There is no time like the present, and this day in particular being my 36th birthday, to share the title of my next book, the first book in my series about Romi James, Paralegal.
But, first, I want to talk about the bitterweet time I am having this month—the end of my Writer’s Studio Adventure. This past Tuesday, I participated in my last workshop, and while I still have twenty pages to submit for final grading and a one-on-one meeting with my mentor next weekend, it’s over. And I'm full of emotions over it.
The last ten months have gone by in a flash. It seems that I was just falling into step with what it really means to workshop my writing. Reading different genres from my fellow students, learning from them and collectively brainstorming how to make our writing better. It’s been great! I’ve learned so much, especially in this last workshop, where I was assured of the progress I have made in my writing. The feedback that I received early on, back in November, was put into the words on my page. I am so proud of myself!
Happy Birthday To Me!
At the moment with my next book, I am struggling, to be honest. Editing is hard, especially when I do not have a lot of dedicated time to review and revise my first draft. I started reviewing it on paper because I thought it would be easier since I’m with the kids all day. I’ve made it about one quarter of the way through in just over a month, so my plan is to buckle down and schedule time in for this and have the paper-review done by the end of the summer.
I have already published a book, but the process is going to look a little different for me this time. I, thankfully, will not have the horrible company I used to “help” me self-publish my book the first time around, and will be turning instead to querying publishers and agents to take my Romi Series on. I’d like to share a bit about the basics of what that looks like for me at this time.
The first step is to write … which I have well under way. With my first draft done and in the revision stages, and following a recent conversation with a fellow self-published author with experience in the traditional publishing world as well, I am starting to think about querying agents while I am still writing! Then, while I wait, I can continue to edit, polish and write. The time will come soon to even start writing the second book of the series.
Publishers and agents tend to have very specific requirements when it comes to approaching them to take on your writing. Most ask for a query letter, which tells them a bit about you, a bit about your book, and what sets you both apart. Repetitive advice that I have heard is that you can expect to query up to hundreds of agencies/publishers and receive no response, or rejections, before finding that one that will either ask to read your book, or accept you as a client. It’s a long process, but I’m excited about it!
What to do while I wait? It’s a balancing act, considering how many agencies or publishers to query at the same time. Staying organized is important, but I’m lucky that I enjoy a nice chart to keep track of things. (I was going to say spreadsheet, but anyone that knows me, especially my husband, knows that I hate Excel.)
I'll never forget the advice I received at the writer's conferences I attended last year: the best way to promote your book is to write another one!
Keep going! Most agencies/publishers respond within 6-8 weeks, or months, even, if you have sent your entire manuscript. Since every query needs to be carefully written and tailored to whomever you are querying, it’s a timely process. I anticipate and am excited to carefully choose who to send my query emails to. Because, let’s face it. Most everything is done electronically these days!
I have my sights set on a specific agent based in New York, who I found during a school assignment. The agency, and the agent I found in particular, seem like a great fit for my book. They have published similar titles and on their website state that they are looking for “coming of age” romantic dramas. It really doesn’t get much better of a fit than that!
So, there you have it. I have much work ahead of me. And, as promised, Romi’s title. I think I have a set of titles for a three-book series, but I will share with you the title of the first book now.
If you haven’t read the excerpts I’ve posted for Romilegal: Downtown, check out the first five pages here, and the very first sneak peek that I only slightly wish I hadn’t shared here. (I say I wish I hadn’t shared it only because it’s not my best work … I hope to produce much better writing for Romi James!)
About my title, I love the play on words, combining Romi’s name with her job title. Using Downtown to describe the book is fitting, as Romi is just starting out as a paralegal at a big law firm downtown Vancouver.
Let me know if you have any questions about the publishing process and whether you’d like me to keep writing about it as I go.
Fingers crossed that my queries won’t get into the thousands before someone agrees to take on Romilegal!
36 for 365,