cathschaffstump: (gossamer)
And now...

Rejection from Denise Shannon.

[ profile] sonyamsipes is sending a contract soon for Hulk Hercules.

And this:

I read 130 pages or so of your book. There is definitely something compelling about these two boys who are children, but speak like grown men. as well as the curse, demons in the form of animals, and the dark tone that pervades the whole story. But for me, it was a bit plodding, and I'm afraid young readers would find it even more so. Unless you can move things along a bit more quickly, I'm afraid it's a pass.

Followed by this from me:

I usually don't ask this question, but, given the unless statement in
your message about the pacing, I wonder if you would be interested in
seeing a faster paced rewrite of it? If you are, I'd be happy to send
it again after tweaking it a bit.

Followed by this:

I am definitely open to reading a revised version. As I said, there were
certain aspects to the book that I found compelling. So, feel free to send
it to me when you are finished.


This changes a lot. I'll finish and send off Sister Night, Sister Moon, then get back in the saddle with Substance of Shadows. This agent is worth courting, given her agency and connections. This is VERY good news. Not necessarily the easiest or the best news, but good news. I think it may sound familiar to many of you who have landed an agent, especially [ profile] frost_light. I consider this a rock moving up the furthest I've ever had it up the hill. At any rate, good news I think.

At the same time, there's the Hulk Hercules book, so soon it may look like I have plenty of writing to do in my spare time.

I'm putting off plans to send out more queries until after the revision of Substance is done and I've sent it back to Agent A. Agent B is still out there with a partial.

Keep taking rice cakes and sake to the gods of publishing. It seems to be working. And send me A LOT of caffeine, 'cause I still gots the day job, so I'll need energy.


PS Will talk about Fantasy Matters some too. It was very, very good, and I got to see some cool people. I could go to conferences like that every weekend, but I would turn into a well-educated sleepy zeppelin.
cathschaffstump: (isis)
Here's some place I'll be going a ambitious writer who centralizes all those industry/agent blog commentaries for you, again so you don't have to do it yourself. Courtesy of Patrick, over at Querytracker. The writer is Deborah White.

So now I can go to one spot and see who has some hot, new advice for me from out there in the blogosphere.


Reading the entries on numbers really makes me think. I've compared the process of trying to publish to a job search before, so of course professionalism is a must, but the window of opportunity is more like the eye of a needle, if you buy these stats.

NO WONDER so many good writers have a hard time breaking in! If you make it to partial status or request for full status, and you don't quite grab the prize, you're still like 95 percent ahead of others, but wow.

I guess if I wanted a sure thing, I wouldn't be trying to publish. :) I'll keep at it, even if only you, my legions of internet friends, are reading. :)


So last night, after a mango margarita and some fun with fellow profs, I went home to play with my new toy, the updated querytracker. It's nice. I can prioritize agents in the order I want to send to them, I can put in notes that only I can see, I can see stats about their acceptances and rejections all on the same screen! I can also do a genre specific search to get their stats in my genre. And of course, there are all the lovely search engines and ways to check up on your favorite agents, to see if they are legit, big money makers, and so forth.

I wonder if agents ever feel stalked. I wonder if, as old Chinese folktales have it, they sneeze a lot because they are talked about. I wonder if a percentage of them become agents, because among geeky, isolated, repressed writers, they represent a sort of celebrity.

I wonder if I've had enough coffee this morning.

Anyway, there are several features I haven't tried out at Querytracker yet, but I will get to them in good time. There's a place to build a showcase of your writing that you can point agents towards. Less useful to those of us with websites, but pretty useful if you're looking for another place to put your stuff.

My advice? Try out, and if you like it, send the man $25. :)

I really need to get up to speed on Publishers Marketplace as well. I will. It's another thing to add to the list. I could see how this could become a full time job. If only it paid something like a living wage!


So, as soon as I get the agent sort done, it'll be time to do some website modifications. I also intend to send out more queries this week. Almost got that new spiffy conflict oriented query letter ready to rock. Stay tuned!

Hope your imaginations are fertile and the words are flowing.

cathschaffstump: (gossamer)
I'll be reviewing the premium member version of as soon as I've gone home and played with my new toy.

Meanwhile, nothing to see here except a finished novel and a rewritten query.

Who's got a good link to information on synopses: conventions and warnings?

Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?



Oct. 26th, 2007 01:14 pm
cathschaffstump: (Default)
Yesterday was lost to real flu and fatigue. I rarely stay in bed until 1 pm. I would have stayed longer, but the cat kicked me out. Really. She sleeps on the bed during the day and made it known that my staying made her daynap impossible. As soon as I made the bed, she jumped on it and hit the hay.

But before I went down, on Wednesday, I started into chapter 7 oral read. Yes! And it looks to be a fairly mellow weekend, so I'm optimistic about getting some more done. Ideally, I'd like to have the oral read through done by October 31st.

I'm itching to get back to the creative side of writing. The business side is important too, but right now, with my focus on agent sort and editing, I want to get down to some planning, plotting, and making the magic happen.

Next Wednesday and next Friday, I'll be sending out a couple more messages in a bottle to agents. For those who have been keeping count, you might remember that my current messages are out to Ethan Ellenberg and Kathleen Anderson. I'm eying Gary Heidt, Kate Menick, and Jessica Regel for my next round. Any data?

Okay, off to read your stuff!

cathschaffstump: (substance)
I wrote to Nathan Bransford just to get it out of the way. I had my rejection in hand in five minutes. As I mentioned, I expected one from him, and one from Ellenberg, if I get a reply from Ellenberg in two weeks at all. BTW, [ profile] manzabar, I forgot to mention that Ellenberg is John Scalzi's agent. I know how you feel about him!

I don't necessarily expect a rejection from my next query, Kathleen Bransford, who is both a fantasy and a young adult agent. I feel my chances are more on an even keel there. Those who have corresponded with her have good things to say.


You know, what is interesting about using a tool like Query Tracker is that you really can research agents thoroughly, and since I'm not approaching this from a desperation angle (I'm determined to find an agent with a good fit) I've easily ruled out agents that have been rude to others often, weird, philosophically unaligned (can you see Substance being represented by a fundamentalist Christian?), or who aren't shopping for my genre.

I would like an agent, but not at any cost. It's like considering a hire from this angle as well. If I get a bad vibe, or a place doesn't feel suitable, I'm not hooking up.


The slush pile is hardly a reality yet. I've searched and found 216 agents. Thirty of them do not accept unreferred writers. That gives me 186, of which I've discarded 5 and queried 9. Two are still out there. Seven are nos. That gives me a whole 172 agents left to query. That could keep me busy for a bit.

So, the plan is first AAR/email agents. Then AAR/snail mail. Why? Ease, pretty much. I'd also like an ecologically friendly work place if I can get it. Then nonAAR/email. Then nonAAR/snail mail. Pretty straightforward.

Will I do the slush pile if all this comes to naught? Realistically, all could come to naught. I probably will. I could sit on the manuscript, or I could try for the longshot. I'll have the rest of my life to sit on the manuscript, and if I have a book deal in hand, it might leverage an agent.

All right. Enough of this for today. Back to the students, the emails, and the planning.


(to quote Donkey from Shrek: Pick me! Pick me!)
cathschaffstump: (isis)
Good bye to Stephen Barbara, who thought I had a good query letter, but that the project was wrong.

Hello to Ethan Ellenberg. I will wait until Halloween for Mr. Ellenberg, because if I haven't heard in that 2 week period, I won't.

Next up: Nathan Bransford.

Earnestly, I don't expect Ellenberg or Bransford. They are very popular and get a ton of submissions. But, you gotta knock on the doors, right?

Ooookay. Dinner, papers for tomorrow, and a chapter of actual editing. Seriously.

BTW, this:

has pretty much eliminated my need to do a big list of agents. While I'll still look through Agent Query and Preditors and Editors, this service found me 216 agents to research AND helps me keep track of my queries. I will, as soon as I get the chance, send them $25 dollars to support the site. I could do it for free, but then I'd be a lowlife, and that wouldn't be cool.

At least email makes the whole query/rejection process so much faster. Remember kids, just because it's getting rejected doesn't mean it's not good. It means a lot of things, but it doesn't mean that.

cathschaffstump: (gossamer)
More reading and editing. Another 20 pages last night, so we inch closer. The first week of the month is always difficult. It's always the week of board meetings and giri, so we squeeze as much writing time out of it as we can.

I've also been building the list of agents to submit to, and have found some good ones, both in and out of the AAR. I would prefer an agent in the AAR, but have found one set that feel like such a good fit to me--the Pixar/MacIntosh feel of their website makes me feel like I have come home! At any rate, the trick is to battle obscurity and get someone scrupulous to accept me.

Well, I need to be reading your list, so I'll be moving on.


ps I'll be happy to start a new project. I miss the creative rush. The editing slog and the marketing crawl tend to take their toll on a writer. Maybe that's why we shouldn't do all of one at once?
cathschaffstump: (substance)
Added a great many more agents to the Agent Search List.

I have always heard that agents should be members of the AAR. However, I'm finding many high profile ones that are not. I'd love to hear opinions about that, and will have to look into this more.

Off for some serious reading tonight.



cathschaffstump: (Default)

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