Monday, October 15, 2012

Why selling a house is like selling a book

As it happens, I'm in the process of doing both right now: selling a house and trying to find representation for my first novel. I couldn't help noticing a few similarities in the process:

  1. Polish it until it shines: Yes, I've polished and cleaned this house until it sparkles. About a hundred times. Really. I have a 4 year old, a dog and two cats. It takes a lot to keep this house clean! Same goes for the manuscript. Just when I think it can't get any shinier, I get new feedback and give it one more polish.
  2. Hurry up and wait: We've polished, and now it's listed on the market. Now we just have to sit and wait and hope someone decides to buy it. As for the book, I send the query letter I've agonized over for weeks, and I can only hope I've done my job in piquing the agent's interest.
  3. No response means no: After each showing (and each query letter), I wait and hope for feedback. Did they like it? Do they want to buy it? And if I hear nothing, I can only assume it means no.
  4. Hope for the best! And here's where they differ...with the house, we're stuck until someone makes us an offer. With the book, I'm already concentrating on getting the next manuscript ready for submission. Onward and upward! :)

Monday, October 1, 2012

Zipping up...

In my special suit of "thick skin." Yes, that's right, it's finally almost time for me to send my first query letter! For those of you outside the writing world, the first step to publication is to query literary agents with a brief letter pitching my book to them (think back cover copy). If they're interested, they'll request more, and in a perfect world, offer representation. The agent then tries to sell my book to a publisher. And if I'm still in that perfect world, I sign a contract, and my book comes out on the shelves.

In reality, querying is usually filled with lots of rejection and heartache. I'm prepared for this. I've participated in enough contests and pitching opportunities over the past year to have a taste for rejection. This first book is my "baby," the one I've slaved over for years. It's special to me, probably no matter how many books I write over the course of my career, it will always hold a special place. So, I've got my "thick skin" on, and I'm ready to go.

If I strike out with my first book, the second one is already written and in revisions, so I will move on to querying it early next year. And book #3 is plotted and ready to write, so no matter what happens, I will keep busy, and keep working on the dream! :)