“And You May Ask Yourself, Well, How Did I Get Here”

I Completed, Edited and Polished my novel. Time to get my book in front of agents and editors.

My personal preference is to pitch to an agent or an editor in person. (I’ve got issues, I know!) Am I a great public speaker? Nope. Am I good at “selling myself?” Not really. Do I get nervous and forget what I’m going to say? Yep. But I know in my heart that I have a better chance pitching in person then sending cold queries to someone’s e-mail. My personality sparkles more in person than in e-mail.

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*flashes a charismatic smile*

 

I attended the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention in May 2014, and signed up to pitch to one editor. That editor requested a full. But I received three more requests at the conference. (Two agents and one editor all asked for partials). If you want to hear the full story on how the heck that happened, I’ll write a future blog post about it.

Long story short…I received a call from an editor at the publishing house who’d asked for the full. The editor told me they were taking my book to the acquisitions board. After a few weeks of back and forth communication lead by my agent, the editor asked me to make a huge change. Now, I’m going to be honest and humble here, I don’t think my writing is absolute genius. I knew I’d be asked to make changes to my manuscript, and I’m 100% okay with that. BUT – out of the hundreds of changes I would make to my book, the editor asked me to make a change I did not feel comfortable making, so I pulled my manuscript.

Back to the drawing board.

GrampskissingChse

 

Here’s a picture of my grandpa kissing my son, because I needed warm fuzzy pictures after re-living the devastation of being SOCLOSE and making the decision to pull my manuscript.

 

Moving on…literally

Since I love to pitch in person—and because a lot of my writer friends were going—I attended the Georgia Romance Writers Moonlight and Magnolias Conference in October 2014. (Awesome Conference) The thing that sealed my attendance was finding out my dream editor was going to be there. I HAD to get in front of her! I may have offered to give up my first born child to get in front of her. (Kidding!)

I pitched to two editors. Dream editor asked for first three chapters. Other (awesome) editor asked for a full. Holy cow!

My agent sent Dream Editor the partial on 10/14/14. Dream Editor asked my agent for the full on 11/01/14. Dream Editor asked if Book 2 was finished on 11/20/14. Agent sent first five chapters of Book 2 on 11/21/14. Received an offer on (roughly) 12/2/14. Signed contract on 1/17/14.

The road is long. The road is hard. I can’t say this enough: Do Your Research. Don’t just blanket query. Go to local or regional conferences, or even local RWA Chapter meetings. A lot of them bring in great agents and editors you can meet (and pitch to) in person.

Pitching is nerve racking. And hard. Querying is nerve racking.  And hard. And it takes time.  You’re gonna wait. And wait. Use your time wisely. Keep working on that next project or book or series.

YOU CAN DO IT!!

Credit for Post Title: Song: Once in a Lifetime Artist: Talking Heads

Sophia Henry writes Heartfelt Flirty Fiction featuring hot, hockey-playing heroes. DELAYED PENALTY and POWER PLAY, the first two books in the Pilots Hockey series from Random House Flirt, are available now at all major e-book retailers.

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