WritersBeat.com
 

Go Back   WritersBeat.com > Writing Craft > Publishing

Publishing Ask and post advice about the publishing process. Discuss new media and options.


What should I include?

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 02-11-2008, 09:48 AM
wendy_e (Offline)
Pencil pusher
Official Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Kingman, Az
Posts: 14
Thanks: 0
Thanks 0
Send a message via Yahoo to wendy_e
Default What should I include?


I am putting together my package for agents... a lot of them want a biography page. What should I include in this? Also, I just joined RWA should that be included anywhere? Does it matter?


Wendy

Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 02-15-2008, 04:05 PM
mammamaia's Avatar
mammamaia (Offline)
The Next Bard
Official Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Tinian...a tiny isle in the middle of the farthest reaches of the Pacific
Posts: 457
Thanks: 0
Thanks 0
Default

it won't matter that you joined rwa, if you're not already a published novelist...

i'd be very surprised if any experienced agents want a whole bio page with just a query... if they ask for it later, that means they're at least interested in considering you for a client and you should just give them whatever they ask for... keep it brief and don't bore them with stuff that doesn't have anything to do with you writing marketable novels...

hope this helps...

love and hugs, maia
__________________
For 100% free writing help/mentoring:

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


"You must BE the change you wish to see in the world." Gandhi
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 02-17-2008, 09:30 AM
Lin
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

I don't think you are seeing people asking for a bio "page", actually. I think you are misreading. Unless you are talking about a web page you can click to.

A query letter should be one page typed out, or the rough equivalent in email.

A quck intro graph, including a mention of any reason you might have picked them to submit to
(IF the reason isn't you googled 100 agents on the internet. A GOOD reason would be something like, "I was attracted to your agency because you represent Heywood Jablomie, whose work is similar to (name of your book)" Or better yet, "I was referred to you by Pasquale Cabrone who bought up your bank and said to take care of me if you know what's good for you.")

Second graph tells the tale on the book VERY SUCCINCTLY. Read internet tutorials on this if you don't know how to do this. A good approach is to start off with a "logline" that tells about the book in the same way that TV guide tells about a movie. "Cumming of Age" is the story of a man infatuated with an underage net porn star--until she starts to return his obsession in blood" Then expand with a few lines. Of more use than plot details is something like, "COA is aimed at fans of Larry Flynt, Gabriel Garcia Marques, Satre, and my mother's bridge club." Showing them the market niche, genre, etc.

Then your "bio". A couple of lines. If there's anything to say other than, "COA is my first novel."
The idea here is not to tell them what you think is interesting, but what THEY want to know. Which is: is there anything about this guy to indicate that this is worth looking at?

So if you are a pro writer, or have a column on your college newspaper, it's worth a mention. Of equal or more value is what's loosely termed "platform". Not that you have a PhD in porn studies but that you publish a zine on the subject and your facebook page on porn obsession has 12,345 "friends". You have a radio show, you lecture, you're president of a huge porn club. In other words, what you bring to the table in terms of SALES.
Promotional skills are as valid as the subject matter things.

Again, check some tutorials on query letter writing, there are some good ones...and unlike many tutorials, they tend to say the same thing. Since you're querying at agent level, look at the ones written by agents.

There is a lot of advice on the web, some of it useless. Try to know the qualifications of the people who are advising you.

Good luck
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 02-17-2008, 03:50 PM
OnceUponATime's Avatar
OnceUponATime (Offline)
Heartbreaking Writer of Staggering Genius
Official Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: State of Insanity - I must be in order to start my own paper...
Posts: 1,298
Thanks: 5
Thanks 12
Default

Originally Posted by wendy_e View Post
I am putting together my package for agents... a lot of them want a biography page. What should I include in this? Also, I just joined RWA should that be included anywhere? Does it matter?


Wendy
If you haven't published before, or have expertise - like a degree in English Lit or study of the topic you've written your book about - it's best not to bother with a bio, save for a line or two in your cover letter. Writer's Digest says basically the same thing: leave out a bio unless your educational background pertains to your book (if non-fiction) or if you have other published novels/articles, if any. If you don't have any of these, or don't (yet) have your degree, submitting a bio page would be pointless and perhaps underscore any lack of experience on your part in dealing with submissions. If the agents think they can sell your book, trust me, they'll ask for a bio along with any other stuff they might need to market the MS. When you read 'include a bio' under a listing in Writer's Market, it means that they want your writer's resume. If you don't have much of one (and most don't while starting out), it's best not to highlight the negative unless they ask for it.
__________________
Support your local newspaper -- and your local writers.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

-Jillian

Last edited by OnceUponATime; 02-17-2008 at 04:01 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 02-19-2008, 10:27 AM
wendy_e (Offline)
Pencil pusher
Official Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Kingman, Az
Posts: 14
Thanks: 0
Thanks 0
Send a message via Yahoo to wendy_e
Default

Thanks for everyones help on this. Jillian, you seemed to know exactly what I was talking about! Thanks a bunch.

Guess what? An agent wants to read some chapters of my novel! I am excited!

Wendy
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 02-19-2008, 06:18 PM
OnceUponATime's Avatar
OnceUponATime (Offline)
Heartbreaking Writer of Staggering Genius
Official Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: State of Insanity - I must be in order to start my own paper...
Posts: 1,298
Thanks: 5
Thanks 12
Default

Originally Posted by wendy_e View Post
Thanks for everyones help on this. Jillian, you seemed to know exactly what I was talking about! Thanks a bunch.

Guess what? An agent wants to read some chapters of my novel! I am excited!

Wendy

Well, that's good news! Let us know how it goes and best wishes for the future sale of your book

- Jillian
__________________
Support your local newspaper -- and your local writers.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

-Jillian
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 02-25-2008, 08:27 AM
J Scott Savage (Offline)
Scribbler
Official Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Spanish Fork, UT
Posts: 26
Thanks: 0
Thanks 0
Default

Originally Posted by Lin View Post
A quck intro graph, including a mention of any reason you might have picked them to submit to
(IF the reason isn't you googled 100 agents on the internet. A GOOD reason would be something like, "I was attracted to your agency because you represent Heywood Jablomie, whose work is similar to (name of your book)" Or better yet, "I was referred to you by Pasquale Cabrone who bought up your bank and said to take care of me if you know what's good for you.")
The only suggestion I would make on this, and it is definitely a potato potahto thing, is make the hook your first paragraph and do the reason next. The reason you chose the agent is never going to be enough to make them say, "Wow!" But a really good hook can do just that.

My feeling has always been, use you best bait first. Congrats on the request.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 02-26-2008, 09:00 AM
Lin
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

And there's a better bait than talking about why you like the person you're talking to?

Another good thing to include might be fresh brownies.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 02-26-2008, 09:11 AM
J Scott Savage (Offline)
Scribbler
Official Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Spanish Fork, UT
Posts: 26
Thanks: 0
Thanks 0
Default

Originally Posted by Lin View Post
And there's a better bait than talking about why you like the person you're talking to?
Again, just my opinion here. But I think there is. Getting your books to an agent, through the committee, and purchased by a shopper, is really nothing but a big sales process. And what it all comes down to is the hook. That's why you see hook contests, but not contests for tell an editor/agent why you like them.

I do lots of classes on hooks because that's what will sells your book in every situation. Tell me in one paragraph why I should buy your book. That's the sales pitch.

Of course, if I am approaching an agent with a deal already in hand, I would lead with that. And brownies are always high on my list.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 02-26-2008, 05:01 PM
Lin
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

I do lots of classes on hooks because that's what will sells your book in every situation.
Just not true. Has it sold books for you? Gotten you to second level? Which is generally somebody TALKING about your book to others?

Then how do you know?
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 02-26-2008, 05:10 PM
J Scott Savage (Offline)
Scribbler
Official Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Spanish Fork, UT
Posts: 26
Thanks: 0
Thanks 0
Default

Not sure I am clear on your question. But hooks are what got me four books published. Landed me a national agent. And earned me a five book YA fantasy deal. I have also heard bookstore employees repeating my back of cover hook verbatim. What are you saying isn't true? Maybe I don't understand.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 02-26-2008, 05:33 PM
J Scott Savage (Offline)
Scribbler
Official Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Spanish Fork, UT
Posts: 26
Thanks: 0
Thanks 0
Default

Sorry, I didn't mean that to come across as bragging. I was just trying to say that the hook, or cover synopsis, or elevator speech, whatever you want to call it is typically what sells a book. Of course the cover, word of mouth, and overall quality of writing are key too. But when it comes down to it, what a reader, editor, or agent wants to know is, "What is it about and why should I buy it?" Everything else comes next after that.

Totally my opinions for whatever they are worth.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 02-27-2008, 12:37 PM
Lin
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Please don't apologize for "bragging" More people should be less shy about stating their "credentials"...it helps people evaluate their comments.

Actually, it's me to apologize for such an "in your face" contradiction. Sorry.

That said, YES a logline or hook or whatever is of prime importance on the back cover, and in a letter. But "elevator pitch" is generally exactly that...or more like 6 people at another damned meeting, tossing out book proposals for a concensus on which few to take to the next level.

My feeling is that in a first letter to a specific person you want to tell them why you're writing to them. Especially if that reason is that you they were recommended to them by somebody they know or represent. That's actually more important to them than a cute logline...which they see hundreds of.

Or if what you are sending is a close match to something they've expressed themselves as being particularly hot to see. (Good example: the "Wish List" on the Donald Maass site)

I wasn't reacting to the idea that you want a punchy one-liner in your letter, but to the idea that it has to be first up (a matter of taste, perhaps) and that it sticks around from level to level, which it doesn't.

Again, sorry to be brusque. It's been a rotten week.
Reply With Quote
Reply

  WritersBeat.com > Writing Craft > Publishing


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Bridge Jay Writing Markets 0 06-17-2006 07:41 AM
Tripopia eZine Jay Writing Markets 0 05-30-2006 07:40 PM
Romantic Short Love Stories Jay Writing Markets 0 05-19-2006 10:04 PM
Sein und Werden Jay Writing Markets 0 05-19-2006 09:53 PM
A&U America's AIDS Magazine Jay Writing Markets 0 05-17-2006 04:46 PM


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 11:03 PM.

vBulletin, Copyright 2000-2006, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.