Not worse, just different

A large part of this blog is sharing what it is that writers actually do (when we are not communing with spiders.) If you’ve been following this blog then you know I have recently finished a manuscript and have sent it out to some literary agents. While I have gotten a few nibbles, most of them, like the proverbial big one, have gotten away (although it is still being evaluated by one agent and I have a slew of others to still try)

No one loves me, I thought, I think I’ll go eat worms. Then I got a reply from an acquiring editor for a publisher – she liked my e-proposal. She liked my presentation. She invited me to send a full hard-copy proposal.

I need to prepare what is, essentially, a “board meeting quality” presentation on my book including:
• Letter of introduction – who referred me, qualifications
• Book description – one paragraph (elevator pitch)
• Why this book is needed and who the audience will be
• Current competitors
• Platform and credentials
• Table of contents
• Length, general appearance, photographic and illustrative requirements
• Previously published writing samples
• 50 pages of manuscript

Because I have a ton of online marketing experience, I’m also going to add a section on:
• Marketing plan

And because I’m pretty good friends with a number of people in my field (chickens), I’m also going to add:
• Endorsements/blurbs

I thought I could get all of this done during this week but, although I know where most of this information is, it’s important that I don’t just throw everything together. I need to present a polished and finished package that will wow the socks off of everyone. You can bet that this puppy will have a title page, TOC, and will be housed in a protective binder.

It will take a dedicated few days to get it all done, and that’s what I’ll be doing this coming weekend.

Keep this information in mind when you get to the point of querying your project. There’s more than one route to publication. Everyone has their own way of doing things and, because this is an acquisition editor and not a literary agent, the submission requirements are vastly different.

Not better, not worse, just not the same.

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Wendy Thomas is an award winning journalist, columnist, and blogger who believes that taking challenges in life will always lead to goodness. She is the mother of 6 funny and creative kids and it is her goal to teach them through stories and lessons.

Wendy’s current project involves writing about her family’s experiences with chickens (yes, chickens). (www.simplethrift.wordpress.com) She writes about her chickens for GRIT, Backyard Poultry, Chicken Community, and Mother Earth News.

18 thoughts on “Not worse, just different

  1. Best of luck with the manuscript and the presentation Wendy – sounds like the Editor is pretty serious if they are asking for such detail.

    Out of interest, did you send your manuscript to a large number of literary agents all at once, or do you pick and choose a couple initially and wait for responses first?

    • Aidan,

      Good question. I did not blanket the industry with my queries. My goal was to send five queries out each week (I’ve sent 15 queries and I had 2 nibbles, 1 “let me think about this” and now this request.)

      Why do it this way? From the ones that gave me feedback, I was able to use that information to modify and refine my next set of queries.

      It’s all about the evolution of your presentation.

      Wendy

  2. I’m totally going to squirrel this post away and work on each of the items when I have a “rainy day.” I can write crazy amounts about others and bang out a quick well written article…but ask me to right about me? toot my own horn? get trapped in the proverbial elevator with JK Rowling’s agent and say something beyond “hi”…that is like dental work before the advent of Novocaine, nails on a chalkboard, triginometry for a 1st grader HARD!
    I need to get this stuff done and handy on the shelf. Thanks for sharing your list and know that I am totally rooting for you Wendy!
    Kassie aka “Mom”

  3. and see, there it is….”right about me”… someone fix that so it’s “write about me”…my point has been subliminally made! Eek!

  4. Best of luck. You’ll succeed.. I’m sure that like most authors you’d rather spend the time writing five or six books than to go through all that it takes to peddle one. Completely different sets of skills.

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