So here I am with a fully written novel, I'm in the process of editing this wonderous thing. Now what? Well, I have to do something that's the most scariest thing in the whole wide world. Start the querying process. There is so much involved in this process and it's absolutely frightening!
First, you have to start with all the research. How do you write a query for that dream agent if you don't have the information needed? After all, the point of the query is to land that dream deal. (When I say "dream deal" I'm not talking Amanda Hocking type deal, for me those two words consist of getting representation and selling my work!) Agents are people like everyone else, they just happen to be those that have their fingers right on the pulse of the world you wish to run with. Having said that, you have to remember to TREAT them like people. You wouldn't go to a job interview and call Mr. Smith Mr. Jones. The same goes with the agents. They wouldn't be too responsive if you called them some other name. I know that "I" am a little picky about my name. Most people have that bad habit of calling me Monica. Well, that's only HALF of my name. People usually look at me like I'm insane when I correct them, but it's a person's name. The same goes for those agents we writers put on pedastals. They have names first and foremost. The very next important thing is remembering what genre they represent. You wouldn't send a fiction piece to an agent that represents only non-fiction. This not only helps out the writer, but the agent too! They get bombarded with so many query letters per day I'm sure that opening someone's query and it's addressed to someone else entirely, not even in the genre you represent makes them feel pretty annoyed. I know that "I" would feel that way. It's a waste of their very valuable, very put upon time. They have so much that they're doing and to have someone not appreciate that all that they do is just pure insulting. Since I'd much prefer to woo these agents I want them to know that their time and efforts are as valuable as they are. Research is one of the most important steps in your querying process.
Next, writing the letter. Now I'm not here trying to tell you that I'm an expert. I can't lie to you like that. To be honest, the research is uber easy as far as I'm concerned, but the writing of that letter is dangerously close to paralyzing for me. Here it is that I have to take my wonderful work that I wrote anywhere from 50,000-70,000 words of and condense it onto a page of no more than 300 words. The ratio just doesn't seem to work out in my mind. So there I sit, staring at my open word document with blank eyes and shaking hands. I will get around to writing that letter...after all this is something that I've been dreaming of since I was 7-8 years old. But I thought that I'd write this piece to let people know that being neurotic during this time seems to me the absolutely normal thing to do. Here's wishing all of us the best of luck and wonderful query letters for those wonderful Agents to get their mitts on!