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Monday, August 28, 2017

Pitch Wars 2017: Stats and Takeaways



With the mentees now announced, I wanted to go over what I saw in my inbox, the main reasons I passed on entries, and what you should take away from this, regardless of whether you're picked. If you follow me on Twitter, you'll recall I got 83 applications. Of those, I'll be sending feedback to 5 random submissions in addition to those I requested pages from, with my apologies that I usually try to get back to everyone, but with the baby and deadlines this year, it just isn't possible. It takes me an average of 30 minutes per entry to give feedback, meaning that if I did them all, I would spend 42 hours on those emails alone. (In case you were wondering why agents do form rejections. And why you should keep your Pitch Wars peers close and your critique partners closer if you're getting said form rejections.)

I had a few trends in my inbox*:

Characters Leading Revolutions: 7
Ghost love interests/main characters: 5

And the reasons I passed:

Not right for current market: 4
Not right for me (was on my "Not a Best Match" list): 13
Too much telling/no conflict in sample pages: 29
Solid submission, but the plot wasn't quite my thing: 28
Confusing pitch; stakes not clear and/or no stakes: 3
Reads too young or too old for YA: 3
Liked it, but wasn't my perfect match: 15

(Totaling the numbers above will exceed my submission total as sometimes an entry fit in more than one category. I could still like a sub with a confusing pitch, for instance. It just ultimately didn't work out to be the one I picked.)

And just because:

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Pitch Wars 2017

Emerging momentarily from my blog hiatus to participate in Pitch Wars! I so look forward each year to my time as a mentor in this contest, where unagented writers audition for a free full manuscript critique from agented/published authors and professional editors. Winners have their work showcased for top-notch literary agents in November. Over half of last years' entrants are now agented and/or have book deals. If you have a finished manuscript, I highly recommend entering! Click here for more info.

PICK ME! PICK ME!

Okay, I know you've been on other mentor blogs, so let me just open with this:

[Shoulder devil pointing at shoulder angel] Don't listen to that guy. He's trying to lead you down the path of righteousness. I'm gonna lead you down the path that ROCKS.


If that's not enough to convince you, how about THESE qualifications:

  • Impeccable taste in dark chocolate
  • Love of mountains, the ocean, funny people, sarcastic people, random thoughts and fireplaces
  • East Coast survivor (lived in MA and NY). I now ride a horse to work in CO*
  • Video game savant
  • Swoon-worthy husband who is a marathon runner, expert hunter, and Forensic DNA Analyst He has a flashy agent badge, a conceal-to-carry permit, and has literally caught us dinner before. If zombie apocalypse survival is a priority to you, well. I think you know which mentor to choose.
  • Part hacker I mean... in my other life I used to program stuff.

Or these actually relevant qualifications:

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Yes, I'm Still Alive

Sorry for the recent silence. Things have been a bit hectic since The Dragon entered my life last March (thusly named as she is an expert in demolition of building blocks, stacking bowls, and clean rooms in general. And she growls):

The Dragon luring you in with an innocent look

The Dragon destroying everything you thought you loved

BUT REST ASSURED that when The Dragon sleeps, I am writing you something new. And I'm very excited about it. I hope to have some news by the end of the year, but until then, I'll be on a bit of a blog hiatus. If you're missing me, you can find me on Twitter in the meantime.

Until then -
N.K.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Debuting 101: Everything In-Between

Finishing up the Debuting 101 series I planned on finishing in, oh, February (oops), here are the final three questions about what happens after you sell a book:

What's the process after the sale and before the book comes out? 

You would think the first thing that happens after the sale of a book is a contract. But oh, you patient writer, you'll be waiting for that for months yet. You're much more likely to received your edit letter in that time, anywhere from a few weeks to a few months after the deal is finalized. When you receive said edits, you'll be given a deadline to return them. Then you might go through another round of edits, depending on your editor, or your editor might send you this magical little file called [your book title]_FINAL.doc and fireworks will go off, birds will sing your name and stars will align in the shape of your title as you realize this thing you wrote is done. For reals. Forever.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Debuting 101: Expectations

Continuing my Debuting 101 series, here are the questions I received about expectations and writing while marketing:

How to retain creative drive while promoting a book?

Individual strategies may vary, but for me, it's keeping a routine. I always write in the morning, and only after my hours are up do I allow myself to obsess about things like my next marketing post or Twitter. This is much easier to do if I physically turn off the internet. Otherwise I'm too tempted to check Amazon or Goodreads and Google posts like this very blog topic in an effort to figure out if I'm on the right track.

I'll be honest - the more time I spend away from social media, the more energized and creative I feel. The internet is full of distractions, and you're bound to come across a triggering news story or someone who just wrote 10,000 words in three hours or any number of things that raise your stress levels. If you're worrying about those things, you aren't worrying about your writing.

What realistic, unexpected (not necessarily bad) things should we be prepared for?
 

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