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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

the THREE THINGS

Hello everyone! Today I want to talk about the re-focusing of my publishing efforts.

I've had to really think about how to proceed when I get to the end of my agent list, which is getting close. I'm not done querying yet, but I've been reflecting on the process and have come to realize there are three things that go a long way in helping you secure an agent. And here they are:

    1) Endorsements/referrals - this means having published authors who have read your book, liked it, and are willig to be quoted as saying so- and who will refer you to their agent so that they'll read your query a bit more closely.

    2) Publishing credits- if you can sell an article to a magazine or newspaper, this will positively affect your query.

    3) Face-to-face meetings with agents- this is done at conferences. Many agents will only accept queries from writers they've met at conferences or who are referred to them by one of their current clients (#1).

So... I have decided I need to seek after one or more of these three things. The one I can begin to work on most quickly (which means you can too) is getting something published in a magazine or newspaper. This isn't to say I'll be successful right away, but it's something I can take action on. So I've pulled out my trusty Writer's Market and have begun looking for opportunities to submit freelance work. (I suppose I need to also actually write something.)

Next, I have to get serious about getting to a conference. Unfortunately, I will have to wait until at least February. I don't have time to save up for the ACFW Conference in September, nor am I able to leave my son that soon because he is still nursing. So, the next one is the CWG Conference in February. That's a long time to wait! And patience is not one of my virtues. But it's the only way to get a shot at some of the best agents in the industry. So a few months of waiting should be a no-brainer. A conference is also a good place to meet authors who may endorse my book or refer me to their agents. Of course the friendships to be made will far outweigh this benefit, but networking is important.

So, I'll need to start saving my pennies! I'm not sure how I'll do that. Maybe I'll have a couple of candle parties. Or maybe I'll even sell an article or two and use that to help pay for a conference. Amazing how all that could work together, huh?

*In the meantime, I'll let you in on a secret (shhhhh): I have an idea for another novel percolating in my brain.

The idea isn't even in the infant stage yet. Not even an embryo- more like a zygote. But it's there and it's growing. It's exciting to have this new idea to hold onto while I make my way impatiently down the publication road. I've mentioned it to only a couple of people, and you will be the first to hear about any progress I make right here.

9 comments:

Phoenix said...

Having a brand new baby to distract you is the absolute best way to wait out those long months ;o) And you have just enough time to get a second manuscript in shape to pitch in February, too! It's almost like you planned it...

Michelle Massaro said...

Well, he's not brand new- he's a year old already. But he sure is a distraction! Probably too much to get the second manuscript ready by February in fact. But I can sure try! Another distraction: I'm going to be homeschooling my 12 y.o. this fall- eek! Yeah, I'm a bit insane taking all this on at once. But you know what? Waiting for "the right time" to do what you want in life would end with many a dream never realized. So you just gotta step out in faith and do your best to juggle. =)

Dana said...

You are my inspiration, Michelle. Sounds like you are certainly doing your due diligence and making good informed decisions. I will pray that you will be able to go to the conference in Feb. Meanwhile anything I can do to support you I will try.

Michelle Massaro said...

Thanks Dana! I'm trying to be persistant and maintain balance (the hardest part).

Your comments on the blog and encouraging words make great support. Thank you so much! =)

Peri1020 said...

Having attended a writer's conference, yes, it is a wonderful opportunity to meet with an agent and pitch your work to them. You'll get direct, one-on-one feedback on what works and what doesn't work with your novel, and the other writers you meet will inspire and encourage you. You should definitely go if you have the opportunity (and going with a completed novel is a huge plus!). ~~Jacki

Terri Tiffany said...

It sounds like you have some good plans. I would also add to that list to take a few online writing courses and get in a good critique group to strengthen your writing skills. That is what ulitmately sells your work:) Blessings!

Michelle Massaro said...

Very true, Terri! I just submitted my interest in a critique group this morning as a matter of fact. I have yet to take writing classes though. I'll get that on my radar as soon as is feasible. =)

Thanks for weighing in and following my blog!

Amanda C. Davis said...

If you're looking to build fiction credits, a better resource may be Duotrope's Digest. http://duotrope.com/ I don't know whether there's a similar listing for nonfiction markets, but I recall the WM as being a bit hopeless.

Michelle Massaro said...

Thanks Amanda! I'll definitely check it out. Always great to get new resources. Thanks for stopping by and sharing!