Little update . . . I got my first editorial letter on Wednesday!! Hooray! I feel like things are actually moving now! I was very pleased with my ed letter. When you have signed up to write a series--especially a series that is already mapped out--I feel like the first ed letter is even more important than with stand-alone books. With any first ed letter you discover your editor's editing style as well as their precise vision for your book. And you just hope that everything meshes.
With a series you are kind of in a different boat. Everything above applies, but instead of finding out if her vision of the book meshes with yours, you find out if her vision of the entire series matches with yours. And there are, inevitably, changes involved. Will they be the kinds of changes that will make both the book and the series better--stringer? Or are they the kinds of changes that will reverberate through the series and pull down a super-important plotline later on in book . . . say, three?
There's no way to know until you get that letter.
I am happy to say that my letter was awesome. Tara asked some great questions, brought up some extremely valid concerns and then gave a lot of guidance regarding character and pacing. Ten pages. Which is neither long nor short. About average. But it was chock full of great stuff and I really think she is going to help me make this whole series the very best that it can be! I'm very excited.
However, I did have a moment when it really hit me just how much work this revision is going to be and I felt momentarily overwhelmed. And this is just the first revision. There will probably be a minimum of two more before this book goes to copy-edit. (and maybe we'll have a title by then!:))
Folks, it is a lot of work.
Being published is a job. It really is. They don't pay you just because you wrote a cute little story, that's only half of the job. The rest of working on revisions, being available for marketing, doing promotion, etc. It takes a lot of time, and a lot of effort.
And I am totally up for it!!
Now the query recap I promised.
In a query, it's not enough to just tell what your story is about. There a story somewhere that is about the same thing yours is, I guarantee it. But the strength of your query letter (and of your story for that matter!) is finding what makes your story unique and marketable and then highlighting it.
And please do so with correct grammar and eloquent word choice.;)