Q. How long have you been writing novels?
A. My first novel with a major publisher
was published in 2002.
Q. How long does it take you to write
A. The Ladies of Covington Send
Their Love took two and half years to write. These days I write a novel
in about a year.
Q. I have written a novel. Do I just send
it to a publisher?
A. Generally no. Publishers do not want
unsolicited manuscripts. Occasionally, in some writers magazine you might
see a notice that a publisher invites you to send your manuscript, but
that is not the norm. Publishers depend on agents to screen author's
work and their manuscripts come to them via agents.
Q. How do I get an
A. When your manuscript is finished and
has been carefully edited, go to a book called Writers Market and go
through it carefully. Pick out a minimum of 25 agents who are interested
in your type of work. (They tell you what they want) Prepare a one page
query letter (There are books to help you write the best possible query
letter) and send that letter to the 25 agents you have selected.
soon can I expect to hear from an agent?
A. If you send a simple self
addressed, stamped post card with your query letter, you will probably
have a prompt reply. On the back of this post card, put tthe following:
a. Please send me the entire manuscipt (and a box to check)
b. I would
like to see _____chapters of your manuscript (and a box to check)
I am not interested. (and a place to check) That way the agent can easily
indicate her interest or lack of interest, and you are more likely to
have a reply.