Saturday, March 17, 2007

Getting lucky

In honor of St. Paddy’s Day, I thought I’d blog a little about the writer’s fickle friend, luck.

Several years ago, I had written quite a few manuscripts for adults and quite a few for teens, but I decided to shelve the YA writing for the time because the market for teen novels was so depressed. I concentrated on writing for adults and finished a Harlequin Flipside. I was getting good responses from my queries to agents when the line folded.

So I wrote a single title adult romance and got an agent for it. It didn’t sell, either. One editor asked me to revise and resubmit, and we had high hopes for a sale to her. But the same week I resubmitted the revision, she quit her editing career altogether--so we couldn’t even send it to her at another house.

In the meantime, I’d heard that the YA market was on the rise again. I didn’t really believe this would last, but just in case, I wrote MAJOR CRUSH and sent it to my agent. She sent it to Simon & Schuster. Little did she know that the editorial assistant there was a former band geek.

Score!

My point here is that to get published, and published AGAIN, you have to do everything right. You must write the best manuscript you can. Either you need to know the market inside and out, or you need to get an agent who does. And even then, luck may be against you most of the time.

The trick is to keep writing, keep submitting, continue to give your agent something to sell for you. You can’t hang all your hopes on one manuscript, because chances are, you won’t get lucky with one manuscript. If you have two, or three, or four, your luck increases.

It’s in the nature of luck to turn. And it’s your job to make sure that when luck finally turns in your favor, you’re not out to lunch. Even if it IS corned beef.

1 comment:

cchant said...

",,,The trick is to keep writing, keep submitting, continue to give your agent something to sell for you. You can’t hang all your hopes on one manuscript, because chances are, you won’t get lucky with one manuscript. If you have two, or three, or four, your luck increases..."

Wow, no truer words were ever spoken. I'm printing this out to stick over my desk as a reminder to stop slacking off. :-)

Cathy