Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Submissions Involve Targeted Marketing

Although I am not a big fan of this movie, there are things to be said about the approach to resumes we see in the movie LEGALLY BLONDE. When she scents her resume and prints it on pink paper, she is immediately laughed at. But, when asked why, her answer is key - to make the resume stand out among the hundreds of other resumes.

While we do not recommend scenting your emails, authors have to realize that their letter is going to be one of many showing up in that editor or agent's in box that day. Depending on the number of different genres that agency or publisher accepts, that number can be higher or lower. Regardless, your query letter needs to stand out and not just be like all of the others out there.

One of the best ways to make that letter stand out is to remember that every query letter you write is different. The phrase, one size fits all is not applicable to your query letters. Every letter you write has to have a target audience and each one will highlight different things about your story and your professional writing career.

If you write single title historical romance, it is up to you to identify different things in your story that might meet the needs of each of those professionals you send it to. If one is big on the relationship building, then you focus more on the plot between the hero and heroine. If another loves stories with a strong historical backdrop, then you back off on the relationship and focus in on the single historical event your story is built around. If another loves a high level of sensuality and heat, then you emphasize that part of your story.

To do this, however, requires a great deal of research on your part. You need to know not just that the editor or agent acquires your genre, but what specific characteristics that  person likes in a story. As an author, it is your responsibility to do your research on that person. This is the same thing you would do before sending your resume to a potential employer. If you don't know much about the company, you read up on the business, making sure that your skill set matches that of the company.

Your job today is to take at least an hour researching those editors and agents. You don't get to send out projects until you have a full grasp on who the editors or agents are. Make lists, keep records, and be comprehensive in your research. You may find a lot more success and not just end up in some random slush pile.

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