I have two current books under consideration. Since the titles are still in limbo, I'll refer to them as Book 1 & Book 2. (I know, not very original, but I'm terrible with titles.)
Rachelle read 50 pages from Book 1 (the one that had been in her slush pile for months). She had a meeting with the other members of Word Serve Literary. They discussed my project and liked it. Rachelle gave me "the call" and offered me representation. (You can read about it here.)
Later in the same day Rachelle read 50 pages from Book 2. She liked that book so much that she called me again to discuss our plan of action for both books.
Here's a condensed list of the things she's encouraged me to work on:
- Brainstorm titles. Rachelle didn't like my titles--go figure! She told me to study all of the titles used by the publishing house she's planning to target. This might give me a feel for the types of titles that are popular right now.
- Write a book proposal. She emailed me the specific form Word Serve uses for Fiction Proposals. It is approximately 6 pages long. (I'll share more about the proposal in a future post.)
- Write synopsis for my next book. When she submits my current books, she would like to do so as a three book proposal. This means that I need to narrow down the topic of my next book and begin the historical research. I also need to have ideas for the next 3-5 books after that.
- Finish editing both current books. Earlier in the year I hired a freelance editor for Book 2 and loved the feedback. I asked Rachelle if I could send Book 1 (the one that had been in her slush pile) to my editor before we start submitting it. Rachelle has patiently agreed to my wish. So now I'm in the process of shining up Book 1.
Here's how I see it: Our goal should not be to write a book that's just good enough to catch the attention of an agent. Instead, we should strive to produce a book that reflects excellence, something readers will truly love. We need to do whatever it takes to get us to that point whether we have an agent or not.
I'm making steady progress with my to-do list. Once I cross off all of the above, then Rachelle will have to read through everything which will take time. After that, hopefully she'll be able to start working on selling my books. She has a specific publishing house and editor she plans to target first.
Since I've shared my to-do list, I'd love to hear yours. What are you working on these days? And what are you doing to push yourself to excel?