August 17, 2011

are you ready?

In my effort to get better acquainted with the literary community, I signed-up (last minute) yesterday for WriteOnCon. Aug. 16-18, this free, online conference brings together writers, agents and other industry experts to share tips on different steps of the process.

Today, Literary Agent Kate Testerman, founder of kt literary, offered excellent insight on steps a writer should take to ensure he or she is ready to query before ever sending one out. I thought it was worth sharing with all of you.

Her main points are:
1. Make sure your manuscript is finished first.
2. Get feedback from people and be willing to make some changes.
3. While waiting, spend time researching literary agents and narrow it down to people who would like your novel. Check their guidelines.
4. Look at a prospective agents list of clients. Figure out how your manuscript could fit into their line-up.
5. Gather information about the current state of the market to help with pitches to publishers.
6. Be able to describe your novel in one sentence, one paragraph and one page.
7. Polish your query. Read blogs on hook sentences, on what not to do and how to attract an agent's attention.
8. Prepare a detailed spreadsheets to track all of your submissions.
9. Do a final check of your query before you hit send. Is it personalized, spelled correctly and meets their guidelines.
10. Pray and press send.

You can watch her full commentary here.

Just some food for thought, and valuable advice for people, like me, who are at the query stage.

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