Tag Archive: Rachelle Gardner


Agent Representation Declaration

The only excuse (not reason) that I can offer for not blogging in two months is that I haven’t really been focusing on writing or blogging, which means that I haven’t been thinking of things to blog about. At one point I was contemplating putting my writing/blogging aside while I focused on getting my financial house in order, but then I figured that was just an excuse, not a reason, to be lazy. A few days ago I actually starting thinking about things to blog about, so I have several posts for the next few weeks and I plan on thinking of more. So, onward The Soliloquy Suites goes once more!

I know at one point I had talked about wanting to self-publish my first novel (which I realize I haven’t actually blogged about yet) but I’ve decided that it might not be a bad idea to keep looking for an agent. I think what turned me off about traditional publishing were are all of the horror stories I’ve heard about massive changes being made to an author’s work that they didn’t approve of, authors having to give up certain privileges and rights with their work and authors having horrible book covers that they hate. It’s possible that I can have a similar experience with traditional publishing.

But it’s also possible that I can have a wonderful experience with traditional publishing.

Since I feel like my novel Furious can also work as a graphic novel, I think it would be wise if I could find an agent who represents both novels and graphic novels/comic books, or at least has connections in the graphic novel/comic book industry. I recently read a blog post from Rachelle Gardner where she wrote about how writers should be open to new and unexpected opportunities and not be so rigid about the path that they take for their career (number 3 on her list). Since I would like to write graphic novel scripts one day, maybe it wouldn’t be so bad if Furious was introduced to the world in the form of a graphic novel instead of a regular novel like I’d originally planned.

Another reason that I’ve decided to keep looking for an agent is that I know that it will take a while for me to save up money for an editor, cover design, e-book formatting and the like. In the meantime, I could still be sending queries out to agents to at least get an idea of how likely it is that my novel will be something that people gravitate toward. Even though I might get nothing but rejection letters, I can at least know what works with the novel and what doesn’t.

If I’m open and honest with myself and my agent (when/if I get one) about my fears and hesitations with the publishing process I’ll be much better off and will be better prepared to deal with the results, no matter how good or…unfortunate they might be. There are now so many paths to publication a writer can choose, both tested/traditional and untested/unconventional. At the end of the day all that matters is getting your work out there, doing the best that you can, and being happy with the results. I don’t want to waste any more time than I already have trying to decide which road to take when I can take them all at the same time and end up at the same destination.

So what are some of your fears and concerns with self-publishing and traditional publishing? Are you willing to take the risks and accept the consequences with either for the sake of your career?

Next Post: I’ll finally introduce you to my first novel, Furious.

The Writing Dead

I know it’s been months since I’ve updated this blog, and I honestly don’t have any reason other than I haven’t really been writing anything new lately. I wanted this blog to be about my personal perspective on writing, so I didn’t want to bore you with details about my life that are unrelated to writing. But I will say that I’ve been doing more freelance writing to keep up with my lavish lifestyle, a.k.a. pay my taxes and try to handle my finances like the adult that I’m reluctantly becoming.

That’s it, now back to writing.

Since I posted last, I’ve been doing a final revision of Fury Us: Thus Spoke which is coming along quite well. I’ve also recently joined Critique Circle so that I can get some actual feedback on my novel and strengthen my revisions and overall writing. It’s also nice to critique the writing of others because it will help me to read my writing with a more focused eye.

I’ve also made the decision to start off as a self-published writer. While I haven’t been posting on my own blog, I have been reading the blogs of other writers. Mainly Joe Konrath (who often includes insights from bestselling author Barry Eisler), Rachelle Gardner and Anne R. Allen. It’s mainly my man Joe who has opened my eyes to the reality of traditional publishing and how much power authors give up for so little in return. While I’m not saying that I never want to be traditionally published, I am saying that I’d like to have more control over the first few years of my writing career and learn what works for me personally. I want to do a lot with my career, and I might not have the freedom to do everything that I want to do if I’m tied up through a contract.

You can now find me here on Tumblr. I’ll mainly be using it as a place to share some of the creative things I’m into, such as singing, music and of course writing. This blog is more of the professional (at least I hope it’s professional) side of me while Tumblr is more for the creative  side of me. If you use Tumblr I’d love to hear your input about how to get more use out of it as a writer. I don’t know if I’m going overboard with social media, but I figure there’s no harm in testing everything out to see how it fits.

Next up on the writing agenda is to enter more contests and try to get published in magazines and e-zines more in an effort to continue building an audience and my personal brand while also polishing my professional chops. I heard about a website called Readwave where authors share short stories. I figure this is a good place to get feedback while getting a feel for what it will be like for me as a self-published author. I’m actually quite excited about it!

So that’s where I’ve been and where I’m heading. I’ll honestly try to do better about posting more, I think right now I’m just figuring things out about the future of my career, myself and trying to find the balance between it all. Hope you all have been doing well!

Take care out there

Share and Share A Write

Is the above image too cute, too much, just right? For today’s post I thought’s I’d share some links to informational blogs and blog posts that I’ve recently discovered. All of them pertain to writing, self-publishing, finding agents, marketing yourself and the like. Get those pens ready!

“Using Twitter: Are You A Writer, A Brand, Or A Salesman?”

This post comes from self-published author Rachel Abbott. In it she discusses the many roles that authors play while on Twitter. You can be a writer and blog about your experiences writing, you can be a brand marketing yourself as a professional or a salesman building hype around your latest release. More than likely you’ll want to be all three. Any writers currently on Twitter or thinking of joining Twitter should give this post a gander. 

“How To Develop A Comp Titles List”

Publishing consultant Caren Estesen helps authors better find their market by identifying books and authors that complement their writing style and genre. If you’re sending out query letters and trying to find an agent, you need to have an idea of where and how to market yourself and your work. Think of it like the Sorting Hat from Harry Potter.

“Indie Publishing in 2013: Why We Can’t Party Like It’s 2009”

Author and “writer mother” extraordinaire Anne R. Allen gives us a breakdown of what’s currently taking place in the world of self-publishing and the impact it will have on the future. One thing I really like about Anne is how she gives her readers honest, straight-forward facts without pussyfooting around. She also has a way of making readers feel better about the tumultuous changes taking place in the publishing business. She’s a true businesswoman, and I highly recommended following her blog. She’s also on Twitter.

“5 Ways To Send Guilt A Big Fat Rejection Letter”

Writer’s Relief discusses writer’s guilt. If you’re serious are getting serious about your craft and career, you may be experiencing certain hang-ups that are holding you back. This blog post explores five problems and five solutions to your writing dilemmas.

“How To Sell Self-Published Books: Read This First”

Successful self-published author Catherine Ryan Howard gives readers the cold yet honest truth about self-publishing. You owe it to yourself and your ego to read this post if you’re thinking about self-publishing or are thinking about self-publishing. I’m considering it myself, and the more I read about it the better prepared I am for both the good and the bad that comes with self-publishing.

“Barry Eisler On Self-Publishing And The Politics of Liberty”

This is an interview rather than a blog post. Traditionally published and best-selling author Barry Eisler discusses his decision to foray into indie publishing even though he’s had such wonderful success as a traditionally published author. This shows us that even traditionally published and successful authors have realized the power and freedom of self-publishing. Barry and self-published author J.A. Konrath (another self-published success) have a free book on Amazon titled “Be the Monkey.” It’s a dialogue between the two where they discuss ebooks and self-publishing.

I believe that’s enough…for now. Before ending this post, there’s one more blog I’d like to recommend. Literary agent Rachelle Gardner always has insightful and informational posts about writing. Since she’s an agent, she has insider knowledge about query letters, how to find an agent and how to polish up your manuscript before shipping out query letters. You can also find her on Twitter.

This sharing thing isn’t so bad! I feel like since we’re all in this writing journey together we should be informed of where we’re going and how to get there. I’m thinking about posting twice a week, one day for my regular posts and another where I share useful blog posts and articles. What say you, gentle reader? Til next time.

Take care out there.

I’m starting to work on perfecting my query letter(s) to send out to agents. *Pause for applause* I’ve been reading advice on how to write a query letter, what to include in a query letter and how to get your query letter trashed before the agent even finishes the first paragraph. While absorbing and taking note of all of this information, it’s occurred to me that writing a query letter is a lot like writing a book.

Let’s break it down like James Brown.

Target Audience

When writing a book, you have to know who your target audience is so you can craft your writing to reach as many people in that audience as possible. The same is true of a query letter. You have to know the name of the agent, what kind of material they accept and if they want to represent your material just as much as you like writing it. With both a book and a query letter, you want to make sure that your personality shines through. Although there are hundreds of urban fantasy series out there, each author speaks to the same audience in their own unique voice. Personality and individuality is paramount if you want to stand out on the bookshelves and in the inbox of agents.

Hook

If you don’t want readers to skip over your novel, you’ve got to have a hook. We live in an age where our eyes are constantly bombarded with stimuli, so if you want to snatch a person’s gaze, you’ve got to dazzle them. When it comes to books, the cover is what holds readers in sway. Once you’ve made them stop and stare, you’ve got to keep them enthralled with an original and compelling plot. With query letters, you’ve got to hook agents with your synopsis. I’ve always thought that blurbs are like movie previews, you don’t want to tell/show the audience everything, but you want to highlight the main points of the movie/novel and get their heart racing to see the full project. Authors have to come up with innovative and effective ways to get agents to ask for a full manuscript.

Trust

Bestselling authors aren’t always overnight sensations; it takes them time to build up their credentials before readers flock to pick up their new book the same day it’s released. One way they do this is by earning the reader’s trust and consistently putting out excellent material.  When writing a query letter, your trust comes from your publishing credentials. The more publishing credits you have to your name, the more likely an agent will trust that you know how to write and sell story, even if you’ve never written a novel before. If you don’t have many publishing credits, that trust comes from your personal background, what you’ve done before you decided to write a book and what makes you the perfect person to write a certain type of book.

Professionalism

In most cases, agents don’t want to deal with authors who don’t know jack about the publishing industry. They’re much too busy with other authors, editors, publishers and their own personal lives to give you even the nickel tour of the publishing world. The same applies to writing a book. Readers don’t want to waste time and money on an author who doesn’t care about grammar or learning the fundamental rules of novel writing, such as character development, plot and proper resolution. Remember, we live in a rapid fire age, and it only takes a few sentences for readers to decide if they want to buy a put or stuff it back on the shelves.

Now, I consider myself to be an intermediate-bordering on advanced writer, so what I’ve shared with you here is by no means holy gospel, only my personal observations on the matter. Writer’s Relief has a ton of posts on query letters, as does the illustrious Rachelle Gardner. Be sure to subscribe to both if you’re in need of a lighthouse while navigating the surging waves of the writing ocean.

Take care out there.