My life as a writer has been crazy since I last posted, but I thought I’d step away from the first draft of my next book to update readers about this phase of my writing journey.
When speaking with my agent in early February, we discussed a series anchored by the manuscript she held in her hands. I was given several options as we considered my next steps. Based on the word count, I knew a tremendous amount of work would be needed to stretch the story into a full-length novel. Instead, I prepared a proposal for a three-novella series about three Amish teens during their Rumspringa.
I included the following information in my proposal:
- the series title
- my name
- my agent’s name and contact information
- series arc. I first read about the series arc in Karen Wiesner’s book titled Writing the Fiction Series: The Complete Guide for Novels and Novellas. She touches on the topic in this blog post.
- Title of Book #1 in the series
- Story Question / Hook
- Pitch – several sentences
- Brief Overview – one-page synopsis of Book #1
- Manuscript Details – includes manuscript status and word count. I left space for the format and price, knowing my agent would add this necessary information
- Head Shot
- Short Bio
- Endorsements – I contacted several published authors I have met over the past three years and asked if they would be willing to endorse my writing. Quite a humbling experience, but I am blessed to be surrounded by a group of professionals who have offered their support and encouragement since day one.
- Characteristics of the Audience – Again, I relied on my agent’s expertise in this area of the proposal, though I did have fun searching for movies with themes similar to my book.
- Social Media Presence – number of friends and followers on various social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
- Sequels – I included the titles and pitches for Books 1, 2, and 3 in the series.
- Comparable Titles – I searched Amazon and Goodreads for books similar to mine and included titles, authors, publishers, publication dates, and a short blurb about each story.
- Characters – I named the main characters in my book followed by a brief description of the roles they play in the story.
- Synopsis – multiple-page synopsis, including plot twists and the ending.
- Sample Chapters – the first three chapters of the book.
At the end of February, I submitted this proposal to my agent. Earlier this month, she contacted me with great news. An editor has expressed interest in my book, but he wanted to know if I would be willing to change the age of the characters. Instead of 16 to 18-year-old characters, I was asked to consider writing about adults – 18 to 20 year olds. Of course I was willing to make the necessary changes!
Last week, I sent the revised manuscript to my agent. Now begins the Acquisitions Process. This link provides a great description of the process as well as a helpful timeline. While the editor meets with the Editorial Board, I try to remain patient. The wait continues.
Meanwhile, I’m working on the first book in a second series. I’d like to do additional research, so I scheduled a road trip. We’re heading to Ohio Amish Country over Spring Break. I’ll be sure to post about the adventure.