Prepping the Proposal

September 22, 2008 at 5:37 pm 7 comments

Getting ready to submit is one of the most nerve wracking experiences for a writer. By this time you should know who are you submitting to whether it’s an agent, editor,  or a publishing house. What you probably don’t know is the amount of liquor and/or chocolate you will consume once your proposal is out the door.

The steps I take:

1.  Print off first three chapters and read again, because I KNOW there is at least ten typos I’ve left in the ms.

2. Print off my synopsis and lookfor sentences I can cut or if anything doesn’t make sense.

3. Apply eye drops because seriously I just read my synospsis.

4. Smile at my brillant query letter.  *the one things I do very well are queries*

5. Read first three chapters once again on the computer screen, because after fixing said ten typos I’ve probably created five more.

6. Print everything.

7. Breathe into brown paper bag.

8. E-mail online or send off in post office.

I’m sure you’ve realized I left a huge gap from finishing the book to sending it off. I did that on purpose. By the time you get here your book should have been rip to shreads, rewritten, revised again, and again, spit shined within an inch of it’s life so that the only thing you are looking for is typos.

Never, ever, ever send out a book that isn’t ready. There is a huge difference when you think “if I revise it one more time there won’t be a story left” vs. “I hope it’s ready” or worse “Since I don’t have a critique partner I’ll send it off to a publisher to get feedback from them”

That was a death knell you heard with the last example. Learn from me, you only get one time to make a first impression. That’s not saying you’ll never get another chance to get published, but always put your best foot forward. I stand by the theory an agent/editor would rather wait for a good, CLEAN, story than a crappy one sent to them quickly.

What this post boils down to is having a group of readers and writers you can send your book to, because once you hit this step you should be ready.

Tomorrow I shall talk about how to write a query letter. Funny that process also involves liquor and/or chocolate.

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Entry filed under: agents, anxiety, Beta Readers, in jest, old adage, query, revising, rewriting, submitting, Uncategorized. Tags: .

The Cover Letter/Query Letter Controversy The Makings of a Query

7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Alcohol Posts » Prepping the Proposal  |  September 22, 2008 at 10:39 pm

    […] Melissa Blue wrote a fantastic post today on “Prepping the Proposal”Here’s ONLY a quick extractBy this time you should know who are you submitting to whether it’s an agent, editor, or a publishing house. What you probably don’t know is the amount of liquor and/or chocolate you will consume once your proposal is out the door. … […]

  • 2. Marianne  |  September 22, 2008 at 11:23 pm

    I’m fairly certain that at least 85% of writing… no,wait… 99% (!!) involves liquor and/or chocolate… preferably chocolate liquor.

  • 3. Caryn Caldwell  |  September 23, 2008 at 12:18 am

    Hey, any excuse for chocolate, right? I second the critique partner thing, by the way. It’s amazing how certain things can slip through no matter how many times you’ve read your manuscript. Sometimes fresh eyes are necessary.

  • 4. Melissa Blue  |  September 23, 2008 at 4:17 am

    I just now realized I cannot call myself a writer. I’ve never tried chocolate liquor. I know. *hangs head in shame* But I’m willing do whatever needs to be done.

  • 5. Melissa Blue  |  September 23, 2008 at 4:18 am

    Caryn, I agree. There is nothing better than another pair of eyes to go over your ms. I may think I’m getting something across and then someone else reads it…

    Well, lets just say any CP of mine is going in the acknowledgements.

  • 6. Crystal Jordan  |  September 23, 2008 at 3:20 pm

    I’m always in favor of liquor AND chocolate (or, hey, together in a chocolate martini) when writing proposals and synos. I do give good query, though. 🙂

  • 7. Melissa Blue  |  September 23, 2008 at 5:31 pm

    I’ve been wanting to try a chocolate martini.

    And you can give me good query any day.

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