Thursday, September 14, 2006

A Doctor Speaks

Here's an e-mail I received today


Are you alive and well? You haven't posted in almost two weeks. Maybe you're just on vacation, in which case I hope you're having a wonderful time and never have to come back (unless you really, really want to).I am missing your posts.

By the way, SELL yourself. I am learning, to my chagrin, that publishers look at YOU and your marketability more than the book (which is so sad). They should be ashamed of themselves. But image and packaging and marketability is the name of the game, I guess. You don't even really have to have any of that stuff, they (the publisher) just has to 'think' that you do, which is sadder still.

So pump it up, Baby! Buff and polish the package: potential sales, publicity, promotions, marketing, your ready-made audience, etc.


Randall Radic"

Doc (aka Daddy) Radic is the well-known writer, unfrocked clergyman and convicted felon. I guess he's still intent on saving souls. Well, he's come to the right place. Thanks, Doc, I appreciate the advice and the encouragement.

I've been silent recently for two reasons I guess. Firstly, I've been thinking. Secondly, I've had nothing to say. But, spurred on by the Doc, and the numerous other well-wishers who've left Comments on the blog, I've come to the conclusion that maybe it's time to stir myself again, cast off that old slough of despond.

Doc is right. Getting published - however you do it - is all about marketing. As I said in a previous post I've decided to hold back on self-publishing for a while (mainly because I haven't worked out how to market anything I might publish) and have another crack at reeling in an agent.

But getting an agent is all about marketing my book and myself effectively. So I have to get my query letter right just to get to base camp. Lynne Scanlon, the supercharged blogger better known as The Publishing Contrarian, offered to critique my current query letter so I sent her a copy. Well, she hasn't so much critiqued it as shredded it and put a match under it. The query letter is hopeless. It wouldn't sell ice-cream in the desert. It's amateurish, confused, unfocused and dull. And a lot more besides. Or rather, a lot less.

Lynne - yet again, thank you. I'm working on a completely new proposal. Something that actually markets my book. Something that will sell ME and my book to an agent.

So, in the interests of education and mutual self-help I'll post the original query letter and the revised effort over the next few days. Any suggestions or comments will naturally be welcome.

Oh, and Doc, you'll get your reward for raising me from the dead in Heaven. Er, well, maybe not Heaven. Somewhere warm and, hopefully, full of potential readers. Which sounds like Heaven to me after all.


  1. I'm stalking you today.

    Does Lynne wish to maim my own query letter perchance? Or does one have to've been writing very specifically about their book for months?

    Keep trucking, brother.

    Hehe I said brother.

  2. Matthew, I don't know. She read my book and liked it and I think would like to see it published. She normally charges for her services. There's more info on her website.