source of information that doesn’t cost me anything other than my time, I’m on it.
When I opened my e-mail this week, I found my much anticipated Writer’s Digest E-newsletter. It’s one of the best freebies out there for writers looking for solid writing information is the. It’s full of great articles, advice, and reprints of articles from their monthly magazine. One of the articles that immediately caught my attention in this issue was the piece titled, “5 Quick Tips for Writer/Agent Negotiations.” I’d always heard that a reputable agent will not charge a reading fee, but the other points were just as interesting. Since I will soon be seeking representation for my current work in progress, over the past several months I’ve focused on gathering as much information as possible about agents who represent mystery/suspense. It’s a scary prospect to think that once I have the novel completed it could take months/years before it goes to print, but my eyes are wide open and that’s a risk I’m willing to take.
The important thing is to do your homework.
- Focus on only those who accept your genre.
- Read their submission guidelines and follow it to the letter.
- Polish that query letter and synopsis. Ask several trusted friends who have written them before to read them and offer suggestions.
- Send query letters to the top five agents on your list, wait two weeks, and send to the next five and so on and so forth.
Preditors & Editors To read about how agents work, check out this link: http://www.anotherealm.com/prededitors/pubagent.htm
Association of Authors Representatives (AAR) check the "search for an agent" link.
How many more are you aware of?
About the author:
Marta Stephens writes crime mystery/suspense. Her books are available online at familiar shops such as all the Amazons, Barnes & Noble, Borders, Books-a-Million, and Powells. Other locations include, but are not limited to those listed on her website.
THE DEVIL CAN WAIT (2008) Bronze Medal Finalist, 2009 IPPY Awards, Top Ten, 2008 Preditors and Editors Reader Poll (mystery)
SILENCED CRY (2007) Honorable Mention, 2008 New York Book Festival, Top Ten, 2007 Preditors and Editors Reader Poll (mystery)