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 thought I might squeeze in more writing time last night, but then I had a phone call from a longwinded, pedantic friend who decided to talk to me about, among many things, his own stab at being a writer some years ago. Since he quit after a mere 16 rejections, clearly he was wise to go into something else.

Certainly, however, he had a valid point. How do you keep at it while you're working another job? Because almost all of us do, and it actually gets worse when you get published, doesn't it?

So, I guess it's stubbornness, desire, and motivation. I was talked down to, however, because in my time, all this must be so much easier and less time consuming than it used to be. Back when he walked up hill. To school. In the snow. Both ways. Carrying a typewriter.

Dude, the tools make it easier, yeah. But the time you put in is still pretty intensive. Especially if you write novels, and not short stories. As in one short story. Ever.

And that's all I'm saying about that. While I was talking to him, I sifted through some more agents. With my SUPERIOR WRITING TOOLS! Bwah ha ha!


Part 2 of the conversation. Do you get published under any circumstances, just to say you have been? If that's the case, thanks to the Iowa Arts Council I am so in! But these days, I want to guard my career carefully and choose wisely. I'm not talking about buying my way into publication. That is verboten. My friend was impressed that he had been published once and had received complimentary copies as a payment. It was another reason to be pompous.

However, another author, upon giving me advice, suggested that if you get paid less than $500 for a short story, you're doing yourself a disservice. Yet another friend said that if you can get published in a prestigious venue, regardless of payment, you should. I believe too that there are good causes: the aforementioned Iowa Arts Council gig which netted Schaff-Stump a $50 honorarium, but made money for flood relief. Or getting in on the ground floor of something. Or good exposure. All sorts of things. What do you think?

Meanwhile, no new rejections, BUT a seriously interesting and cool offer that I'm THINKING about carefully.

While I'm at it, thanks to [ profile] ilona_andrews for helping Schaff-Stump think about the hook in her query. Conflict? I am so a sub-plot girl! Did conflict for the individual book, rather than the whole series, even occur to me?

So, before the next query goes out (and I think I've got time, because I think I'm through all the trigger finger email back agents ;P ) I'll recraft that puppy.

Crumbs. Time to weigh in.



cathschaffstump: (Default)

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