Monday, August 24, 2015

What Greyhaus Is Looking For - The author

This week, I am going to take the time to be a bit more specific as to what I am looking for in a submission here at Greyhaus. Let me first remind you the agency is not open to submissions yet. The date has not been set yet.

Before submitting to any editor or agent, I would always encourage writers to spend a lot of time reviewing all of the submission guidelines and getting to know the agency's or the publisher's individual voice. Too often, writers are rejected simply because they have no idea really what the unique style is for the agency or publisher. When you hear those editors say, "read what we publisher or represent" they do mean this. Don't spend the time looking for plot elements. Look for that voice and style.

Today, I want to focus on what I am looking for in an author.

When I look at a submission, I DO spend the time looking at the query letter. I know there are agents out there who claim they don't worry about the query letter, but for me, it tells me a lot. This single letter tells me if the author has any clue about the publishing business, and that IS important! Even though you might be a first time author, this does not mean you should not have a clue about the business. I want to spend the time working with you to shape your writing and career to be successful. I don't want to spend that time teaching you how to write or how the business works.

I am also looking for someone who is a true professional when it comes to his or her writing. Even though you might have started out as a hobby writer, this is now a real job. You need to be prepared to treat it as such. I would also add that when you head out into public, you are representing not just your writing, but also the agency. Remember, that when one author at Greyhaus is successful this also reflects on your writing. Everyone helps each other.

As I said, for many of you, this might be the start of your career. That does not mean you don't have a realistic sense of your future as a writer. Even if this is the first project you have, I want to know what else you have in the works. Do you have other projects planned? If this book is part of a series, then I want to know what that series will focus on. Take the time to give me a sense of each of the books. This can be in single lines, but give me a sense.

Finally, and this is the big one for me, I am looking for an author who understands the whys and the hows of writing. Too often, I see beginning authors who have been told to do things in their stories because someone else said to do so. Strong writers have a true sense of how to use technique effectively in the story. In the past, I have referred to Bloom's Taxonomy for this. If you are familiar with this, the lower levels are REMEMBERING, UNDERSTANDING AND APPLYING. This is where a lot of writers are at with their writing. They know the techniques and the start shoving them into their stories. This often comes across as very basic writing.  What I am looking for is someone who can move higher up the taxonomy into the ANALYZING, EVALUATING and CREATING levels. It is here that an author can look at his or her writing, as well as the writing of others to see why that technique works there and how  to use it correctly to get the point across to the reader.

This last level takes time to learn. It comes from a lot of practice and thinking about what you read and write. But it is this skill that will take authors to a whole new world when it comes to publishing.

So think about you and your own writing this week, if you are thinking about submitting to Greyhaus. Really determine where you are at as a writer.

We will continue into actual romance and women's fiction genres the rest of the week.

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