For SlantedK http://slantedk.blogspot.com
Author of, From the Ashes, Coming Soon from Solstice Publishing.
No Unsolicited Submissions
A common statement in today’s world of traditional publishing.
The truth is, once you have determined it is time to submit the MS, you have to put on a new hat, the salesperson cap. In any sales seminar, the world networking is the golden goose.
One may return a comment that may sound something like this; “That is what an Agent is for.”
Sorry, it is the same thing folks, or as a good friend of mine says. “Same, same.” You are selling to someone a product that you want him or her to take a chance on. Besides, my advice is to work both angles at the same time. For me, a publisher said yes first, to date no agent has done so.
Sales can be a scary word, up there with public speaking. No worries, I have participated in my share of sales seminars, HR training and cold calling, you name it.
Do you have to do the same? No, that is the wonder of blogging and those of us willing to share. Except the networking part, yeah, must do that, like I said though, no worries.
OK, here are the meat and potatoes.
You are at any given site, the words are clear; “No Unsolicited Submissions.” All that means is change your goal and switch to networking. Look for the contact page, or search on Google for the Senior Editors of the company’s site.
I started with authors in my genre.
Actual samples with the contacts removed. Sorry they are my contacts.
Greetings Mr. XXXXXXX,
I understand time is at a premium and I thank you for reading this note.
You have influenced many in this industry and what brought me to writing this note is the ---- Spur award for best first novel. I have spent three years developing my first, "From the Ashes," including surviving the first editing process by author Don Porter.
May I ask advice; or are there any recommendations for an agent willing to take a new project? The advice I have so far is that finding an agent is more challenging than the edit process. This is my first manuscript, and the challenge is getting by the "not taking new projects."
In addition, to build a stronger foundation in my portfolio will writers read and write reviews for rookies? Any direction provided, is greatly appreciated. To get the foot in the door I will knock on many doors.
Thank You for these few moments.
That particular note provided an Agent to check with, it also gave me a name to drop.
Greetings, Ms. NNNNNN,
I understand time is at a premium and I thank you for reading this note. I have spent three years developing a western fiction, "From the Ashes," including surviving the first editing process with author Don Porter.
Currently I am researching agents. Seeking advice from former first novel Spur Award recipients, ----- ------- suggested checking with you.
He did not read my work; I was only seeking advice for getting a foot in the door.
David M Karder
Are you getting the idea? That month I had, I kid you not, 100% response and a list of different answers. The agent’s response led me to contacting the president of the Western Writers Association and his advice was to participate in a convention. However, I could not. I did the next best thing, I looked up the event, read who was speaking and contacted them directly. (The next note) The networking was accelerating.
I understand time is at a premium and I thank you for reading this note. I have spent three years developing "From the Ashes," including surviving the first editing process with author Don Porter.
You have influenced many in this industry and I wonder if you have advice or can recommend an agent? So far, finding an agent is more challenging than the edit process. This is my first manuscript, and this is developing into a serious challenge. I understand many "no's" will come my way; it is part of the journey.
I learned recently that westerns are not popular, and NJ Agent -------------- wrote, "With only two or three publishers now doing western fiction, I am having difficulty even keeping my published authors in contracts, so taking on someone new is not something I feel I will be able to do effectively."
I personally refuse to give up and admit westerns are fading, I want and believe revival is always out there. Robert J. Conley, president of the Western Writers Association advised me to go to their convention in ND in June, however, the economy has not been kind to me and the trip is at the moment out of reach. He mentioned there will be a couple active agents out there but stopped at that.
Again, thank you for your time.
I will wrap it up here for today. There is a method to the notes; you see a constant in each of them. It is important to acknowledge in your own words that you understand you are impeding on their valuable time. I mentioned the editing process to show that I had already taken some serious lumps and I was still trying.
The first 10 seconds is the make or break moment. Stick with business first, the tone is set. Don't make it long, you are only seeking a response, not selling anything. Once that happens than feel free to ask additional questions. Just play by the same rule of the first contact. If they ask for detail of what you have done, you succeeded at getting to a Solicited Submission. :)
Isn't that the goal?
Yes, she did respond. It was a no. :(
I have so much more to share and we can visit another time.
Thanks for Stopping in.
Share, follow, like, if you want to, of course:)
A tip of my hat and good day, eh.