Spinning ideas into paper

Dear Miss Snark, my new best friend:

I'm a journalist and have a fab idea for a sports book. But I've never written a book before and I'm not sure if I should query the heavy hitters, like Esther Newberg, or go to agents who maybe aren't so busy or famous. What do you think? And do you have any suggestions for agents I should query? Finally, is it a mortal sin to query more than one agent at one time?


Absolute Total Rookie

PS: Thanks for considering this.

You know you don't know much. That puts you ahead of people who don't even know how much they don't know. The first step however is to learn a few things before knocking on anyone's door asking for representation. Go read the archives on this blog or at the very least read a book on how querying works.

I absolutely guarantee you that if you call up Miss Newberg and tell her you have a great idea but have never written a book she's going to ask if you have anything written, and when you say "no" she's going to say "talk to me when you do". That's of course if she hasn't sent you a "later gator" rejection letter which is much more likely.

Ideas are a dime a dozen, great ideas only slightly more expensive. Getting something down on paper is a lot harder than people think.


kitty said...

When a friend of mine heard that I write, she cornered me and tried to get me to agree to write her "sure fire bestseller" that would "make us both wealthy."

According to her 1) this true story reminded her of a Danielle Steele book, and 2) it would "blow the roof off the dog show world"

However, she would only give me details if I agreed to write it.

And she wonders to this day why I turned her down.

Greta LaGarbeaux said...

Myu favorite remark, made by a dear and wise friend, about quality writing:

"People think because it's easy to read it's easy to write."

Anonymous said...

Go for it, ATR. You have nothing but a little time to lose and experience to gain.

I have a little bit of experience in the film biz (camera side) and a producer and I were discussing why some projects make it big time and some no doubt, surefire, deadbang winners ones don't. His answer: Nobody knows.

I have a hunch that the writing biz is the same way. Agents and publishers are eagle eyed for the the next great novel that will float in over the transom and make everyone involved a great deal of money.