Friday, August 20, 2010

Don't Query Too Soon

I almost made the mistake of querying early, too early. I said, I almost made that mistake. When I finished my book I thought it was ready. I said, "here it is world. I know you're going to love it as much as I do. And I will get paid tons of bills, enormous amounts of CASH."  But I began to notice a lot of problems that needed to be worked out. And I noticed these problems in time. WOOT! I noticed places where I made the DREADED AND MOST UNPROFESSIONAL mistake of telling instead of showing. Yup, GUILTY!

So, I didn't query. I said, "Stop, slow down, you move to fast." I wonder how many will have that song in their head today. hehe

Writers have to make sure our books are the best they can be. I know of a writer that queried her book too early. She sent queries out to all the agents she could find. This writer decided to 'fix' the problems she began to notice in her book. Now the book is ready, but agents have already turned it down. She is hoping that a handful of agents will take another look. I hope so, too.

How do we know when it's time? That's a hard question to answer.  I took another look. A serious look. And I just knew it wasn't ready yet. No major plot problems, but some lots of characterization problems. No major things, just little fixes throughout. I read my story like a book ALOUD. That's when I saw the problems. Then I went back over it marking here and there. And there you have it. Now I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I'm ready and my story is ready.

What ways do you double check and triple check to make sure you and your story are set to go?

Big shout out to my great pal Linda Kage. Her book, The Trouble With Tomboys was released a couple weeks ago. (Apologies on my tardiness, Linda. It has been given a FOUR star review. WOO-HOO. http://lindakage.blogspot.com/ Way to go girl. Happy days and no one is more happy for you than me. Well, probably you, your hubby, family members, but you know what I'm sayin'.

Next up, my sweet pal Patti Lacy. She just announced that she has sold her book, Reclaiming Lily to Bethany House. Congrats Patti. WOO-HOO. I am so happy for you. You deserve this and I can't wait to read it. I am buying An Irishwoman's Tale next week. http://www.pattilacy.com/blog/


Last but not least, one of my first blogging buds, Michelle Davidson Argyle just released her Novella Cinders. It is getting rave reviews and I plan on purchasing it next week, too. Glam congrats. I know you are on cloud nine. I'm right there with you. There is a blog tour for the book in September. http://www.michelledavidsonargyle.com/


Check these blogs out if you haven't already. Great ladies, great talents, great blogs. I love all of you. :)

20 comments:

  1. Good points. I think it's good to not get all our hopes wrapped around one book. Who knows which of our books will be the one that gets picked up?

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  2. So true! Great advice for those of us that are getting a little impatient. ;)

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  3. Hmmm....I got a professional critique, had my critique partners look at it, and I fix it up until my eyes crossed. Then I waited some more...until a conference, then pitched it face-to-face to my dream agent. That's what worked for me. :)

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  4. Absolutely true Robyn! I did make the mistake of querying too soon and now that my novel is a FAR better piece of work I'm sorry that I did.

    Hope you're all well - sending bigs hugs t o you & Christopher! X0X0X0
    Judy

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  5. Um, I don't. I actually started querying WAY too soon. I've learned only by those mistakes to slow down:)

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  6. I've definitely queried too soon in the past. Now, I'm taking my time--dotting all my i's and crossing all my t's. Over and over again :) But hey, I'd rather be over prepared than under prepared.

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  7. If I ever get to that point (fingers crossed), I'm so happy to have all your guidance handy here for my reference :)

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  8. Hey Robyn...earlier I made the mistake of querying too soon, but now I am getting extra cautious and taking it slow and easy. Thanks for the three links, will check them out.

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  9. Thanks for shouting me out, girl!
    You are SO SWEET!!

    Hope you enjoy Mary's story of Christ's forgiveness and amazing promises.

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  10. Thanks for the shout out! I can't wait to have you read it!

    As for your post, yes, I've been in the boat of getting WAY too anxious to get my work out there, and I'm happy to say that I took a step back at the right time. It was REALLY REALLY difficult to know when Cinders was ready because it was written to self-publish, and I knew I had to get it just right - but the question was HOW will I know? I think it's because I had three other novels behind me and I've grown a lot as a writer in the past few years. I've reached a point where I have good beta readers and editors who can help me know when it's right, and I've also learned to trust my instinct even more than I used to. Writing is hard. So hard! Sometimes I'm amazed I finish anything at all!

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  11. So true. Sometimes you'll gain tremendous perspective (and word-chopping ability) by putting aside the ms for a good long time.

    And kudos to Michelle!

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  12. For me, I think patience had to come after a little experience. I find it easier to wait than I did after completing my first and second manuscripts. Now it seems more difficult to let it go.

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  13. I made the mistake of querying too soon. I was young and naive, okay not that young, but definitely naive. Now I'm having the opposite problem. Too scared to send it out.

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  14. I like Jill's answer above: "Good points. I think it's good to not get all our hopes wrapped around one book. Who knows which of our books will be the one that gets picked up?" Couldn't have said it better.

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  15. Thanks for sharing your tips and experience, Robyn! And a big congratulations to Linda, Patti & Michelle! Way to go, ladies!! God bless!

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  16. Good point! Thanks for the links, too:)
    Blessings and hugs,
    Karen

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  17. Glad I found you and your fabulous group. I know Michelle and bought Cinders. Just started reading her fabulous book.

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  18. Hi Robyn, Thank you for the shout out (blushing). Good luck with your submissions. I'm the type that always wanted to rush and send stuff way before I should.

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  19. I used to query too soon.

    Nowadays I take longer to polish something after making so many mistakes.

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