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Kim Tomsic

Monday, July 1, 2013

Landing the Elusive Publishing Contract

Getting to Yes!©
By Kim Tomsic
Would you like to follow the path to a publishing “YES!”? Here is my simplified flowchart, created in my own mind and based off of a bunch of hearsay and hogwash.  

Write an incredible story!

Check your beats and plotting by reading SAVE THE CAT by Blake Snyder
Follow Deborah Halverson on the blog: DEAR EDITOR
Join the SCBWI and attend a conference

Receive input from your critiquing group. Edit.

And perhaps check your editing with SELF-EDITING FOR FICTION WRITERS by Renni Browne and Dave King
Professional Editors for hire include Deborah Halverson, see her link on DEAR EDITOR

Edit. And Repeat step two over and over and over again!

Learn the business side of Publishing including how to write a compelling query letter, logline, jacket flap and synopsis

Receive input from your critiquing group

Edit. Edit. Edit.

Have beta readers give you input on your manuscript

Edit. Edit. Edit.

Research a gazillion agents until you have found five special ones; five who not only represent your genre, but who are also people with whom you’d love a long-term relationship.

Query your top five agents.

If you’re not receiving any kind of traction or personal responses, perhaps you need more editing time. Repeat some edit steps before you move on.

Query five more agents (whom you have researched and matched as before)

Yay!! Land an agent!!!

Agent is probably an editorial agent (in this market, most good ones are). Therefore receive edit points on your manuscript.

Edit. Edit. Edit. Polish, Polish, Polish.

Agent will take your query paragraph, logline, jacketflap work, and synopsis to compose a “for sale” letter to an editor at a publishing house. Why do most publishing houses have an agent-only submission policy…because the editor knows that all the above steps were taken, the project is polished, and an agent probably submitted based on an editor’s personal taste (i.e. maybe your agent knows an editor who is specifically looking for a dystopian mystery with a paranormal twist and a Jane Eyre-ish main character)

Big moment!!! Editor loves your project…what’s next?

Editor writes a memo in preparation for next acquisitions meeting (and you better believe it will be an easy memo to write if your agent wrote a compelling "for sale" letter based on the amazing query/synopsis/jacket flap and logline you wrote). 

Editor presents project to acquisitions committee for a vote

If vote goes well, editor writes an editorial memo to the Sales/Marketing/Design team and puts a Profits and Loss statement together on how they project will play out. Editorial memo will include author bio, selling points of manuscript, similar titles in the market, P&L statement, the manuscript, synopsis.

Editor makes pitch

The Sales/Marketing/Design team vote. Maybe other votes take place.

Congratulations…you’ve got a Yes!!!

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