Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Few Ways to Get a Automatic Rejection for your Query Ltr.

I'll list a few ways to get a rejection letter...but I'll also post a few ways that might help you get a request. Each agent/editor is different so what one might like the others may not.

Automatic Rejection for your Query Letter:

1.) Spell the editors/agents name incorrectly.
2.) Use all types of fonts/colors on the query letter
3.) Send the same query letter email to several editors/agents at the same time where everyone can see everyone else listed.
4.) Tell them you are the next Nora Roberts, J K Rowling, Stephanie Meyer, Dan Brown.
5.) Don't proof your query.
6.) Forgetting to include your contact info other than the email address.
7.) Telling the agent/editor how your book is the next New York best seller.
8.) Don't follow submission guidelines. (okay, I cheat a little on this one)
9.) Leaving the editor/agent without knowing the end.
10.) Tell the editor/agent you've been rejected 10 times.

There are so many reasons they can reject your query, don't give them the chance. Research how to write queries. One place I found very helpful Kristin Nelson's Agency (www.nelsonagency.com) Kristin and Sara often post loads of tips on their website...
Another helpful site is www.charlottedillon.com

Okay, so here are a few tips to make your query better.

1.) Don't go over one page for a query. Use one paragraph for the heroine, one for the hero, and one on how they came together and solve the major conflict. (Should put their goals. (what they want, why the want it, and why the can't have it.)

2.) If you've won any contests and such, put it in last. And if you have any personal experience in what you are writing about, maybe add a line about that. Example: My series is about women in construction. I work in construction, so I can relate to what I'm writing.

3.) Mention if you belong to RWA or other writing groups. If you belong to critique groups. Some of these things might help let the agent/editor know you are serious about the business.

4.) A website. Lots of people say you don't need one, but I think it is a good idea to start one now before you are published. Put your website on your query so the agent or editor can see your samples of your writing. Most editors/agents are like us, and they want to see what you are about, just like we want to see what they are about.

5.) Please research editors/agents who you are submitting to. See if they represent books that you write. One way to do that is look them up on the web and most of the time they put their authors who they represent or they will flat out tell you they don't want this genre' or that genre'.

6.) Please spell check. And please don't forget to "thank" them for their time. (this one is a biggie for me...always always thank them!!!)

I could go on and on with my list, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. I hope this helps....

Good luck staying out of the rejection pile....and remember if you do get a rejection try to learn as much as you can from it....at least you are ahead of the game for those that never ever submit.
Never give up your dream of becoming a writer....

Keep reading, keep writing, and keep submitting....

Dawn Chartier
Not An Angel, coming 2010 from The Wild Rose Press

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Cooking with a Cougar ~ Sounds dangerous....

A few weeks ago I went a friend's party. Well, it was really her childrens party, but that is where I met cookbook author, Rosemary Donnelly. I actually met her many many years ago when I was a teen. I hung out with her nephew and his friends. (although she doesn't remember me.)

Well, how often is it that there are two authors at the same party when it has nothing to do with books. I think pretty darn rare.

It was such a pleasure to chat with Rosemary about her new cookbook. I enjoyed listening to her stories, such as her fun photo shoot. (You have to check out her Cougar pictures.) She has a great personality, and I know by browsing her website, it shows.

I think Cooking with a Cougar comes out right after Christmas and the only place you can purchase it is from her website. (I think? Could be wrong.)...

So if you want some great receipes, and a fun time reading. I highly recommend her "Cooking with a Cougar" cookbook.

Rosemary's website is: www.cougarinstincts.com
Wishing you luck, Rosemary!!!

Happy Holidays,
Dawn Chartier
NOT AN ANGEL, coming out in 2010 with The Wild Rose Press

Monday, December 21, 2009


TIPS FROM THE SLUSH PILE by Sara Megibow The end of the year is a nice time to celebrate success stories!In early 2007, I read a query letter in the slush pile from a writer by the name of Sarah Rees Brennan. The query letter piqued my interest and we ended up asking for sample pages and shortly thereafter for the full manuscript.

To make a long story short, THE DEMON’S LEXICON by Sarah Rees Brennan was one of our debut novels this year and was recently named one of the Best Young Adult Books of 2009 by Kirkus Magazine. I mention all this because success stories do happen — successful authors are pulled out of the slush pile, tremendous books are bought by amazing publishing houses and these gems are read by delighted fans. Sometimes the process may seem daunting or overwhelming but as a writer-on-the-agent-hunt you are already one step ahead of the person who has already quit trying.

Hopefully this tip will help. Instead of breaking down my thoughts on query letters, I’ve decided to post the original query letter by Sarah Rees Brennan. Kristin frequently posts clients’ query letters on our website, so if you want to read more, go to the Nelson Agency FAQ page.Anyway, here it is — enjoy!

Dear Ms. Nelson and Ms. Megibow:

I am a big fan of Ms. Nelson's blog and the dedication and positive attitude obvious in every post.

I would like you to consider THE DEMON'S LEXICON, my YA urban fantasy set in modern-day England. The manuscript is complete at 75, 000 words.What would be the first word to come to mind about the runaway romance between a beautiful, headstrong woman and a darkly fascinating magician?

For Nick, it's 'embarrassing', since said beautiful, headstrong woman was his mum. 16 year old Nick has been brought up on the run from the darkly fascinating magician after things really didn't work out between him and Nick's mother. He resents his mother for the predicament they're in, and he was mostly raised by his older brother, Alan.Nick has also been brought up knowing that there are certain people who have limited magical abilities. Some of them, the magicians, increase these magical abilities by summoning demons who give them more power - in return for the magicians giving them people to possess.

The other magically gifted people have considerably less power and rely on magical trinkets and information, exchanged every month at a 'goblin market.' As the only people who know about the magicians and their victims, they do try to control things, but it's an endeavour that is not going well.Nick, who can summon demons and is pretty handy with a sword, is mostly concerned with just getting by, but his life is greatly complicated by the advent of his brother's latest crush.

Not only is she a little too attractive for Nick's peace of mind, but she has a boy in tow who bears the marks of demon possession. Added to that the fact that Nick has started to suspect that Alan, the only person in his life who he trusts, has been lying to him about a few very serious things, and not only Nick, but everybody else, are in for some surprises.

I have a popular online blog, some contacts in the writing and publishing world. I want to move ahead on this with an agent, and I also want an agent for the long term, for negotiation and guidance - in fact, everything it says on the tin - that is to say, your website.

Thank you for your time, and I look forward to hearing back from you.
Yours, Sarah Rees Brennan

Sincerely,Sara Megibow

(Thanks again Sara for allowing me to post your words of wisdom!)

Good luck to all aspiring writers and authors in the year 2010!!

Happy Holidays,
Dawn Chartier
NOT AN ANGEL, coming out in 2010 with TWRP

Thursday, December 3, 2009