Sunday, August 13, 2006

Mix 'n' Match

Took the day off from blogging yesterday and actually ended up getting quite a lot done. I've finished Writing the Breakout Novel, and I'm so pleased not to have put off reading it any longer. The book definitely gave me a lot to think about in my current manuscript--I'm already envisioning changes, additions, and deletions--but it also gave me a great starting point for planning the next book.

Besides that, I've been reading a great 'Query Letter Series' on Agent Kristin's blog and taking copious mental notes. My problem with query letters, pitches, synopses and all of it is that I don't think my voice comes through. I have it entrenched in my subconscious that these are formal documents or summaries of my book. But the ones that are getting requests (and representation) from Agent Kristin are quirky, funny, oddball, and interesting. They don't come across as stilted or formal at all. So, for occasional breaks from my manuscript, I've been working on a query letter and pitch, and will probably move on to a backcover blurb when I'm finished with those. I'm finding that it's really helping me to get that overall picture in my head and to figure out how to best describe my book to someone else.

With help from Donald Maass and Kristin Nelson, I really think I'm getting my manuscript whipped right into shape.

Today's Project:
My RWA chapter is hosting an Author/Bookseller Appreciation Reception in September and collecting promotional items from its published authors for inclusion in the goodie bags. I think I'm the only author(probably because I'm the only self-published one) who is giving a book to each of them. I figure it's a great promotional opportunity. If all goes according to plan, they'll love my debut, recommend it to customers, get excited when contacted about my next release, order many copies, handsell them, and start all over again. A girl can certainly dream...

Rather than providing bookmarks, which I've heard from a variety of sources are really cumbersome for booksellers, I'm trying to create these custom business cards with my bookcover and contact info on the front and some review excerpts on the back. I got the idea from Bookseller Chick, who indicated that this sort of thing is perfect to slip into a Rolodex for easy reference. Right now I'm up against printing/aligning issues.


Sara Hantz said...

Yay, on finishing The Don's book. I'm so glad it's helping you.

I know what you mean about query letters seeming formal. I guess if you keep the letter bit formal, but the blurb bit more punchy that would work.

Amanda Brice said...

My voice doesn't come through in query letters either. I think it's some pent up notion that business correspondence should be formal -- the career services people coming back to haunt me.

Speaking of bookseller blogs, a woman I met at RWA just started one. She has a readership of 2000 with the column she writes for her bookstore's website, and now she has her own blog.

Alyssa Goodnight said...

Yes, I think that might be the way to go, Sara.

And Amanda, I checked out the bookseller blog you mention. Looks like a good one--thanks!