Thursday, September 20, 2007

Guest Blogger - Eileen Parker

Eileen is in the process of submitting her book to agents. She has graciously offered an inside glimpse of her process.

And here she is....

Eileen here, Eileen Parker. I'm a real-life friend of Lynn's for these past 15 or more years. I'm here to ask if you would you like to watch? Eavesdrop? I'll tell you about how you become an author, by telling you what I am experiencing. I'll skip sage advice, because I haven't any! I'm new at this and I'll let you in on what happens in baby steps.

I have taken some steps already:

I compiled what the book will contain: what chapters, what will be in them, what won't be in them.
Many conversations (that should've had wine) with friends and other loved ones about the focus and scope of the book.
I have the outline and marketing plan written and ready to send for that glorious day when an agent asks for them.

Originally, I wasn't going to use an agent because I have a non-fiction topic that is straight-forward and I would be able to keep the 15% commission that most agents charge. I have been getting rejected. (This I am used to since high school.) When I get a rejection letter, I go through a range of emotions in a second and am left feeling emotionless. This is probably a mental defense mechanism so I keep sending book proposals to publishers. BTW, the editors at the publishers were all kind enough to write a note about what other publishers to try, which was awfully decent of them to take the time.

I know the book will sell, so now I am contacting agents. I am hunting through the 2005 Guide to Literary Agents as a start. I am damned nervous about committing to someone without knowing them first. (This I learned the hard way at my divorce hearing.) I'm going to be metaphorically climbing into bed with someone and letting them hold my baby. I want to send a pre-relationship questionnaire, but what do I ask? I would be thrilled if you gave me some suggestions as a comment or to Lynn's email.

I am doing my version of a background check on them by finding all articles and mentions on Google. I have been checking on the writers' boards, Absolute Write and Backspace for what other writers have to say about the agents.

And I have been checking up on their authors' activities. For example, I found one agent who had published authors, but the authors weren't really promoted, almost next to nothing. This means something wasn't thought through when choosing the author and the publisher, because both have to have a marketing plan in place and have to work the plan. But hey, the sale got made, right? I'm not impressed. I want people to actually read my book, not just sign a publishing contract, do a couple of media interviews, then sell signed remainder copies on Amazon.

I sent a query yesterday to agent, Sheree Bykofsky, and the day before to agent, Betsy Amster. I'll keep hunting through the book. I'll also take your suggestions of who to approach and who to avoid.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Parker is self proclaimed with unsupported opinions.