Saturday, April 28, 2007

Publishing Business

I've been looking at agents' blogs and websites here and there. I still haven't found anyone who publishes the kind of book I just wrote, but I haven't looked at very many yet. I am not worried about this. I'm sure somewhere out there is an agent who is interested in a thriller/sci-fi story focused on internet-crime with a goodly dose of witchcraft and romance thrown in. Somewhere. I hope.

And, no. The above line is not a phrase from my synopsis. My synopsis is much better written than my blog is.

A good friend of mine wrote her first book about the same time I did. Hers was/is substantially better and is probably publishable. She's only just recently begun looking for an agent for it. She's smarter than I am, unquestionably a gifted writer, but maybe less business savvy. Considering my inexperience in the business end of this field, this is really not a good thing.

She recently queried a highly popular agent with a heavily-linked to (IOW: read by everybody who wants to be published) blog. I completely understand why this friend targeted this agent based on my visits to the agent's blog. 'Seems like a very nice person, approachable and easy to ask favors of (Like, "Please publish my book. Pretty please?"). However, as I've learned (the hard way) over the last three years. nice is not the same thing as push-over. My friend was rejected within twenty-four hours.

I visited this agent's site this morning (sleuthing on my own behalf) and I now see why my friend was turned down. Not only does this agent not represent the kind of book I've written, they don't represent the same type my friend does either. Right genre/wrong type. Same solar-system, different planet entirely. Or same planet, different continent . . . Never mind. You get the idea. Once I discovered this, I felt like kicking my friend in the shins. If it was that obvious to me, she should have seen it immediately. Chances were, she did and she was just sure her work was so incredible the agent would be able to resist it. (It is incredible work, by the way).

I've also begun wondering if it would be best to avoid querying agents that attract the kind of attention that advice blogs tend to draw. Of course writers want agents with solid connections to publishing houses and the like, but why compete with has to be forty-thousand queries that have to have been inpsired by reading a blog and thinking, "Wow! What a nice/funny/smart person! I want them to represent my book!"

In the name of saving time and energy, I think I'll investigate agents the old fashioned way: by reading publications that list agents, visiting websites and looking hard at what they represent. Then I'll prepare a spot on the wall for rejection letters and one for the--eventual--acceptance.

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