Monday, September 23, 2013

She Asked for My Proposal! By Linda S. Glaz

Now what?

Hurry! Hurry! Hurry!

They want to see my proposal. No sense wasting time. Time to crank it out, get it to her, and wait for the contract…right?

Now is not the time to scrimp. Not the time to hurry. Now is the time to make it publish perfect. If you wowed an editor or agent at conference, then you certainly want to make them happy that he or she requested a look at your work. Convince the individual that he made the right decision.

First things first.

If she didn’t give you what she wanted to see, go to their site, study their process until you know exactly what you are to send.

Now you begin. Your query letter should include a reminder that the two of you spoke at conference. If you had a fun moment, or something that was particularly memorable: you spilled coffee over all of her personal papers. Well, you might not want to bring that one to mind. However, if another memorable moment occurred, then bring it to mind in the letter. Help him to remember who you are, why he wanted to see your work, and take a moment to sell yourself. Don’t assume the invitation meant you sold the project.

Send precisely what they want.

Be sure and thank the individual for taking time out of her schedule, following a conference, the folks are pretty inundated with queries. You want to be the one who stands out amongst the crowd.

This is no time to rush the work. Allow a trusted friend, perhaps a crit partner, to look over your proposal. Listen to criticism, and do it again, if necessary. Just get it right. Take your time to make it perfect.

Following these suggestions might get you nothing but a rejection, but you should always give it your best.

And BTW…best wishes for much success!


Andrea Cox said...

Hi Linda,

I'm glad you mentioned letting a friend or critique partner look over your proposal. That's precisely what I did with my proposal, only I had four writer friends glance through it. Since I'm a rookie at all this, I wanted experienced eyes and advice. This helped me take my proposal to the next level, along with my manuscript itself. And now I'm working on book two in the series I'm working on.

Best wishes that you'll find a diamond in the queries you're probably receiving right now.


Linda Glaz said...

You certainly took the correct route. Will surely help as you send it out.

Rick Barry said...

Linda, you make excellent points. I've seen newbie writers become giddy over the fact that someone requested a proposal, or even a full manuscript. But a request to take a closer look is far different from a contract offer. This is not the stage for rushing. Even if a contract is offered, it may be contingent on extensive revisions. All part of the biz.

Linda Glaz said...

I hear you, Rick. I was one of those. Nothing I post here is ever missing my "poor experience". I think I've done everything wrong at one point. One reason I don't want to see others make the same mistakes. It sets one so far behind everyone else who pays attention.

Nancy said...

May I add a thought from my side of the editor's desk? This year, for the first time in my career, I have had more than one author submit a proposal followed by one or more revisions of that proposal with days or weeks between. The last time this happened I was about halfway through my review of a full manuscript. The revision was significantly different, so I was back at square one.

Linda Glaz said...

I hear you, Nancy. The most frustrating part is giving an author some serious suggestions, and they send the changes back two days later, barely time to read the suggestions, let alone make serious changes. thanks, Nancy