Friday, January 9, 2009

The Manuscript's Day Out

Yesterday morning, I woke up to my first request for a full from one of the literary agents I had queried (a “full” being the complete manuscript). She was amazingly quick to return my query. I am surprised by how fast some of the responses are (I didn’t like the quick rejection nearly so much, though).

This led to a little bit of frantic effort, since I had not thought all the way through to someone wanting to READ my manuscript (not due to a lack of confidence in the thing itself… I mean, it is pretty brilliant… but more because I refuse to get too excited and ahead of myself. Unfortunately, getting ahead of yourself can also be categorized as “planning”).

Luckily I found some excellent advice on AQ, which I blogged about recently. Not only do they have a very helpful FAQ that covers things like this, but even better, they have a very helpful online community. I posted my question, and people responded with directions on how to set up my cover page, how to format the document, and even a template for the letter to the agent. It made me so happy – I love that sense of community.

Oh, and you know what else I love? A beautifully formatted cover sheet on a beautiful novel, especially the part that says:





Anyway, I am continuing to Not Get Ahead of Myself. I am not expecting that this whole business is going to be that easy, that the first agent that reads the first finished draft of Shards is ready to represent it…

[cue fantasy]

Scene: Literary Agency in New York City. Book-lined conference room, decorated warmly (this is how the pictures on the agency’s website looked).

GUINEVERE, AGENT, PUBLISHER are sitting around conference table.

PUBLISHER (holding up manuscript): This is absolutely brilliant!

AGENT: I know! That was what I said the first time I read it too!

GUINEVERE: Oh, stop, guys…

AGENT: She's promoting the book on Oprah in two weeks.

PUBLISHER: We need to talk about movie rights!

(Cut to 5th Avenue, New York City)

GUINEVERE: Hmm, this royalty check is burning a hole in my pocket. I think I’ll buy myself something pretty…

(Fantasy fades out)


Well, I’ll be over here, going back to writing away in the real world…


Fiat Lex said...

Weird how everyone has a different success fantasy, but everybody has one. I'm not even working on a big project right now, and I still catch myself fantasizing about getting interviewed by John Stewart on the Daily Show.

And congrats on your query. :D I hope on your behalf that they immediately flip through it and go "Hey! Not only do I personally find this engaging and fascinating, but we need a book that appeals to X demographic which can come out in time for Y season!"

Guin said...

Jon Stewart, that's even better than Oprah, really (he doesn't have his own book club, but he's a lot more entertaining).

And thanks. :)

Ann said...

Congrats on your query. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you. :)