Saturday, November 29, 2014

When to Send an Agent Your NaNoWriMo Novel by Rachel Brooks

With November and NaNoWriMo coming to a close, first drafts of new novels are being finished worldwide. This is exciting! The community and support system of participating in NaNoWriMo is fantastic, and if it’s a system that works for you, then great.

But some writers forget the FIRST DRAFT aspect and query too soon.

This first draft version of your novel is NOT what agents want to see in their inbox. Some important steps that still need to be accomplished include:

-Letting your manuscript rest before you come back to it with fresh eyes


-Feedback from critique partners and/or beta readers

-More revisions

-Potential repeat rounds of resting, feedback, etc.

-Final read-through, polishing up

While every writer’s process is different, and every story’s journey unique, it is universally true that these steps above take time. This means even if you and your CPs work quickly, by nature of letting something rest, getting feedback, making changes, and incorporating them so they feel organic, it cannot be done in a few weeks.

I hesitate to give a blanket statement of “Agents don’t want to see your NaNoWriMo until X months later." I do think it can be rather safely assumed that most would say not in the same year you wrote it. This is because that would mean you accomplished all of the next steps above in one month—December—then researched agents and began querying all within thirty days. And this probably means you didn’t let the manuscript “rest” either.

It’s hard not to rush, especially coming off the excitement high of NaNoWriMo. But in the long run, patience is such a huge part of the writing and publishing process anyway, taking your time will benefit both you and your project. Self-publishing, indie publishing, and traditional publishing will all still be there when your novel is truly ready.

Happy revising!

Friday, November 14, 2014

An Agent's Suggestion for Basic Promotion Every Author Should Have

When we sign a new author to the agency, they often write in and ask what they should do regarding promotion/PR/social media.

This was my response to such a question, and I thought I would share it with all of you.  Please feel free to add and suggest (and tell us what your agents have suggested).

Every author should have a twitter account, a Facebook account and a Goodreads account, as well as either a website or a blog (and write a blog post twice a week).  You can put your blog post up on your Goodreads page.

Take some time and fill out the Goodreads page, which means writing about the books you have read that you loved.  Look at my page.  Join any Goodreads group that you think will like your work and comment occasionally.  Same things goes for Facebook books/writing groups.

On Twitter, use hashtags.  #amwriting is an opportunity to find and follow other writers who usually pay it forward.  You are allowed 2000 Twitter followers, but I think only 100 a day, so every day find 100 writing-related people to follow from the famous, like Nora Roberts, Anne Rice, Laurel K. Hamilton and Stephen King, to unknown moms who write and and women who love romance. You get the idea. Retweet at least 5 times a day.

If you can find a writers’ community, that would be awesome.  Sometimes your local Romance Writers of America chapter is a good source.  Other times there’s a local writers group.  Or you can find one online.  Ask.  Tweet questions.  Find like minded-souls.

Reddit also has a very good writer community, if you can navigate those waters.

Wattpad is a good writer platform, but DO NOT join with your Facebook or Twitter account.  They are collecting addresses.  If you post writing, only put up a short amount and take it down and put something else up in 30 days. Never put the whole thing up.  One of our writers put up a fantasy novel and someone else published it on iUniverse.