What are people thinking lately?
If you’re not familiar with Query Letter Hell
, it’s a section of the Absolute Write
forum where you can post your query or synopsis and get it shredded, along with your ego, by anyone with an Absolute Write account. It’s like Matt’s QQQE
, though folks at QLH are less likely to soften the blows (the people at both places are motivated by the same thing: the desire to help writers turn out winning queries). At any rate, last month two different writers posted query letters in the span of a week that had one amazing similarity: they were both for books that had already been published. The letters went up, and no one noticed the sig lines with pictures of the book, or the link to Amazon.
The first letter received a good amount of critique. If you’ve ever spent any time critiquing another writer’s work, you know it’s a time-consuming process; this querier received a great deal of thoughtful, constructive criticism, criticism that took time and effort from each of the posters (and was met with flippant-bordering-on-rude replies from the querier). Someone finally noticed, and said, “Hey, this book has already been published!” and the thread got locked. The second one arrived a day or two before the first one got shut down. This one was noticed much quicker, did not get as much feedback, and died on the vine.
My question: What gives, people?
The time to query is before you publish the book. Say it again: the time to query is before you publish your book. Publishers generally don’t want books that have already been printed. Not unless you’re selling books at at the rate of Amanda Hocking or E.L. James, in which case, congratulations, they’ll probably be coming to you with a query of their own.
|Freefoto.com – Ian Britton
I’m all about dreams, folks. I’m writing these stories because they’re in me, because I love to write, and I want to share them. Part of that dream is to get published (traditionally), have people read and enjoy them, and, yes, make money. In my Big Dreams I’m on book tours and talk shows and NPR (yeah, I know I’ve done this before, forgive me for repeating myself. At least it’s not a bathroom scene.). If I call it a Goal maybe it doesn’t sound so silly. Anyway, within that framework of dream is a reality built on knowledge of how the system works. Yes, there are people who go from self-published nobody to members of the Millionaire’s Club, but the reason we hear so much about them is because of how rare it truly is. Can it happen? Can you turn a self-published book into a Big 5 deal, movie rights, and millions of dollars? Sure. But if you’re trying to do it that way, if you’re trying to use self-publishing as a short-cut to riches and fame, you’re going about it the wrong way. Especially if you’re book is not really, really good.
HUGE congratulations to my friend Lisa L. Regan, who has revealed the cover for Aberration
, her second book, which will be released in June. Head on over to her blog to take a peek
. She also received printed copies of Finding Claire Fletcher
, which will be released in less than a month. I will have an interview here with Lisa next month, watch for it.
Finally, I must be on to something, posting about potty scenes. I eyeballed my stats for the week and was shocked, shocked I tell you, about the number of page views The Potty Post has gotten. Now I just need to figure out why….
Anyway, have a great weekend, all. See you Monday.