Not a Salesperson

>> Saturday, February 5, 2011

For those of you wondering what I'm up to, well, I've been going over the Bete novels again. I'm going to try to find an agent and/or publisher for them.

Only problem is, I can't seem to write a query to save my life. Or rather, I can't write a good query to save my life. I mean it seems like a good query when I'm writing it, but the more I read it, the more I have others read it, the more and more it seems "meh."

I read Query Shark religiously. I know intellectually what needs to go in it, but I also know the voice is the key. I can get voice is a hopeless mishmash that confuses and dazes. I can get the formula though it reads as dry as a Pentagon briefing. Despite my best intentions, my queries stink to high heaven.

My husband says I'm not a salesman. He does not mistake the case. I'm the sort of salesperson who could keep people from buying what they came to get. I stink. Part of it is that they are books about characters with the plot largely incidental, so the formula is less than effective. The characters are the selling points, in my opinion.

I also don't do lots of other things that engenders getting published. My first paragraphs are not stellar - I grew up reading classics where you might not even meet the main characters until a third of the way through the book, where character development was everything. It's what I like, but also, apparently, passe. It's not how you get noticed.

Perhaps, and it's a real possibility, my writing isn't really notably better than my sales pitch. Hard to be objective. Perhaps I'll never be published because I can't promote my work properly, even if it is good. Sobering thought, that. But plausible.

Also the drawing has taken a step back, partially because of a crowded work schedule recently and partially because stepping out with new poses and Tander's features didn't work so well. I'll have to go back and regroup and try again.

And I will. I may end up 83 years old and unpublished, but it won't be because I gave up.

But a couple of the days in between are bound to be disheartening.


  • flit

    Your work is a hell of a lot better than a lot of the stuff that gets published - such as Twilight, for example...I know, you liked it.. but really, the small amount I read was not only creepy, the grammar was atrocious!!!

    It frustrates me that agents and editors don't get it... hell, they don't even LOOK, in spite of the fact that you write well, that your work IS marketable (for movies as well as books), and that you have multiple completed works which is SO much more than most aspiring authors, myself included, can say.

  • Jeff King

    I feel ya… writing an engaging, exciting, short and to the point query, which carries the voice of the manuscript is damn hard-to say the least.

    I have no doubt you will find the trick… hell, just look at your drawing, you did an amazing job-in my opinion- so you can do this too.
    I’m glad to hear you’re not giving up.

    I found it helps to have people, who have read my work, to write a brief description about my book. Like what they thought it was about, I let them describe what they would like to see on the book as far as blurb.

    I think you’ll be surprised if you try this… it really does help, and it lets you see your story from a different perspective.

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