Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Haven't We Had This Conversation Before?

Back in August I decided to try something new and instead of submitting my next book directly to a publisher, I decided to submit to an agent. I figured, hey, let somebody else do some of this work because it is mentally exhausting.

So I found one that had a good reputation, prepared my submission packet and off it went.  The packet included a cover letter, a synopsis (7 pages) and then the first 50 pages of the book all on top quality paper and sent out via priority mail.

About three weeks later I got a hand-written response (and not in very clear hand-writing, might I add) asking me for a full synopsis and that she was looking forward to working with me on an exclusive basis.  I was beyond giddy.  The only problem?  I had a hell of a time writing a 7 page synopsis, a full one would need to be 25-30 pages!  I'm not going to lie to you, it took a lot longer than it should have.

So I finally get the blasted thing done, write a cover letter and off it went last Tuesday.  On Friday I got an email response (apparently, if I had put my email address in the original, she would have preferred that) stating the following:

Hi Stacey,
I received your synopsis in today’s mail.
A synopsis should be 1-3-5 pages at the most.
When you resubmit, please send the first 50 pages with your synopsis and a title page stating genre and word count.
Is it targeted for a certain Harlequin line? Is so, please state it.
Look forward to hearing from you again.
Are you a member of RWA? If not, join and get into a critique group.
Would you consider writing an inspirational version? They are a bit easier to sell since the inspy market isn’t quite as hammered with submissions as the secular.
Just a thought…

To which I responded:
I am so glad that you received the synopsis.  I had originally sent you the 6 page synopsis and first 50 pages back in August.  You sent them back with a note requesting a full synopsis.  That's why I sent the 25 page one to you.

This story was originally written with the Harlequin Desire line in mind.  It was a top five finalist in their Editor's Pitch Challenge.  It was an exciting competition and the first time I had the opportunity to pitch directly to an editor.  It did not, however, make their final cut but I thought that it could if they had requested a full manuscript.  The comments they made on the story would have all been answered had they requested more than the first 50 pages.  While I was disappointed, it was still a thrill to have been considered.

I am not currently a member of RWA but do have a critique partner that I am working with through another writer's group.  I will look in to it.  We have a great local chapter of them here in Raleigh.  I've attended several of their meetings, as well.

As for going for the inspirational version, I think it would be very difficult to re-work this particular story for that genre.  It's a little spicy!

I look forward to working with you and please let me know what other materials I can send your way.

Thank you and have a great weekend!

So I'm thinking, okay, we've cleared that up, right?  Wrong.  Here was her response:

Hi Stacey,
You sound very nice – please send the first fifty pages, title page stating your email address, word count and Harlequin line it’s targeted for and a 1-5 page synopsis.
Look forward to hearing from you!
Thanks and blessings,

PS Don’t worry about it not being suitable for an inspy version.

Is it just me or does something just not seem right here?

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