Sunday, January 31, 2010

Good Advice

Perusing some of my most favorite blog sites, I stumbled across some extremely pertinent information, at least pertinent to my life. For those of you who don't know, I am in the middle of revising my ms in preparation for sending it off to the slaughter house...um... I mean agents and editors.(Sorry, couldn't resist!)

This ms is the first in a proposed series, but it can stand alone. So often I have read in advice columns and articles that it is vital to have the whole series written PRIOR to having sent your submissions in to agents/editors. Now if you are in my boat, where the series is 8 books long, that is a lot of writing to do before I even know if it will be sellable.
But in this aforementioned blog and agent addresses this particular problem and I am SOOOO happy now that I haven't written all eight books. The overall advice was---

1. Write one book at a time that can stand alone

2. You second book should have nothing to do with the first, should be a different story altogether, not the next in the series. In other words, don't write all eight books until you have sold the first one! This also gives you a second book in case your first bombs which is altogether possible.

3. Don't scare off agents by querying thusly "This is the first book in a series of eight, there is no other way this can be done and no way any of the books could possibly stand alone, don't worry you will love the cliffhangers!"

All this means is that the outline I have for book #2 in my "proposed" series will stay as an outline for a while. It also means that I can start fresh on a new project which I must say is kind of exciting. I am thinking about starting a new book with the characters and general story line from my short story "Cursed." Unless a better idea pops into my head. ;)

4 comments:

Tanya said...

I like new stories :P although you still need to send me a copy of the last ones so i can read them :)

CJ Gosling said...

Oh Shannon, I'm totally in the same place. I've sent my YA manuscript out and I've got outlines for the next few books in my series but I know I need to let them sit for a while. As for the 'Cursed' story, let me know how it goes, I'm fascinated!

markmurata said...

If you do get a series published, Mike Moscoe gave the advice to always promote the latest book. He used to promote the first book of his first series, but that contributed to a downward-sloping sales curve. Publishers want to see that sale curve go up with each book, or they will drop the author.

Shannon said...

Thanks Mark, that makes sense too! All these things to know and no way of figuring it all out until your in the frying pan I think !:)