I’ll be a little less present from the blog in the next couple of weeks, for obvious festive, celebratory, fudge-laden reasons. I’ll try to check in once a week at least, but even if you don’t hear from me for a while, know I’m out here and wishing everybody a wonderful break and a happy holiday.
As a special treat, I wanted to link you over to a very special Christmas gift to which you can treat yourself.
I got incredibly lucky this year. Not only did I get a chance to write The Critiquer’s Survival Guide for Writer’s Digest, but Jessica Faust of Bookends Literary agency agreed to represent the book for me. Jessica is also the agent for my friend (and great mystery writer) Terri Thayer, so I knew Jessica was trustworthy, direct, and very sharp–all the things I want in an agent.
She’s also incredibly hard-working. As evidence, see her offer to do pitch critiques over the holidays. I’ve watched her do this before, and I can tell you that when Jessica says she’ll do “anywhere from three to three hundred” pitches, well…it won’t be three.
This is a great opportunity. Jessica doesn’t pull punches, thank goodness, and if she critiques your pitch you will know both what DOES and what DOESN’T work in it. You’ll be able to take her feedback and do some serious revision work, in preparation for submitting that paragraph to your list of agents, whether Jessica’s on that list or not.
This is the hardest part of the query to write. You have to SELL your book, in a way that totally hooks the agent and convinces them they MUST read pages from it. You have to tell the story of a 200+-page project, in a few short, concise, evocative paragraphs.
Go. Write. Copy the paragraph into the Comments section at Jessica’s blog. Then, as Radar on M*A*S*H always said, “Wait for it.”