Monday, April 13, 2015

Come see me in Bowling Green, Ky., April 18

Hey, if you're anywhere near Kentucky this weekend, I will appear at the SOKY Bookfest, April 18 in Bowling Green, Ky. This is one of my favorite events of the year as it is very well organized, features an awesome array of authors AND it's hosted by Western Kentucky University, my alma mater!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

A Requested Repost: HOW TO WRITE A QUERY LETTER

I've had a lot of people ask me how I got published, which is a fair question. Sometimes I wonder how I got published. And when I start to explain about query letters, their eyes sort of glaze over. So I thought I would share the query letter I used when I was searching for an agent. And give some thoughts on how to go about writing your own. I'm not saying it would work for everybody or that it's grammatically perfect, but it worked for me.

First things first. Is your manuscript ready to be submitted to an agent? How many times have you revised it? Have you read through it objectively and analyzed it for typos and plot weaknesses? A lot of writers, understandably so, are so eager to get published that they spend more time perfecting their query letter than they spend perfecting their manuscript. (Agent Stephen Barbara wrote a great piece for Publishers Weekly on this, which can be found if you click this entry's title.) Make sure you're ready to start the ball rolling. First impressions count for a lot. Once an agent has passed, they've passed. You will not have the chance to re-submit.

Second, find your demographic. I used Agentquery.com to find a list of about 70 agents who represented supernatural fiction, women's fiction and Southern fiction, as my manuscript was all of those things. It would have been pointless for me to submit to an agent who only represented non-fiction. I also went for agents who accepted email queries, because it's much cheaper and faster than "snail mail" submissions.

Now, it's time to write your letter.

Dear Ms. Smith:

Always, always, ALWAYS direct your letter to a single agent. Do not send a blanket letter to every agent in an agency. Don't address it "To Whom It May Concern" or "Dear Sir or Madam." Also, spell their names right.

Meet Jane Jameson. A permanent fixture on her mama's prayer list, she's unmarried, unemployed, and most recently, undead. Don't ask which annoys Mama more.

Jane is a quirky voice of reason in a world where vampires have their own aisle at Wal-Mart. A day that started with her unceremonious firing from the Half-Moon Hollow Public Library gets exponentially worse when she's mistaken for a deer, shot, left for dead and turned into a creature of the night. Now, she's a poster child for local vampire politics and the suspect in a tragically lame murder. Life as a single gal, undead or otherwise, is never boring.

I have introduced my character, her background and her conflict. And I tried to drop little tidbits about the plot without giving the whole book away. Think of this introductory paragraph as the cover blurb for your book. What would you write to get a reader to buy your book?

Part oddball Southern comedy, part supernatural women's fiction, I wrote NICE GIRLS DON'T HAVE FANGS after leaving my job as a newspaper reporter in western Kentucky. While I still work as a freelance writer and humor columnist, I had to channel that sardonic energy somewhere. 

Remember to give your title! Try to classify your book to give the agent an idea of whether it fits with their client list. Limit that classification to one or two areas. If someone told me they'd written a historical romance/spy thriller with paranormal elements, I'd probably tell them they need to focus and revise their manuscript.

Pay attention to your agent's preferences. For example, several agents on Agentquery.com had NO VAMPIRES written in big letters on their profile, so I didn't bother submitting to them.

Also, give a little information about yourself without over-sharing. You don't have to give your whole life story, just a snippet. What is your writing background? Qualifications? Why did you write your book? Have you been published before?

I am writing to you because of your history of representing fiction with an unconventional voice and supernatural themes. The full manuscript, which is approximately 75,000 words, is available for review. 

Explain why you would be a good fit for the agent. Always give the word count. It gives the agent a clue as to whether they have time to read your submission.

Thank you for your time. I have enclosed a synopsis and first two pages of the manuscript, per your submission guidelines.

Say thank you, but don't go overboard. And always follow an agency's submission guidelines. If they don't want email attachments, don't send them. If they don't want a synopsis, don't send it.

Sincerely,
Molly Harper
ADDRESS
PHONE 
EMAIL


Now comes the hard part. Waiting. You're going to get a lot of form responses (mostly rejections.) And some agents won't respond at all because they consider a non-response their response. When you get a rejection, it's tempting to write back and ask the agent why they're rejecting you or whether they can recommend another agent who might be interested. If they wanted to give you this information, they would have written it in their original response.

There are three rules to follow.

1) Treat all query letters like business correspondence.
2) Be polite.
3) Behave like a stable person.

You'd be amazed how far that can get you.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY - THE DANGERS OF DATING A REBOUND VAMPIRE.

THE DANGERS OF DATING A REBOUND VAMPIRE is officially unleashed on the public!  It's available in print, ebook, and audio today! Pick up your copy where ever books are sold:

Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/Dangers-Dating-Rebound-Vampire-Hollow-ebook/dp/B00LD1RZTY

Barnes and Noble
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-dangers-of-dating-a-rebound-vampire-molly-harper/1119884047?ean=9781476706016

iBooks

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/dangers-dating-rebound-vampire/id894613176?mt=11

Audible
http://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/The-Dangers-of-Dating-a-Rebound-Vampire-Audiobook/B00SK5OFVC/ref=a_search_c4_1_1_srTtl?qid=1426990239&sr=1-1

Booksamillion
http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Dangers-Dating-Rebound-Vampire/Molly-Harper/9781476706016?id=6211619909033

Indiebound
http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781476706016

S&S
http://books.simonandschuster.com/The-Dangers-of-Dating-a-Rebound-Vampire/Molly-Harper/9781476706016

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Crazy Fabulous Online Release Party for THE DANGERS OF DATING A REBOUND VAMPIRE


Do you love paranormal romance and urban fantasy? Do you love the work of many authors in that genre? Do you love fabulous prizes? Are you OK with being asked several questions in a row?

If the answer to most of those queries is "yes," come on down to Facebook on March 24, where I'm hosting an online party to launch THE DANGERS OF DATING A REBOUND VAMPIRE on an unsuspecting public. An all-star cast of amazing authors will be stopping by all day to chat with readers and offer some FANTASTIC giveaway prizes!

Guest Authors and their time slots 
(in central standard time)

10am- Molly Harper

11am- CJ Redwine

12pm- Nicole Peeler

1pm- Sherri Browning Erwin

2pm - Dakota Cassidy

3pm- Jeanne C. Stein


4pm- Rose Pressey

5pm- Carrie Ann Ryan

6pm- Mark Henry

7pm- Darynda Jones


8pm- Robyn Peterman Zahn

9pm- Jamie K. Schmidt

10pm- Molly Harper 


For more information or to RSVP, click here. Hope to see you there!