OK, in the last post we talked about revising a manuscript. When you’re sure your story is as good as you can make it, you’re ready to submit it!
Now, I don’t have any experience in finding an agent for myself, and it’s so long since I first approached Harlequin Mills & Boon that the best advice I can give you is to read some of the excellent articles available on line. Best of all, in my opinion, is the wonderful Jenny Crusie’s article, It’s all about you: The First Step in Finding an Agent.
“The smart writers is not concerned with getting published quickly; she’s concerned with getting published well,” is Jenny’s sound advice. I really recommend you read this first, and indeed all the other essays on Jenny’s website, which are not only useful and entertaining, but beautifully written.
The only use I am, I is to reiterate the importance of READING THE GUIDELINES before you submit anything. If you’re writing for Harlequin/Mills & Boon you should have read the guidelines for each line before you started writing (you did, didn’t you???) but you should also read what they ask for when it comes to submitting your manuscript. They’re available online at Mills & Boon and eHarlequin.
So when you’re ready to go, ask yourself these questions:
Have I drafted a cracking synopsis?
Have I - all together now - CHECKED THE GUIDELINES of the agent/publisher I’m approaching?
Do I know the name of the agent/editor I’m approaching, and have I ensured that it is spelt correctly?
Have I written a query letter that shows that I know exactly what I’m doing?
And finally …
Have I made a note of Jessica’s email address - firstname.lastname@example.org - so that I can tell her when my novel is accepted for publication? Because I’d really like to know!