Are you a resolution person? Goal-setter? New-year hater? I like goals, but I prefer to think of a new year as a chance to refresh things a little … I am starting 2021 fresh.
The biggest change for me coming into the new year is that we found a pre-school for Maverick. For the first time since last March, I have an extended period of time in front of me to write. And if that’s not starting 2021 fresh, I don’t know what is!
He will be gone twice a week for four hours at a time to a new preschool in Port Moody. He was so excited yesterday morning that he waltzed in with his boots on, gave the preschool teacher a hug and started telling her about his light-up police shoes for wearing inside right away. I’m excited for myself to have the time, of course, but I’m also really excited that Maverick is not only growing up, but is also excited about making some new friends and learning some new habits and playing with new toys and friends a couple of times a week.
Next on my docket is finishing my current new project, the book that I started back in November, while I wait for the next round of feedback on my Romi project. Then I plan to shift my focus back to Romi and getting her ready to pitch to agents in hopes that someone will want to represent me and my book and help me find a traditional publisher for her. I wrote a little bit about the process on the blog here, but I wanted to share a little bit more of what the querying process looks like, in case you’re interested.
As part of my Creative Writing Program at SFU that I completed last June, we started putting together a list of publishers/agents that would be fitting for our book. It was a tough challenge, and part of starting 2021 fresh for me means re-assessing the list I started at school and really choosing carefully which agents I want to approach with my book.
I can only assume that querying looks a lot different than it used to. Agents and publishers can be found online, a lot of them have high presence on Twitter, which I am not all that into to be honest. It’s quite easy to find a very specific list of what each agent/publisher wants from someone trying to share their book.
Some advice that I received in my program was to look to the acknowledgments in a book that is similar to your own and find who that author has thanked as their agent. I’ve done this with a few novels, but most recently, I looked to It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover, and it just so happens that the agency that represents her has an agent with a legal background that is looking for commercial fiction, which just so happens to be the genre that Romi falls loosely into (along with Romantic Comedy/Drama). I’m excited about this process, and querying this agent in particular.
In this day and age, it’s quite easy to find out the requirements for each agency/agent/publisher before approaching them. The information that they require—which can include an excerpt from your manuscript, details on why you’re the best person to write your book and a brief description of your story—is usually set right out on their website. It’s great, but can take time in preparing separate emails for each agent you query with care and consideration for what they are looking for.
Other information that agents are looking for can include:
- A word count for your novel
- Previous publishing experience
- Information for your social media presence
- Comparative titles of stories your novel is similar to
Online! Back in the day, writers used to have to print their manuscripts and mail them to agents. I’m sure there was a time where letters were accepted, and then times slowly transitioned to online and now I’ve been encouraged to send everything by email!
So close, guys, I am SO close to getting to the point where I am ready to share my manuscript with potential agents. It’s best to have your story as polished and ready as possible before sending it out. In my case, I’ve shared the entire manuscript with a select few people that can review and edit it for me before I send it out into the big wide world. Working with a professional editor will come further down the road. I can’t wait to see what my story looks like when it’s finally ready for print!
There you have my summary of the next steps for my novel. Do you have any questions? I know that not everyone is interested in this part of the creative process, but the info is here if you ever need it.
Now, back to my current writing project. I’m so happy to have it to focus on while I wait for things with Romi to move forward.
Cheers to starting 2021 fresh,
PS: HAPPY NEW YEAR!