Writers are tough sons-of-bitches.
It’s hard enough to write a book. Then you have to wade into this street fight we call the publishing industry and start pitching your project. The tweed jacket crowd is gone, replaced by Darwinian corporate mergers, staff churn, the e-book earthquake, anti-trust pricing scuffles, and book platforms multiplying like rabbits. You have to sort through too much personal information on too few agents, searching for a hook, parsing what they love, and what they want, and exactly how they want it presented. Your pitch letter has to be pitch perfect, a polished gem. You gotta sell more than a well-wrought paragraph; only Clancy and Cussler get a promo budget. You gotta show them you’ve got a social media game – tweet, facebook, link-in, chat, blog. You gotta help them sell your book.
I wouldn’t trade this trade for anything. Thanks, Gutenberg, for inventing this game I love. I’ve been absent from Red Room for 6-8 months now, arm-wrestling with my novel. But now I’m back. I’ve got enough to pitch, and I’ve started swinging for the fences. Nineteen queries into cyberspace last month, and the early returns are trickling in. There’s nothing like the adrenaline rush you get when your computer pings an email and you see it’s from an agent you’ve been wooing. “Thank you for your query regarding “Séance.” Jodi would like to consider your project. Please send, via electronic or mail submission, the first 50 pages of your manuscript (give or take a few pages, should your work break cleanly elsewhere)....”
Ain’t it grand to be a writer!