A Few More Steps
I set aside May to tackle a query letter, book summary, marketing plan, agent search, and publicist search. Initially, one month seemed more than sufficient for this task. Of course, that month has included 5 teaching days, 8 days at Arrowhead Chocolates, teaching 3 evening classes, office work creating a Writer-in-Residence manual for Fishtrap, and launching a summer web ad campaign for Cheek Teeth.
Interestingly enough, finding a publicist to draft the query letter, book summary, and marketing plan was the easiest part. And more affordable than you’d think. Gathering and ordering my list of top agents to pitch too was intense, but doable. The eighty emails I sent to Facebook friends and writing colleagues came back with astonishing support and help. From there, deciding on which agents in selected firms—and what guidelines each prefers—was as easy as reading the web pages.
Now, the work of minute details beings. Is my marketing plan formatted not just correctly, but beautifully? Is it aesthetically pleasing, easy on the eyes, concise yet thorough? What about my other materials? Is all of the information factually accurate? Is it persuasive? Is it wordier than it needs to be? Is it flattering enough? Does it portray my personality as a writer?
Yet again, I have help for this, too. My pal, the Director of Fishtrap, has agreed to write the opening paragraph of my query letter. (The one from the publicist was acceptable, but it didn’t capture the real selling point of my work.) My pal also taught me formatting secrets in Microsoft Word for my other documents. (Well, they weren’t really secrets, but to a non-techie like me, it sure feels that way.)
The blurb form Famous Author will be ready next Tuesday so I’m now aiming to have my materials shored up by that time. This will leave me a little under two weeks to get my materials to my top ten agents before hitting the road.
I’ve been in the Wallowas for five months and already it feels like at least a year. Part of me is so terribly sad and torn about leaving, but a bigger part of me knows that there is no other option but to continue on the tour. This is work that must be done. It is a path that must be followed, even if I’m carving it as I go.