The Search Begins

by Nola on April 13, 2011

As I may have mentioned here before, I really am not interested in marketing my book myself to Harlequin. I hear the editors are great, easy to work with, lovely people. I also hear it takes months and months to get an answer to a query. And they are still using snail mail queries there, and paper manuscripts, and maintaining a slush pile.

Harlequin, I love you, but I can’t afford to wait. As a Golden Heart® Finalist, I’m a hot commodity only for a short window of time. Once the winner in my category is announced, I lose a lot of hotness — assuming that winner is not me — so I can’t wait for snail mail responses. For those reasons, I’m seeking an agent. An agent who knows the folks at Harlequin can pick up the phone and say “I’ve got a book for you.” So much faster than snail mail.

So I have spent the last two weeks polishing my manuscript to a blinding gloss, rewriting my synopsis several times and studying everything I could get my hands on about writing effective query letters.  Two days ago I sent out my first query via email to one of my A-list choices, a top agency in New York. Yesterday a response: please send the synopsis and first three chapters. Yay! A request for the full manuscript would have been better, but still I was pleased. Off those went today. Also today a query package to an agency here on the west coast. There are two more on my A list that will get queries this week.

It feels really good to get my work out there beyond the cozy sphere of my critique partners and even the earnest first round judges at the Golden Heart. An agent will tell me the bald truth about whether my work is marketable, and if it isn’t yet, hopefully what I can do to improve it. This is where the rubber meets the road.

About time.

– Nola

“Expect romance.”


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