Monday, January 24, 2011

Starting Over :{

Alright, so here I am starting over on my goals, and I need your advice. (It’s the first of the year and time to regroup!) Last fall I sent out about 15 agent queries for my middle grade Native American novel. I started with it, over my other writing, because it won second place in the State of Utah writing contest for children. I thought that would help sell an agent on it. I got several nice rejections, but many of the agencies have a no-response policy and I heard nothing.
The agents who did reply said they didn’t think they could sell the story about a Native American boy in the desert southwest. I can see their point. In this day and age of fantasy, science fiction and werewolves, an Indian story is not at the top of the selling lists.
So, I have a couple of questions for you.
1.      What should I query next? A middle grade WWII ghost story? (I know it sounds weird, but it’s really pretty good.) I also have some easy readers and a couple of picture books that have won League of Utah writer contests. Maybe I ought to give up on these stories and write a werewolf one, but I’m just not into that.
2.      Is it in poor taste to query agents who didn’t respond to my last query or should I stick to other agents?
Thanks in advance for your suggestions. I really don’t know what to do. I am really looking forward to Clint Johnson’s publication workshop at LDS Storymakers, but I may not wait for his answers. I’ll take your advice and keep on ‘truckin.’
Christy Monson


Shari said...

Christy, I think you should research publishers. There are some out there who only want stories about blacks or native americans, etc. And go for your WWII story. See what happens. Just the thoughts of another writer out there. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Oh, that's a tough one!!! I think your idea sounds fab!

My best advice (and what I try to follow): Make sure your novel is the BEST that it can be. Write a smashing query, and let it fly.


Best of luck to you!

lotusgirl said...

You could easily try the indian one with more agents. 15 is not that many especially when it's a novel for a smaller demographic. I also think the WWII ghost story would do well in the current marketplace with its paranormal element. It might be one to get your name out there and then once you're established you could pull out your native american story, then people would read it because you wrote it.

Linda Garner said...

Don't give up, Christy. Keep sending it out. LG

Bethany Mason said...

I have to agree with shari - research as many publishers as you can, particularly those that specialise in specific areas. The WWII idea sounds interesting and could quite easily have a large market as it's supernatural and set in a well known period of history.

Other than that, I say keep writing (and write what YOU WANT to write, not what you think will sell).

Good luck.

Christy Monson said...

Thanks to everyone for your advice. I'm still truckin' along. I've sent out a couple more queries AND I've given my query letters to my critique groups, so I'm on the case!!!

Thanks everyone!