It was a very different experience this year because I knew people, and I actually understood some of what they were talking about. I even knew more about some stuff than other people there.
Scary. I mean, really. Me? Knowing more than someone else? But it showed me how much I've learned in the last last year. Sometimes those little advancements we make are slow enough we don't notice them.
I got some pictures with people whose blogs I follow.
|David Powers King (click here for his blog)|
|Brenda Sills (click here for her blog)|
|Michelle Teacress (click here for her blog)|
Dan Wells, one of my favorite authors, was the Keynote Speaker. You might recognize him from his I Am Not a Serial Killer series (which I reviewed here). Dan also cohosts Writing Excuses (with Brandon Sanderson, Howard Tayler, and Mary Robinette Kowal). Dan's funny and addressed a question he gets a lot from people. "Where do you get your ideas from?"
Quote of the day:
I'm in the process of writing (and rewriting, and rewriting, and rewriting) my very first query. I've done a ton of query writing research and have had several people look at it and will take it to my live critique group on Saturday. It's been quite the experience. It still needs work, but I've made progress, which I find encouraging. Because of this I was particularly interested the the following class today.
Kirk Shaw, a senior editor at Covenant Communications, and Lisa Mangum, author and editor for Deseret Book, presented a class on "Writing Killer Query Letters", which they renamed "Writing Nondreary Query Letters."
- Read your genre
- Try and find a publisher or agent who already represents books you like to read
- Find out what the publisher's or agent's expections are
- Follow agents blogs who review queries
- Pay attention online to input on how agents/publishers treat their writers. No relationship is perfect, but be cautious about jumping in where the fit doesn't work
- Check page length / word count requirements
- Set the genre
- Compare to similar books either in style, voice, or theme where it applies. Don't make it up if there isn't a similarity.
- Be professional. You can decide to treat it as a business contract proposal (which it really is) or you can try and capture the tone from your book.
- Get into a simple review of the story
- Who it is about
- What the goal is
- What the obstacle is
- What are the consequences / cost of failure
This should lead them to want to keep reading.
References / Credentials
- Why should they invest in you as a brand?
- Are you a serious writer? What have you done to prove that? Are you already published? Do you attend writers conferences or belong to writers groups to further your knowledge of the craft?
- Can they trust you to be a partner in the publishing process?
- You may share other projects you're working on, even if they aren't finished.
- If it's a series or has series potential, this is where you'd mention that.
From the rest of the conference, I came away with lots to think about, especially as I begin the plotting process for my NaNo project.
Have you written a query letter yet?
If not, do you have any plans for when you do?
If you have, do you have any suggestions for us noobs?