Today we’re kicking off the actual Blog and Vlog: Surviving the Query Trenches series by talking a little about what it means to write a fantastic book.
If you missed the intro, you can find it here.
Surviving the query trenches is a lot like surviving the Fire Swamp. There are lightning sand traps. There are flame spurts. There are ROUSes. It’s hard to navigate through and come out unsinged, and sometimes people find themselves wandering and wandering and building houses from mud until the realize that they live there now and never left and where are they?
Today is about the first part of what I like to think of as the Query Trench Triumvirate. Three things that, when working in tandem, will set you apart from the masses of people who don’t do those things. Is it possible to find an agent and sell a book without doing all three? Sure, but it’ll probably take a hell of a lot longer and you’ll probably be coughing up sand and smelling burnt ROUS fur by the end of it.
First up is what a lot of us will feel intuitively should just be the be-all-end-all of querying. And yet, publishing is a business, agents are really busy people, and just having one of these three things isn’t enough by itself.
The Query Trench Triumvirate is made out of three things:
1. A fantastic book
2. A professional approach
3. Following directions
We’re starting with the first one. In a perfect world, all fantastic books would emit a tantalizing aroma or a high pitched frequency that only great, reputable literary agents could tune into. They would follow that scent/sound in a trancelike state, snap up the book and the author, and sell the book for six figures and everyone would eat champagne and tacos.
Yeah, it doesn’t work that way.
Having a fantastic book is in some ways subjective, but in others it’s not. I’m going to try and unpack some of that in the next couple weeks. For now, here’s part one of the video series! I’ll be talking about genre, craft, and traditional publishing as a business.
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