Today the Dragon Wins

"Today the Dragon Wins" offers information from Fantasy Author and Professional Editor Sandy Lender. You'll also find dragons, wizards, sorcerers, and other fantasy elements necessary for a fabulous story, if you know where to look...

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Sandy Lender is the editor of an international trade publication and the author of the fantasy novels Choices Meant for Gods and Choices Meant for Kings, available from ArcheBooks Publishing, and the series-supporting chapbook, What Choices We Made.

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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Postage Increase Will Affect Query Letters You've Sent Out
Or...The Dragon wants to give writers a heads-up about May 12 and some networking options to sell your manuscript without postage

The May 12 postage change will affect the query letters you wish to mail. If you're seeking an agent to represent you and your manuscript, go ahead and purchase the 42-cent stamps now that will be necessary for mailing the SASE back to you after May 12. The chances of an agent responding to you before that date are slim to none at this point.

Personally, I recommend saving your money on postage and spending copious amounts more on attending writer's conferences where agents and publishers will be in attendance. Why? Two reasons.

First reason to go to conferences instead of trying to get an agent with a query letter:
Agents are the gatekeepers of the publishing industry. One of their jobs is to find extraordinary talent and bring that talent before the publishers of the world for spotlighting and exploiting.

Another of their jobs is to keep a majority of the wannabes out of the industry to make life easier for those already being exploited. So when the slush pile is out of control in an agent's office (and it always is), that agent is not going to accept any more manuscripts. That means an intern opens your query letter, extracts your SASE, inserts a form rejection letter into your SASE and places your SASE--with form rejection letter inside--in the "out" basket for Friday's mail drop. (I'm surprised agencies haven't started requesting a $5 check in all query letters to cover handling and photocopying-of-the-form-rejection-letter fees.) Anyway, my point here is that no one will notice the 41-cent stamp until the post office catches the SASE en route to you and sends it back to the agency where an intern will pitch it into a recycle container. And you'll never know...

Second reason to go to a conference instead of trying to get an agent with a query letter:
Attending the writer's conference gives you an opportunity to learn, grow and network. I met my publisher at the Naples Press Club annual writer's conference and had a pitch session that lasted a little more than 15 minutes. In that 15 minutes, I essentially "sold" the Choices Meant for Gods trilogy. That rocks the house, Baby. Bob told me later that it shows what kind of commitment I was willing to make to risk face-to-face rejection. (Ack.)

My friend M.B. Weston had her pitch session right after me and sold her A Prophecy Forgotten trilogy as well. My friend Gale Sparks made the trek to a writer's conference up in New York, met an agent there and now has that agent helping him edit and sell Haint Lights. It's a dream come true, and I'll be shouting about it from the rooftops when they get that thing set to go. My friend Tina Murray went to the ArcheBooks Publishing writer's workshop in Ft. Lauderdale and sold her manuscript for the romance novel A Chance to Say Yes, which is being released, sans agent, next month.

There are more examples, but I think you get the point. An immediate opportunity for attending a writer's conference is right around the corner here in Southwest Florida. The Naples Press Club annual writer's conference is this April 5 and 6. It's taking place at the von Liebig Art Center in conjunction with the annual Author and Books Festival, where I'll have a table where you can get your copy of Choices Meant for Gods autographed and where you can enter a contest to win a replica of Jorin Taiman's sword and/or a basket of CMFG goodies, including a bottle of Bellan wine (it's not really from Bellan, but it's fun to pretend). I'll also have a flyer about Book II in the Choices trilogy with a scene from that novel...and it's a freakin' good scene at that...

To get information about the conference and festival, visit Oh, and, ummm, my publisher is one member of the publishing industry who will be there as a speaker.

"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."
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Blogger M. B. Weston said...

Wow! Gosh, I haven't been paying attention. Thanks for the update on the postage, Sandy. Very important if you expect to get your bills out on time, too.

10:58 AM  

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