If you’ve read my earlier blog posts (of course you have), you’ll know that I’ve submitted this book to waves of beta readers, some from my writing group (thanks again Dawn and Doug), some from other people I know, and some paid. After each wave, I’ve made changes to the book, many of them significant. This has been going on for a long time, so long that it’s too embarrassing to say, though if you look at the earlier blog posts you’ll see the timeline. Of course, it ain’t a bad thing--I have no doubt that each wave of beta reading has made the book better, and the last wave of beta reader comments have been very positive indeed. That tells me I’m on the right track. There’s no comparison between the book now and the book even 2-3 waves ago; it’s really a completely different beast.
But there comes a time when you have to kick the baby bird out of the nest, and hope like hell it’ll fly. I’m done with beta readers now, and working on my final edits. Before my recent trip to Vancouver Island, I printed out the whole thing (sorry, Amazon rainforest) and went through it with a pencil to make some final notes and identify changelings. In the past few weeks I’ve been incorporating those little buggers, and next weekend I will be finally, painfully, blessedly done. And while I never use the word blessedly, it seems appropriate here.
In parallel, I’m working on my query letter, and have already gotten some feedback, consisting of “write the whole damn thing over again.” Which I am doing. Query letters will probably be the subject of my next post, it’s a little too raw right now (not that I’m emotional about them, just that I don’t know enough to predict what’s going to work).
So the summary is that I plan to be completely done with edits by next weekend, and hope to begin submitting to agents in late July. A truly momentous occasion for me, and one that will be accompanied by a few West Coast IPAs, and maybe some Sculpins. Oh, and a nice dinner out with my wife, who will be only too glad to hear me talk about other subjects ;-)
I’d love to hear anyone else’s stories about getting a book ready for submission to agents. Getting ready for self-pub is a different thing, but I’m curious about the experience of other people who are struggling with locating agents, writing query letters, and other writer nerd-dom. Anyone using ManuscriptWishList.com? Of course, I haven’t submitted anything yet, this is just advance research.
Anyway, I’m done expounding. Till next time, campers.