Queries, the horror, the horror

Haha so true! It's difficult for non-fiction just as much if not more than fiction!:

Well, let’s just start this off by saying query letters will be the making or breaking of me. I’m fairly certain I am not alone in this belief. 

Having said that, and having also gone on record as saying that I publish for my own purposes, not to make money, I think I might need to clarify why, if self publishing is what I do, queries should even matter.

Anyone who has ever written a story and believes it to be worth publishing knows the agony that follows. First there is the challenge of sifting through the mountains of rather erroneous information on the web for anyone willing to accept un-published authors. Honestly, publishing industry, how is anyone supposed to start if you won’t even let us submit without an agent, most of whom are unwilling to accept unpublished authors? Does this seem like a Catch-22/ Kobayashi Maru situation to anyone besides me? 

I digress. 

Why, then, the renewed interest in that horrid exercise of query letters? I blame NaNoWriMo. Yes, November is that wonderfully awful month where writers churn out tens of thousands of words and I was no exception. I managed to “wins”, and wrapped up another just as the month began. But then comes the “Now What” phase.  It just so happens that this year, the “Now What” is Pitchapalooza, where we silly writers have to cram down our pride and joy into a measly 250 words and, really, hope for the best. 

About a decade ago, I worked long and hard to get my book, First Bite, out into the publishing world. I was rejected by several agents and most simply never responded.  I’m not sure which is worse, but it left a bitter taste in my psyche that made me never want to go that route again. I opted instead to publish my own works, because, really, that was all I really wanted. I’ve been relatively content with CreateSpace and I’m trying out Pronoun (eBooks only). I do promise to post updates as I get the hang of it all. 
And here we are, circling back to the point at hand. Ten years ago, there were dozens of sites about how to write the “perfect pitch”. Now, there are dozens of sites about paying money to be told how to write the perfect pitch. No offense, but I highly doubt shelling out hundreds of dollars is going to turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse. Regardless, for those who, like me, have tried in vain to find a site that just helps us WRITE the pitch, might I suggest the following?http://thewritepractice.com/dreaded-query/ (This link is not done with any sort of benefit in mind, or endorsement, or whatever leagal paraphrasing should be here. This is just me, a struggling writer, directing fellow struggling writers to a site that actually gave some information about the query itself, not about how to pay to be told to write a query.)

And so concludes my foray into the world of writing queries. It’s brutal work for an author. It truly terrifies me to have to condense my entire written work into such a tiny word constraint. I feel as if my characters and I will slowly suffocate, but there you have it. When Pitchapalooza goes live, I’ll share my pitch here, and maybe some kind souls will vote for me, give feedback, or just say hello. I’m not picky.

Good luck to all struggling artists out there. Know that tonight especially, I feel your pain.

L.E. Gibler

Published by L.E. Gibler

Writer, rider, and future crazy cat lady

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