Figuring out what to do and how to do it after THE MANUSCRIPT is finished feels a little like rolling dice. But not just any dice. I mean multiply-sided dice reminiscent of the dice my kids use to play dungeons and dragons. One of those suckers has twenty sides! I mean, I think my crime suspense story of two sociopaths is great, but how do I convince someone who will say, “I must have it! Give it to me now, and I will trumpet it from the publishing rooftops!”
Luckily for me, Facebook stalks and analyzes my business, and I clicked on a link that took me to a five day course for Pitch Madness, an event on Twitter where you can tweet three pitches, pray, do a rain dance, and click your heels together…and maybe an agent will give you a heart. A heart means you can send them a query because they were interested in what they read in the pitch.
I dove in, absorbed everything I could, forced my husband to read endless pitches, and decided to approach this the way I approached auditioning for The Voice.
Yes, I auditioned for The Voice. Twice. Here’s what happens: You sign up to audition and pick afternoon or morning. You and several thousand other people arrive at the venue, ticket in hand, and wait. And wait. And then you…wait. Finally, you and 9 new friends walk into a room with ten chairs and a judge (not Adam Levine, sorry!). Each of you steps up to a piece of tape, sings for exactly 45 seconds, and sits back down. Then you go home or get a red ticket.
No one got a red ticket either of the times I auditioned. Someone did the math, and your chance of getting a red ticket is around 0.05%. So while not getting a ticket was a bummer, it isn’t unexpected.
I decided that it was highly UNlikely I would get a heart, and I posted my first tweet. I forced myself to do actual work at my office and not stalk Twitter. An hour or so later I took a deep breath, swigged a double shot of Coke Zero, and peeked.
Oh. My. Gosh. I had a heart from an agent. I made a strange whooping and laughing sound that had my neighbor checking on me. He’s a little used to me singing occasionally or scolding the technology when it misbehaves, but this was different. I tweeted my other pitches. No more hits. Then, probably thanks to some wonderful re-tweeter, I got another heart from an agent. BAZINGA!
So what do I do now? Well, I wrote a query letter, which I have not truly done since 2012. I thought I hadn’t done it since 2008, but then I remembered the books my alter-ego wrote. Those books were published, but the stakes are higher now. This isn’t a dabble – this is my baby, albeit a murdering, sociopathic baby.
I also am to include the first X number of manuscript pages. This means that even though I have read it and tweaked things and had others read it and such, I wanted to do it again, just to be sure. I’m receiving notifications as we speak from Google docs with comments from a very nice but extremely HONEST editor.
So this Thursday, I’ll have to stock up on more courage and Coke Zero again so that I can press “send” a second time. I’m crossing fingers and toes. I tried eyes, but that makes it hard to type.
We’ll see! Either way, the journey has begun, and I will keep driving no matter what. Thanks ever so much to Kathy Ver Eecke for the education and motivation!