Today I'm going to tell you how that all changed.
Yesterday I mentioned how after many rejections, a literary agent finally wanted to see more. I was over the moon. She asked me to send the first three chapters (I had only sent a query letter as per the agencies instructions).
She gave me feedback. FEEDBACK! Something I needed so desparately instead of just a NO. I always wanted to know WHY it was a no. She finally told me.
"The action doesn't start quickly enough." She noted.
She liked what she had read of the story, but she said it started too slow. That is a big mistake.
I went back to the manuscript and rewrote the beginning. Then I sent out more queries.
Occasionally, I would get asked to send in a chapter or three, or even *gasp* the entire manuscript. They would in turn, give me feedback that helped more than these agents will ever know.
I wrote and I rewrote and had my beta readers review the changes. I took scenes out, rearranged sentences and sometimes just put the book down because, life.
Two years later....
I joined Twitter because I was told that it was necessary for getting all the information I needed for grad school. I didn't want another password, trust me.
Twitter got me published.
Let me explain. Twitter has contests, pitches and pitch wars. Agents tweet their wants and manuscript desires (and complain about silly queries), publishers have requests and calls out for specific materials. I had no idea!
I followed every agent and publisher that had anything to do with paranormal romance. I followed authors that I loved and hung on their every writing-based tweet. I learned about the contests and entered as many as I could. I entered a first page feedback with Harlequin that was a huge help in editing. I entered more contests and got more feedback. I polished my manuscript as best as I could.
Then came #Pitmad.
You tweet your entire book idea and hashtag and genre in 140 characters. Not easy, but I had been practicing. I came up with fie versions of it and tweeted a different one every hour for the entire contest window that day - I think it went on for 8 hours. The rules are, if an agent or publisher favorites your tweet, you send them what they require based on their website or their pitmad rules that they tweet before you start.
I got favorited by an agent and a publisher.
Unfortunately, the agent that favorited my tweets had ironically just rejected my traditionally sent query and first chapter two weeks prior. SO I wasn't counting on it.
The publisher wanted the entire manuscript.
Two weeks later they sent me an email that they were reviewing it and would let me know.
Two weeks after that I got an email offering me a contract to publish with them.
I signed it that week.
SO you see, traditional publishing isn't easy, but it's not impossible. You need a thick skin and being stubborn and driven help a lot, too. LISTEN to the critiques, the suggestions, the NO's and work on your craft all the time.
Twitter hashtags for writers: #pitmad #amwriting #amediting #pitchwars #mswl (manuscript wish list)
#sytycw (so you think you can write Harlequin)
I will save chapter 3's songs for tomorrow...and a surprise to go with it!
Have a great day!