Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Don't Know Something? Did You Bother To Ask?

One of the common things I hear when I attend conferences are authors going on and on about how they are having to "guess as to what the editors and agents want." They will sit around in the hallways saying they just don't know what these people want. What is often funny is that this will be AFTER the editor and agent panels, and after the spotlight sessions or the Q & A sessions.

Now here is an insight. We as editors and agents are often equally as frustrated when we receive submissions that are far from what we are looking for? We open the emails and just shake our heads? For me, I am often saying, "What part of romance and women's fiction are these people missing?"

But this is not something that takes a rocket scientist to solve. All authors need to do is ASK!

Here are some things to consider. It isn't going to take much effort either:

  • During those editor and agent panels, ask questions that get to the heart of the issue. "Scott, what do you hate the most about submissions that come across your desk?" or "Scott, what was the last book you fell in love with and why did you like it?"
  • Attend those spotlight sessions and ask questions beyond what you can find in FAQ handouts. Too often, writers attend sessions that they can learn the information from out of a book and skip the spotlight sessions. 
  • If you are unclear about a genre or what an editor or agent wants in a submission, send the person a quick question. Keep is short, simple and to the point.
  • Writing chapters - quit complaining you don't know anything. Ask those editors and agents to talk with your group. Invite them to speak. Invite them to guest blog. Invite them to do a webinar with you. It doesn't take much and it isn't going to break your budget. 
Look, this is just 4 items. Very simple and very easy to do. Seriously, you don't need to flounder out there. We are here to help you because we are all looking for the same thing. To find people who are great writers and to get you published!

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