Miriam, Jim, Jessica and I recently participated in a Writer’s Digest boot camp. Each of us spent 3 solid hours online answering questions from the students who had registered for the class. The questions arrived in threads and once I got the hang of how to answer, it was an interesting exercise filled with many curious writers looking for information from a publishing professional. I was happy to oblige.
The questions ranged in content and complexity and some questions prompted others. I’ll share a couple of examples to give you the idea. One question posted was: “How critical is a synopsis?” To which I replied that different agents probably see it differently but I don’t weigh too heavily on the synopsis if the query letter is good and I personally prefer a synopsis that’s brief and just gives a story overview. More like flap copy from a book.
Another question that came up was: “Do agents really research the writer (presumably when they receive a submission from them)?” This prompted a follow-up question about a writer who has a blog and if that’s something an agent will consider when reviewing a query. My response: “Yes, absolutely. An author who has an online presence and is active in social media can be very positive. For nonfiction it’s critical, less so for fiction, but the more public a figure you are in this market (and world) the easier the chances to sell your work.”
It got me to thinking that I’d be happy to offer here on our blog a similar service. While I can’t promise to answer questions for 3 hours straight, I’ll do my best to answer any questions you might have about, well, anything that relates to writing.
I promise I will get back to you before too long but please be patient since I’m away in Austin, Texas at a writer’s conference this weekend where I’ll be answering a lot more questions.
So, ask away! Thanks, and look forward to hearing from you.