First draft of manuscript? Done.
Massive first-round edits? Done.
Sent to beta readers for feedback? Done.
Incorporated changes, completed second major round of edits? Done.
Compiled list of agents interested in my genre and have sold similar books? Done.
This next step is terrifying. Querying. Literally exposing myself. Laying it all on the line and asking a professional to like your idea enough to take a chance on it.
I’ve been balancing all kind of excitement and anxiety about this next step for the last month or so, and I think that’s one of the reasons I started this blog. It’s a great distraction. One day, I’m so excited and proud of the edits I’ve accomplished, of the story I’ve molded, that I confidently begin drafting the emails to my selected agents. Then the next day, right before I’m ready to hit “send,” I decide to do one *last* round of edits and then end up making larger changes.
How do you know when your manuscript is ready? Every time I read through it, I find something I want to cut out, or add, or develop further. I feel like I could be working on this MS for years and never finish it. Literally every conversation I have, every song, every TV show I watch provides some reference to my book or spurs a fresh idea.
It doesn’t help that while my MS is definitely a market-friendly concept, it’s a bit new in terms of target market. I want to target this fuzzy newish genre: New Adult. I’ve read teen fiction, and I initially wrote this MS as teen fiction, but I truly believe there is a huge potential market for non-romance New Adult. Think of the possibilities in every story if the characters aged just a few years: no need to live at home with the parents! They can *gasp* drink alcohol (especially if they are Canadian and 18 years old), they don’t have to be virgins or inexperienced with sex! They can deal with issues slightly more realistic to their situation. They are literally fresh adults: that age which teens aspire to be, and that which older readers remember fondly without having to go all the way back down memory lane to curfews and acne.
So, now I just have to find an agent that shares my vision and opinion. That there is a great potential for contemporary NA dystopia.
There it is. I’ve put it out on the internet. Contemporary. New Adult. Dystopia.
That’s my MS.
So I’ll be querying five agents at a time, and waiting for responses before I move on. I’ve read from other authors and aspiring authors that this is the best way to make sure there aren’t issues with the query I am sending out. To be completely transparent, I will keep track of as much of this process online as I can.
Tomorrow morning, I send out the first five emails.