Sunday, November 12, 2006

Agent and publisher queries

Several writers contacted me in recent weeks hoping I could advise them on either agent or publisher queries or both. Most writers I know consider finding a reputable agent and "name" publisher necessities. Unfortunately, I'm not much help in that arena.

Twenty-five years ago I had a New York agent who snagged a reading for an early version of The Alley of Wishes with Knopf. For reasons I won't go into here, that placement was not pursued to final acceptance or rejection. When I revised TAOW early in the 21st century, I queried Knopf. Their reply was swift and professional. I received a small manila envelope containing my query, uopened, and a letter explaining their action: Due to the threat of anthrax prevalent at that time, Knopf was not opening unsolicited mail. So I self-published TAOW and several months later Dandelion Books asked to re-publish it. I happily agreed.

I've never queried a New York publisher since. Dandelion published My Name is Esther Clara, also, and I'm thankful for that blessing.

In the last six years, I've queried two agents. Both read the first two chapters of TAOW and gave two different critiques. One agent took a pass, said I TOLD her about the characters instead of SHOWING them. The other agent said I did a wonderful job of SHOWING her the characters, but since the book did not fit into any particular genre niche, she had to take a pass.

So there you have it in a nutshell, writers and readers, why I'm a poor one to advise anyone on agents and New York publishers. Between writing, reading books for review, and living a normal everyday life, I don't have the time, energy, or patience for such games. It isn't rejection I fear, it's wasting months of precious time.

Every person has different goals and dreams. I write my books for reasons that have nothing to do with money or fame so the way I've chosen to publish my books works well for me. My way is not acceptable to writers who prefer the New York route to publication. Whichever way you choose, good luck!!

No comments:

Do your part to stop hunger everywhere

The Hunger Site

About Me

My photo
I enjoy good writing by writers and poets who are not famous. My mother said I was born a hundred years too late. The older I get, the more I realize how right she was.

Twitter Updates

    follow me on Twitter