I’m Gonna Need a Bigger Boat

Today I got the latest Writer’s Digest magazine in the mail, and the first thing I saw splashed across the page in bold letters was the title, “25 Agents Who Want Your Work”.  Eek! Really?  My heart did a slow somersault because I was sure Chuck Sambuchino was speaking directly to me.  Look here!  These agents are hungry now.  They are dying for exactly your book.  I grabbed a red Sharpie and began circling every listed agent who takes my genre, with ideas to send out queries before the end of the day.  Woohoo!

And then the voice of reason piped up.  She’s such a buzz kill.

No jumping ahead.  Not this time.  Last year I sent out queries too soon and I learned that being “almost ready” doesn’t cut it in this industry.  If you have a nagging suspicion that there might be something wrong with one or two of your scenes, and you think maybe it’ll just slide under the agent’s radar, think again.  So here I am now, standing at the edge of the query pool, and holding.  I’d like to stick my toe in to test the water, but I can see the sharks circling from here.  Sorry Chuck.  Back to edits, I go.

If you’re feeling brave, check out Query Shark.  This blog offers great advice, including detailed examples on how to revise your query letter to have the desired impact.  You can even submit your own query and they will critique it for all the world to see. Happy swimming!

About Tara Sheets

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10 Responses to I’m Gonna Need a Bigger Boat

  1. I am so grateful that I found your post today. I needed to remember that, as well. And that query shark site looks amazing, I cannot wait to delve in and learn from them! Good luck with your editing process 🙂

  2. tedhenkle says:

    Good luck on your editing and best wishes on submitting your work this year.

  3. Dorine White says:

    Too true. We want to send something in asap, and usually we’re not ready. You’re wise waiting.

  4. Great point Tara. I stand by that pool all the time, usually a bit of fatigue from editing, re-editing, re-re-editin — well, you get the picture. The little voice in the back of my mind tends to know the score. I’m sure, like me, you’ve had the experience of putting something “finished” out there, getting feedback and telling yourself, “I knew that.” There is a time to let go, but it’s usually later than earlier.

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