Monday, July 16, 2012

Soduku and Researching Editors And Agents - There is a parallel

I was thinking about this last week and it sort of took all weekend to figure out where I wanted to go to with this.

I play around with Soduku. No I am not one of those geniuses at the game, I really struggle with them at times and I do give up easily. But as I was fighting my way through one of the puzzles I started to see a big similarity with successful Soduku players and successful authors when it comes to pitching to editors and agents.

When it comes to Soduku, the key to the game is to really look for patterns to fill in those darn boxes. This puzzle is not about simply thowing random numbers into a box and hoping the puzzle just solves itself. It is problem solving and critical thinking.

When it comes to finding editors and agents, the same is true. Successful authors don't just massively mail out manuscripts to every editor and agent out there. Successful authors don't attend conferences and sign up for every agent and editor in the room with an opening. Successful authors ARE critical thinkers. They plan and they look for the right approach.

For anyone who has been following these posts for some time, you would know that I am a firm believer in researching editors and agents. I am someone who truly believes your project doesn't fit with everyone who takes your genre. The list is limited. It is up to you, as the writer, to successfully research and market that writing specifically to the people who you have researched. This means using the same strategies in Soduku.

As you look at potential agents or publishers, you need to take the time to look for patterns of what they like and what they don't like. You look for trends in voice, style, dialogue, character and narration. If you are lucky you get some more information directly from them via their blogs or comments they make at conferences, but most of the time, it will be up to you and your research.

Now, are there some people who can play Soduku with sheer luck of placing numbers randomly and seeing how things go? Sure. There are also authors that have been successful by SPAMMING every editor and agent out there to see what sticks. But, they are exceptions and they are not the rule.

So, start you puzzles and get researching. Who knows what you might find out.


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