Monday, August 23, 2010

Agents & Editors & Publishers... OH MY!

My experiences in writing seem a lot like Dorothy's trip in The Wizard Of Oz. I can easily relate with how she must have felt. The whole writing process is like being swept away by an F-5 tornado and then being dropped smack dab in the middle of a strange land filled with agents & editors & publishers OH MY!

So, you have finished your what? Just do what Dorothy did...Follow The Yellow Brick Road. There are a few things you will need before you get started on the road to Oz. If you haven't guessed what they are already then here is your 'Ah-Ha' moment. You will need a brain, tons of heart and the courage to see yourself through this long journey. Along the way you will encounter some of the most treacherous obstacles on earth. Now, you may not come across flying monkeys or green, evil witches and your chances of stumbling through an enchanted poppy field are slim to none...though that might not be so bad. What you will be faced with is querying your novel for representation, dealing with editing & polishing of your manuscript and finally the dreaded shopping of your novel to publishing houses.
With agents and querying, all you need are BRAINS to help you land the agent of your dreams. It is simple... follow the guidelines set by each agent when querying your manuscript. You are much more likely to be taken seriously if you can first, follow simple directions....I'm just saying.
Editing gets a little trickier because, we as writers are so close to the project. We see our manuscript as our baby and believe it is perfect and beautiful in the way all good parents should, whereas an editor can see our manuscript with different, clearer eyes. When your agent or editor says that you can make your novel better, have the heart to do what is right for the manuscript even if this means sacrificing yourself and your needs. Love that manuscript enough to do the right thing.
Now, as to your last, daunting task I say, "Be brave and courageous, fellow writer". While waiting for a contract or when wading through a stack of rejections, courage is tough to maintain and not something that everyone has. For those of you who are afraid to show the world who you were meant to be, courage may not come. The trick to waiting for a book contract is not only to be courageous but to bring with you all three virtues...Brains, Heart & Courage. Remember to always believe in yourself and you will get there eventually.
Now, you have made it to Oz by finishing your novel, landing the perfect agent, polishing that manuscript to a high shine and finding your novel in the hands of several publishing houses. You have arrived...right? Not so fast.
Sadly, you may find that at the end of your long journey, others will go before you and find their place at publishing houses. It's OK...Relax and take a deep breath. There is a home for you with a publisher somewhere over the rainbow.
So, if you find yourself a little worried & stressed out and all the brains, heart and courage in the world don't feel like enough, just do what Dorothy and I do... Each morning click your heels together 3 times and repeat after me...

"There's no place like home"

"There's no place like home"

"There's no place like home"


  1. Beautiful analogy. I'm looking forward to revisions with our lovely agent!

  2. I would add to be smart (brain) and brave (confident) enough and don't put all of your heart into one basket. While you're working to find representation/a publisher (sending it off into the world), work to complete another project...and another.

  3. Great post! It's difficult waiting, isn't it? But it's nice to have fellow TRIBE sisters to wait with for sure!!!

    In the mean time, keep on writing. . . that helps pass the time for sure. :-)