All Quotes tagged Publishing A Book(7)

Another painful writing truth = You can follow every bit of advice, do everything you're supposed to do, and still not succeed the 1st time. Writing = art. It's not about ticking all the boxes. Your story must, above all, compel. If it doesn't, you've got to figure out why.

There's this thing we call LIFT -- this unteachable, unforceable element of a book that makes it fill your heart with excitement. It makes a series sticky, makes a character someone you care about like they're real. It's a tough code to crack. Agents can see it. You need it.

The slush pile = your reaction to the test is part of the test. If you get 5 query rejections and want to quit, this might not be the job for you. You've got to find your reason to push through the self-doubt and fear. How much are you willing to fail?

But I can tell you with 100% accuracy when your book ISN'T ready and when you SHOULDN'T query, and that is December 1, after you've won NaNoWriMo. Do yourself a favor and edit that book properly. Do your work before attempting to query. Agents remember garbage queries.

Oh, and a tip for querying and live pitching at conferences: 95% of the time, saying, "This book is like nothing ever written before!" doesn't signal that you're the next JK Rowling. It says you haven't read widely in your genre or have disdain for it. Pick a different hook.

And when I think back to editing my first 2 books, the pre-agent books, I remember how hard I was on myself. I was learning a new skill set. I wasn't born knowing how to edit a book. It took a few messes and some guidance. No one expects you to get it right the 1st time.

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Francesca Mandac

November 22, 2017