Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Q&A: Agenty Questions

Thanks for all your kind words yesterday, everyone! You all make me sound so much cooler than I am. It was actually a really hard post to write-- it kind of weirds me out to write all about myself like that. I know how much I love reading book deal posts with the details, though, so I bit the bullet.

But I'm really grateful that today's questions are about other things.

In the comments yesterday, Iain asked, "Is this just a US release date? Are there any international plans yet?" 

To which I answer, Uh...... Um..... I guess I don't really have a clue! They bought World English rights, but I honestly don't know what that means for other English-speaking countries. I don't even know how long it will be before I know that kind of information. I'm sure that's not something I'll hold back on when I do know, though. ;)

Why did you have to write a new query letter after you had representation?

This question came from someone I did NaNoReviMo with, so they knew about my crazy synopsis / query writing day. The reason I had to write it was because Random House wanted to decide whether to offer a one book deal or a two book deal. Since they wanted to make a deal quickly, I ended up sending the query and synopsis to Sara sixteen hours after I started them! (Sleeping time included.) And yes, like I told them, every perfectionist bone in my body was twitching. My advice? Get really good at writing queries. And then convince yourself that you LOOOOVE writing them. I’m pretty sure you have to keep writing them for every single book, whether you are querying for agents, giving them to your publisher, or writing them for them for the back cover of your book, no matter which publication route you take. It really never goes away.

Have I mentioned that I LOOOOVE writing queries? No? Hm... Maybe I better keep working on convincing myself.

Did you meet Sara Crowe at the conference you were at shortly before you were signed up? [This was referring to a conference I went to at the beginning of October.] If yes, was she expecting your MS when you sent it?

No, actually, but I did met her at a conference I attended this past May. I had a pitch session with her then, and she had requested my full manuscript. I wanted it to be as golden as I could get it first, so I worked on it another five months after she requested it, but agents are cool like that. Pitch sessions at conferences definitely help, but if they ask for pages, don’t be in a rush to send them! Get your manuscript in the best shape you can get it first. They’ll wait. I promise. They'll even wait patiently.

Anyway, Sara hadn’t read my manuscript before another agent called and offered, so I told the other agent that I needed to think about it and get in touch with Sara first. I asked Sara if she wanted some time to look at my ms before I committed to the other agent, and she said yes. She read my ms over the weekend (while on vacation(!), because she’s sweet like that), and offered representation on Monday. So yes, pitch sessions help. But I had cold queried the other agent, with no connection to her whatsoever before that point, and she offered, too. So regular querying does the job just fine! Don’t stress out if you can’t go to conferences, or if you can’t get a pitch. Just get that query to shine, get your manuscript to shine, and you’ll be just fine. You can totally do this.

27 comments:

Iain said...

That was like my own personal Q & A session :oD
So, you had 2 agents fighting over you? How cool is that!!!
(Great answers btw!)

Shell Flower said...

It's just so exciting to read this. Thanks for sharing your journey with us. I am still REALLY stoked for you. Yay Peggy! You give us hope.

Robyn Campbell said...

Two agents?? Wanting you. Loving you. Oh man! I loved reading this, Peggy. Could I be next? Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us. I read it twice. :-)

Ruth Josse said...

So awesome! Some great nuggets of wisdom there, too. Thanks for sharing!

Kelley said...

Thanks for your wisdom Peggy!

Leigh Covington said...

Okay - I seriously have butterflies in my stomach! What is that all about? I don't know! But these are more great and informative answers to more great questions. Love it!

Peggy Eddleman said...

Iain-- Hahaha! I had copied everyone's questions into a document, then split them up into groups. I hadn't realized that all these were yours until you mentioned it! You did ask some of the most specific questions out of everyone. A HUGE thank you for that! Seriously, you saved me much staring at a blank screen.

Shell-- Awww! Thank you!

Robyn-- Yes, you can totally be next!

Ruth & Kelley-- You guys are too kind!

Leigh-- That name looks good on you! :) The butterflies are all about you knowing you're going to be there soon.

David P. King said...

Excellent stuff, Peggy! I'm taking notes. :)

Jessie Humphries said...

The whole thing is a just a big fat awesome dream coming true!!! I am so glad to be on this journey with you:)

Amanda Olivieri said...

Thanks for sharing this! SO excited for you!

Connie Barnett Dowell said...

Wow! It was an even more dramatic story than it initially appeared to be. You give us all hope, Peggy!

Angela Cothran said...

I love writing queries...I love writing queries...I love writing queries...great advice Peggy!

Angela Brown said...

I can't tell you how wonderful it it getting a chance to read about your journey through these Q&A's. This is so helpful on so many levels.

Thank you.

Patti said...

Just read your last post as well. Sounds like you've had a crazy few weeks, but very fun. Thanks for all of the great information. I love it!

Anonymous said...

I suggest adding a facebook like button for the blog!

Christina Lee said...

Oooo, i read both sets of questions and like you went about this (*takes notes for my "someday*)!!

Nancy Thompson said...

Thanks for sharing all this, Peggy. It's so interesting to read about others writer's process.

And I LOVE writing queries! Really, I do!!

Lani Wendt Young said...

I look away and blink for a moment and BAAAAM you are now Peggy Eddleman the pre-empted super amazing signed Random House author! Congratulations Peggy. I've been away from the blogworld travelling n stuff - and so exciting and interesting to come back and read abt the real deal publishing experience you are having. Love these two posts on publ and agent questions etc. Keep them coming please!

commutinggirl said...

Thanks for sharing these stories as well :-) I am not at the querying stage yet but I´ll remember your tip (maybe I should start practicing: "I love querying"). Your agent seems like a gem :-) And may I add: I think you´re cool *smiles* :-)

The Golden Eagle said...

Went back to read the previous post; thanks for sharing all this information about the process. :)

Jillian said...

Thanks for a great post, both the inside info and the pep talk at the end.

Jennifer Hillier said...

I loved reading these Q&As! Very enlightening - no two experiences are exactly the same. And you give great advice :)

S.P. Bowers said...

Thanks for answering these questions and just talking about the process. It's nice to hear it all laid out like that. I hope mine goes so fast when I'm ready to query. :)

Leigh Ann said...

Oh, this actually gives me a ton of peace of mind. I've been really agonizing that I can't go to SCBWI this December - no extra cash and I really don't think any agents want to talk to a hulking 28-weeks-pregnant behemoth of a woman anyway - but "regular querying does the job just fine." makes me feel tons better.

Thank you. <3

Tara Tyler said...

how crazy wonderful!
helpful & hopeful =)

Laura Pauling said...

Yes cold querying work but meeting an agent face to face is wonderful. Congrats!

Susanna Leonard Hill said...

Wow! 2 agents wanting you... a pre-empt! What's next? I'm expecting BTBB The Movie :)