Sunday, July 16, 2006

Wow, my life is really boring.

Actually, the main problem is that at the moment I am staying rather close-lipped about my current project. A lot is happening, but I'm going to blog about it later. You'll have to ask me about it.
The good news is we are almost completely moved it! The better news is that our renovations are also almost completely done. Yea! I have started decorating and my house is starting to look like my house.
I've been thinking a lot today about agents. It seems impossible mot to when Lady Diane is getting such good attention right off the bat. Why is that? As you've probably read in past posts, I don't put much stock in partial requests; it says more about your query than your book, IMO. But I have to wonder what is making the difference with this query. I've gotten better at writing queries, I can't deny that. But you tend to get better at anything with practice. However, I thought my final query version for Chain was pretty good and I had the recommendation of a NYT Bestseller to boot.
But this query is standing on it's own two feet. No recommendation, no awards, no nothing. Just the words on the page. I knew it was good when I wrote it. I got all excited about it and sent it off to Jenny that night. But why is it good? What are the agents seeing when they request more? Is it the storyline? Young girl married off against her will? Is it the setting? Basque is rather exotic and not frequently written about. That's one of the reasons I chose it. Maybe it's the little line at the bottom saying it is my third completed manuscript. That says I can finish a book . . . and not just one.
I don't know if it is any one specific element. All I know is when I wrote the query, it felt good.
I'm falling into the hope trap again. But so much more rides on this. I am selling one book to an agent, but behind that one book is the hope of two more. And an agent will look at that. They'll want to see what else you've written. Sometimes before they sign you; but sometime before. Most agents are really looking for a career writer; someone who they can depend on for regular royalty checks. Having two or three of five, etc. books under your belt already really says something. I'm such a natural optimist I can't help but be hopeful. Still, I think I have reason. A good query is so important. Take my record with Chain for example. I sent out about one hundred queries. Out of that hundred, nineteen asked for a partial. Out of those nineteen, two asked for the full. Out of those two . . . well, I haven't heard back from either yet.:) Nineteen percent partial reads. That ain't half bad. Really, it's not.
But . . . say I send out thirty queries and have twenty-five ask for partials? That's a heck of a lot less work. On top of that, it's over 75% requests.
Part of me, a big part of me, doesn't think it will take nearly that long this time. I'm kind of thinking this is it. A story line that is garnishing a 100% acceptance rate--and from an agent as awesome as Jenny--has a much better chance than one getting a 20% acceptance rate.
I sent a query to Kristin today . . . well, technically Kristin's assistant, Sara. Sara reads all the queries these days, and even if she didn't, Kristin is in New York this week. But they've been getting back to queries in one to two days lately, so I should find out how query #3 does tomorrow or Tuesday. I am hoping to keep up my 100% rate!

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