A novel has been called a piece of prose that has something wrong with it. Here’s how to ensure your novel has nothing wrong with it: 12 ways to get agents and editors excited about your work.
Michael Larsen and his wife Elizabeth Pomada
founded Larsen-Pomada Literary Agents and
run the Writing for Change Conference (Nov. 13-14,
2010 in San Francisco). Michael is the author or
co-author of How to Write a Book Proposal.
He runs a new agent blog, as well. To see the
nonfiction topics he seeks, click here.
1. Your idea: new, creative, timely, informative, entertaining, transformative, commercial, helpful, aimed at a large, proven market.
2. Your writing: style, tone, humor, drama, inspiration, insights, voice.
3. Your irresistible first page: compels editors to turn the page.
4. Your readers: the community of readers who give you feedback while you’re writing your book and when you’re done.
5. You: your passion, commitment, track record, credentials.
6. Your platform, visibility online and off: blog, short stories, teaching, speaking, a blog, social media, networks.
7. Your test-marketing: a blog, podcast, e-book, self-published edition, serialization, website.
8. Your promotion plan: a list of things you will do, online and off, and how many of them, a budget.
9. Your book’s promotion potential: online and off, reviews, media interviews, endorsements.
10. The markets for your book: consumers, libraries, subsidiary rights, reading groups.
11. Your future books: your book’s series potential, the synopsis for your next book.
12. Your book’s spinoff potential: merchandising products, short stories, music.
There’s a Sipress cartoon in The New Yorker showing a medieval torturer in a dungeon standing in front of a guy being stretched on a rack, and he’s saying: “Don’t talk to me about suffering—in my spare time, I’m a writer.” Using these ideas will lessen your suffering on the road to publication.
(Michael previous guest blogged regarding his best tips for writers and their career. It was a three-part series andPart
I is here.)