|~from The Huffington Post.|
Anyway, at lunch the other day I was making some online notes when a friend leans over my shoulder and stares along with me at the computer screen.
Here's what went down:
friend: "What the bleep are you doing checking out a dating site?"
me: "Oh hell no. Not doin' that. I'm happily married, and sometimes he even cooks dinner. Not gonna rock that boat ever."
friend: "Well then who the heck are those guys with bios you're staring at and making notes about?"
me: (sighs) "If you'll notice on the far right one of them is woman. And there are actually three of them on this page."
Friend gives me quizzical look.
me: "These fine folks are looking for dates with manuscripts. You know, like that one I've written? They're literary agents."
friend: "Ahhh. Now that makes sense. But don't you just send your manuscript in to a publishing company and they just make it into a book?"
me: "Well, self-publishing is big now, but I'm not sure it's for me. I'm a traditional kind of chick."
After this happened, it made me think. There really is a lot in common between dating and querying.
We try to put our manuscript on diets, hoping to lower the word count to make it more pleasing initially to the agent or editor's eye without losing the true essence of the story. Our manuscripts are fussed-over constantly, trying to make the perfect little tweaks and changes so that they're lovable by all. And we work forever on that perfect pitch for any face-to-face agent encounter or with our online query that we hope will hook the most incredibly awesome agent in the world, in hopes of that moment of true Kismet, where their eyes meet and the magic happens.
But sometimes we must resort to more forceful tactics to make either agents or publishers (or both) take notice, so some of us take part in online manuscript pitching contests. Let me tell you, if I do it again, I'm going to wear a faux-fur coat and carry a jeweled cane with the perfect canary-yellow hat plopped on my head. You gotta get in character to do it right, baby. But online pitching is a fun thing to try, and I applaud all the kind writers, agents & publishers who host these fun contests to get the good books out there. After all, at the heart of the matter, writers are people who love good books, and although we love our own manuscripts supremely, we have a soft spot for all good tales, thus doing a good thing for everyone.
|If I ever do another one of these online pitch contests, I'll be ready with faux-fur coat |
on & jeweled cane in hand! Make that pitch work the 'nets!
Best of luck to all in the query trenches. Don't give up and get your stories out there! Because if not mine, then perhaps yours. We're all in this together.