Thursday, April 22, 2010

Update on Query Process

I've said this before. Compare results.

Pick any agent and determine his/her success rate: books published that made money using the query process. Then give all new queries in a week an ID number and pick some out of a hat to work on. If the success rate for the hat is better than that of the current query process, the hat wins.

I'm not just being a wise ass. If we begin by assumming that the publishing of a book is a random process, then we can ask what additional information could an agent need to determine who got into the hat and who didn't. This information is where agentry should focus, because everything that goes into the hat is worth publishing.

An agent can only process so much material in a 40-hour week. So if he/she can only do justice to 3(?) new works per week, but gets 200(?) queries, then let the sorting hat determine what material gets the agent's full attention. Everything else that week gets immediately returned to the authors.

This method means the agent gets a workload he/she can manage. Only two types rejection letters are sent:
  • A. Your work did not get in the hat.
  • B. Your work got into the hat but we went in another direction.

The writer who got rejection "B" can immediately send his/her work off to another agent, knowing that the current agent believed it was worthy of a look, but didn't have time. Writers who got rejection "A" know they have to go back to reorganizing their work, until they begin to get rejection letter "B".

If the agent is good, the 3 books he/she decided to work on will get published. He will get paid, the publisher will make money. The authors will be thrilled.

Think about it. If I can get into the sorting hat for 100 agents, and each of those agents pulls out 3 to work on, then I have a 3/100 x 100 chance of getting published per a week. From a writer's perspective, that is better than the current system where, despite all of the work agents do, my chance of being published is very, very small. Why? Because a literary work is more than a commodity.

Monday, April 19, 2010

New Ezine Article on Writing

I continue to publish articles about writing on Ezine. My latest is title "Science Fiction Fantasy and Religion". It's about how SF/F literature is one of the last places where the "Big Questions" of philosophy and human life can be discussed.

Also, check out two new channels for book promotion:

Take a look and please share with your friends and associates. We're really ready to being promoting and selling my book, Time of the Heathen.

Thanks for your support.


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Preparing for Book Promotion Tour

A lot has been going on. I am completing my last 2 weeks of work writing technical articles for a software giant. I've been trying to learn the video business: how to create a promo video for the Book Tour Promo project and fix the lighting and audio, and learn how to do a better job with You Tube cell phone video.

We're much better now and just about to begin a routine process for handling video updates. Be sure to follow the Book Tour and the You Tube updates.

See you on the road.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Retweeting Promo

I'm currently tweeting a promo about my upcoming Indie Author Book Tour. The tweet is worded as follows:

Retweet my Indie Author Book Tour project and most retweets per week wins a free book:

Spread the word. The first book will be awarded Monday 4/19, if any retweets are recorded.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Advice to an Agent on the Query Process

I answered a Nathan Bransford question, How Would You Handle the Query Deluge. My comment may have been a bit rude, but no disrespect was intended.

The first question to deal with when a literary agent says he is overwhelmed with queries from would be authors is to ask:

What percentage of the queries you currently accept actually make it to a published book?

If the agent's current query process does not generate a very high percentage of winners, then the current evaluation system in use is no better than a lottery. My suggestion to test this thesis is as follows:

Have an intern place slips of paper containing some query ID in a hat and draw out 10 each day/week. Follow up on the 10 and see if your percentage of winners increases, stays the same, or decreases.

If you determine that your current query evaluation process generates a string of publishing miracles, why change it?