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There are times when every author must wait for a response from an agent or publisher about a query.  We sit on pins and needles.  Weeks go by and even months on end. Then we might get a form rejection letter. That is not what I received recently. I have gotten glowing remarks in rejection letters and even well-wishers for my book to find a home, but never a slap. I mean a cold, Doc Martin-crass-attitude rejection letter. If you don’t know who Doc Martin is well he is a Doctor in Portwenn, who is very blunt and has no social skills whatsoever. I love this show!

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So I decided because this agent went to the trouble of telling me very bluntly why she didn’t like my manuscript and why she “could not read any further”, I thought that I might as well pay attention to her suggestions and fix the problems. She said I used too many adverbs, repeated names a lot and had no voice. I went back and fixed the grammar problems. I edited the manuscript to the point of taking out a good majority of the beginning and now I hope it sounds okay.  The problem I have left is the voice.

With all the negative comments this made me wonder if the manuscript is just not good enough to be published. I mean is it not the editors who decide that a manuscript is worth editing or fixing? They decide whether a story is worth the work. Are they really expecting a manuscript to be flawless? I am not a perfect writer and I really do not know anyone who is. I just wonder if this agent is right and my writing has no voice. Could I be that boring? Just some insecure thoughts here after my hundredth rejection letter. But who’s counting, right? Keep your chin up. Things can only get better from here!

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If you want a good laugh about how crazy it is to be a writer. Read this article about query letter rules. I loved it!

 

Source: These 26 Query Letter Rules Will Change Your Life

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I really enjoyed this thought provoking article about reading and buying the right book for readers in your life.  Read this before you send that book to a friend or relative.

 

The Great Chapter Book, Middle Grade Confusion | Chapter Book Chat.

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1468803_10151725873696533_2066499872_nIf you haven’t read “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Publishing Children’s Books” then stop reading now.  I read it and somewhat loved it.  The no-nonsense way of telling writers who they can query and who would give a flip is awesome.  I always thought that companies like Scholastic would be open to new authors.  Well they are not.  Even though they might look at your work, they are really closed to new work.  Theses companies want to publish only the authors they have had for years.  The same authors and the same series.  It is their bread and butter.  Sure J.K. Rowling was a new name over ten years ago and sure Scholastic picked her books up.  But does that mean you have the next “Harry Potter” series?  I am pretty sure it’s a “no”.

So the book breaks down what is trade, mass market and independent publishing.  It also breaks down what an agent does and doesn’t do.  Some of the things is pretty standard stuff.  But reading it I thought I would find a golden nugget instead I found flakes of gold through out it.  This is a good thing.  After reading this book you will see that you do have to have connections and everyone in the publishing industry are human and want to be treated as such.  Common sense, right?  Well it should be, but for some writers I know, they tend to think they should do something to stand out in the slush pile.  Big mistakes are made and bridges burnt.  Instead try to learn who is working where and see how great the company is doing.  Is the company getting bought out or the agency closing down?  Is an agent retiring or focusing on their own career?  I looked up an agent once.  I Googled him, facebooked him, and even read his Tweets.  He sounded really good and seemed to be the right fit for me and my work.  Well what I didn’t know until after I queried him was that he just wrote a book.  He asked for my manuscript but was more interested in how his new baby was doing in the market.  Researching agents is tricky because sometimes they are focused on things you don’t know about until they make an announcement.

Publisher’s doors are closed and special invitations are needed to attend the party.  Trying to get in the “in-crowd” is about as difficult as pulling your own wisdom teeth out.  So for all the pain, worry, work, and research you do on your own sometimes it might be best to read a book, like the one I am suggesting above, to give you a clue about what to do next.  This book tells you to join a writing group (I’ve done that), to find writing critique groups (done that too) and to read (done) and write (done) until you have perfected your craft before you query (sigh*).

Well read the book and then tell me what you learned from it.  I’d love to see new advice.

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