Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Research never ends

So you're done with a book or screenplay. All the research is over correct? Nope, not by a long shot. Now comes the long process of what to do. Do you know how to do a query letter or a synopsis? Do you know which agents represent the genre you write?

This post is about how to find and/or research what to do next. Not everything, that would be one long post. But links and ideas I have used. First thing you need to do is compose a query and synopsis. I have a friend who does some awesome workshops on both. Her name is Sherry Lewis--Dancing On Coals online workshops. Check out her Facebook also.

But there's a lot of other information available also. Do a search for how to 'write a query' or how to 'write a synopsis' you'll find a list of resources. But your best place is your bookstore. I love Borders and am very saddened to have them close in my area. However, because they are, all of their reference books are 30 to 50% off. If you are near one, check it out.

Next, your novel or screenplay is polished and so is your query and synopsis. Now what? You're ready to submit.

If you belong to a writing organization they probably have a wonderful agent/editor page on their web site. Romance Writers of America (you need to be a member) has a very detailed list. Most likely many others do also. If you have a screenplay you need to register it with the Writers Guild of America. (There is a east and a west, be sure and register with the correct one for you.)

But you don't belong to anything because you can't afford it, so now what? You're still doing your research, so where do you go? You can go to the library, a bookstore to the reference section. Look for 2011 A Guide to  Book Publishers, Editors and literary agents. Or something close to that. Also here are a few links I recommend for more information: (all these are taken from a worksheet I have from a PRO class given by Stanalei Fletcher.)

Agent Query, it's free you log in and search for who represents the genre you write. Also if they accept emails, etc.

Book Publishing Central  This explains itself.

There are many more out there. As I said if you search you will find!

A lot of publishers do not accept submissions from un-agented authors, so do your research on those also. Check their web sites. It sounds like a daunting task I know, and it can be. A friend of mine, KyAnn Waters, has started a blog on what publishers are looking for. http://publisherpressrelease.blogspot.com/ This is a very new blog, but as she hears back from publishers she'll post it. Here are a few other publisher links that I have.
Carina Press Submissions Guidelines
Writing Guidelines for Harlequin
Sourcebooks Submissions Guidelines

Another bit of research I recommend is once you are considering an agent or and editor, check them out. Go to this site and you can check out both, and if the publisher or agency isn't listed you can email and ask.
P&E: Literary Agents.

Now you have your book and/or screenplay submitted, now you sit back and wait, right? WRONG. Now you start building your brand. The best way for this is with a web site, or a blog used as one. There is a great article in the RWR  this month (March 2011) called D.I.Y. Marketing on page 38 and 39. Check it out. Lots of great information.

Also, if you have anything to promote on your trip to publication or you just sold your book. Yahoo groups are a great place. BUT it can also be confusing which group lets you promote which day. There is a Yahoo group for this. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Promotion_Loop_Schedule/join
All promotion groups can send their information to the owner and each day there is a reminder with list of which groups accept promotions. There are still some rules you may need to read, but on a whole this group saves a lot of promotion posting time on the groups.

I'm sure I've just scrapped the service of all the resources out there, so if you have anything to add, please do!

Good luck.

8 comments:

Lindsay said...

Another place online to find agents in your genre is www.querytracker.net. They

Mary Martinez said...

Thanks Lindsay. I can't believe I forgot to put that in. It was on Stanalei's list.

stanalei said...

What a great list of resources, Mary. Thanks for the doing the "research" for this post!

Kerrigan Byrne said...

Research is one of my favorite things... Good post.

Lindsay said...

Research never stops. Before, during and after the writing it is so important.

Marie Higgins said...

You said it, Mary! Research never ends!! Good blog!

~Marie~

Sherry Lewis said...

Thanks for the mention, Mary! You've put together a really great list of resources and created a wonderful time saver for the rest of us :)

Mary Martinez said...

Thanks everyone for stopping by. I'm glad it turned out to be useful!