Comparable Titles – Querying Troubles

One of the items necessary for a query letter is having comparable books so the agent you’re querying will have an idea of what your book is like. A comparable book is supposed to have been published within the last two or three years, have done reasonably well, and be in the same genre as your book. And, well, be comparable. As in I’m looking for a contemporary book that’s clean, light on the romance, with the main character either having a chronic illness – not cancer – or being a musician.

So far the search to find a book within those guidelines has left me feeling that searching for a needle in a haystack would be a bit easier. I’ve read hundreds of blurbs. Multiple first pages. Sometimes I even get a chapter or two in. I’ve done searches. Requested recommendations. Prayed. And yet, I’m still searching.

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Last night after finding several promising looking books that quickly didn’t work out, I had fun expressing a bit of my frustration to one of my friends who often keeps me company as I write. Our chatting conversation amused me and helped make the search feel fun.

In reality I suppose this is a good sign. It means I’m the market isn’t already flooded with books comparable to mine. And, despite it being a bit of a time consuming activity, I’m thankful to get this chance to become more familiar with the books that are currently on the market.

SO! Do y’all have any recommendations to books I could read that follow the above mentioned guidelines? I’d be utterly delighted to hear from you if you do!

Writing Perk #345: Watching Youtube All Day

I spent yesterday morning watching Youtube. And I’m planning on doing the same thing today.

Now, before anyone freaks out about how I’m spending my time, let me assure you that it wasn’t for fun, although part-way through the morning I actually did begin enjoying it. You see, for the past few months I’ve been rather (total understatement) overwhelmed at the thought of querying for an agent for When Life Hands You Lymes.

I co-authored my two traditionally published books with already-established authors, so I’ve never gone through the querying process before. In the past I’ve read various blog posts, articles, and chapters in books about querying, but I still felt extremely ignorant and unsure of my next step.

That’s why I decided to set aside everything else and immerse myself in the lingo, culture,, and all the good stuff that goes along with getting an agent. Cue Youtube. I watched vlogs about how to find agents, how to write query letters, and what the process looked like to the individuals who were vlogging. I also watched several interviews with agents, as well as a few short videos that a publishing house released where it went through what each department did on a day-t0-day basis.

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And I took notes. Helpful notes that made me quite happy. And I looked up some of the websites that were mentioned. Helpful websites that made me quite happy. And I got distracted once when an ad came on about a guy who free climbed 2,500 feet of straight-up rock. (It was horrifying and I am so glad I don’t know that guy. Very impressive, too. I decided right then and there that I am very much not a risk-taker when the risk involves anything that could be detrimental to my health.)

I also drank coffee, both decaf and regular. (The regular was thanks to Mom, the decaf was thanks to our local McDonalds, cause they give away free coffee every Monday. I was in town while working with my non-writing job, and decided to enjoy McDonald’s kind hospitality. And, just a real quick side note, but McDonald’s creamer is the best ever. I drink it straight from the little plastic containers and enjoy it throughly.)

All in all it was a very productive day as far as writing work goes. I’m already feeling somewhat less like a lost needle in a haystack, and I’m pretty sure that after a few more days of this kind of work I’ll have researched enough to confidently move forward. And now I’m off to go find some coffee and then look up Query Shark.

SO! Do y’all have any wonderful advice for me when it comes to querying for an agent? I’d be delighted to hear it if you do.  And, have any of y’all ever spent hours watching Youtube, but totally not for fun? Like the taking-notes kind of watching? If so, what was the subject you were researching?

Thank You

Figuring out how to blog on WordPress has been a stretching experience, and I’m still in the middle of the learning process. Today is a lovely frost-covered November experience that will probably find me curled up with a mug of tea, Christmas music, a candle burning, and the WordPress for Dummies book. (Not even kidding, folks.)

In the meantime, thank you so very much for everyone who has supported me with moving Noveltea over to WordPress and my very own website. *cue happiness* All of your comments, follows, and shares mean a lot. Plus those of you who have emailed back and forth with me and helped me figure it out… wow. Thank you. (Especially Kate who I’ve frantically emailed more than once.) Changing platforms has been something I’ve been working up the courage to do for a couple years now, and having finally made the jump is very good, but still scary.

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Make sure y’all enter the Rafflecopter giveaway (there are ten prizes, including a $25 Amazon gift card), if you feel so inclined. And, of course I would be beyond thrilled if you follow this new blog and share the word. (Like, imagine me doing little happy dances every time I get a new follower.)

As you can imagine a lot of my writing work is currently focused on this site, and other than a minimal amount of writing, I haven’t really done much else on writing this week. Next week I’m hoping to continue working on my blurb and such for When Life Hands You LymesUntil then, have fun exploring Lydiahowe.com and thank you, once again, for stopping by!