We’ve already talked about the query package and writing an effective cover letter, let’s get to the really hard part… the synopsis. First I want to say that I’ve found it’s impossible to write just one synopsis. To get a great synopsis, it’s better to do a few, because let’s face it your publisher is going to want more than the one to three page synopsis you submitted if they do accept your novel. They’ll most likely want a shorter blurb for the back cover. Also some publishers want more than a one to page synopsis when submitting to them, so why not just get them all done at once and be done with it.
For me it was easier to do the really long synopsis first. The chapter by chapter sum up of the entire novel, which reached a huge twenty pages. I doubt any publisher will want all of that, but it was good for me because I did not previously have what others might call an outline. Many of you may already have this chapter by chapter summary or outline completed. But I don’t do written outlines as I’m writing because I’m a pantser. I feel outlines distract from letting the story flow where it needs to go. So if you like to be organized and have a nice neat outline down before you even write the first word of your novel, then you can totally skip this step.
Continue reading “Novel Submission Part 3: Creating Multiple Synopses”
After many years, my novel is finally done, now comes the hardest part yet… it’s time to submit it. I have to admit, I’d rather write another entire novel from scratch then do what comes next, but paraphrasing Theodore Roosevelt, “anything worthwhile never comes easy.”
This summer I’ve been taking the first steps in getting my novel ready for submission by writing a cover letter (or sometimes called a query letter) and a handful of synopses (because it’s not good enough to have just one synopsis, but that’s another post!).
The first step I took in writing the cover letter and synopsis was to do research and see how the professionals were doing it. And I was also lucky enough to take a workshop about cover letters and synopses from science fiction author Gray A. Braunbeck last September. After a frustrating search, I finally managed to find my notes from his workshop. Yay!
Continue reading “Novel Submission Part 1: The Query Package”
I recently stumbled across a website and I liked it so much I thought I would share. Jane Friedman has a wealth of information for the writer/author looking to publish, wonderful inspirational posts, and writing craft techniques. There is also a post that has a free market listing where you can find publishers and agents at no charge. Below are just some of the listings. Go to her site to see a full listing.
Free Listing For Book Publishers
Be aware that most New York publishers do not accept unagented submissions, so sometimes “searching for a publisher” really means “finding an agent” (see next list).
- Duotrope.com. For fiction and poetry only. About 3,500 listings total, which includes many types of publications.
- QueryTracker.net. About 130 listings.
- Preditors & Editors. Hundreds of listings; been going since 1997. Waves a red flag on publishers to avoid. However, unclear how often the information is updated.
- Ralan.com. About 100 listings, focused on SF/F.
- AgentQuery.com. Bare-bones list (no submission guidelines), but offers embedded links to publishers’ sites. Useful to preview the landscape.
- WriterMag.com. If you subscribe to The Writer magazine, you get 3,000 online market listings for free. Vetted list.
- Poets & Writers. Hundreds of listings, serving primarily the more literary side of the writing community.
Free Listing of Agents
- AgentQuery.com. About 900 listings.
- QueryTracker.net. More than 1,200 listings.
- Preditors & Editors. Hundreds of listings; been going since 1997. Waves a red flag on agents to avoid. However, unclear how often the information is updated.
- AAR Online. This is the official membership organization for literary agents. Not all agents are member of AAR.
These links have been added to my Writing Resource page as well for easy access.