Author Interview – Rebecca Yarros

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Hi there!

I just finished a wonderful interview with the Amazing author Rebecca Yarros! I absolutely LOVE her writing style and subject matter, though (honestly) I’m not really into the genre she publishes in (YA).

She had some fantastic advice for me and asked that I pay it forward, so here is my first, but certainly not last attempt at passing on her advice.

First off, this is all based on me having a second draft manuscript, and having already started on my author platform. If you haven’t done that yet, take a look at this article. Second, Rebecca is traditionally published, so she went through the onerous process of finding an agent to get published.

So on to the goods:

  1. Don’t submit a draft manuscript. You need to make sure your manuscript is the cleanest, most polished, best developed story you can turn out, before you send it to your first agent. In order to do that…
  2. You need a tribe. Search Google for local writing groups. Go sit in on local workshops, conferences, etc. It doesn’t matter if you’re writing a 200 word children’s book, or if it’s a 100K+ fiction, you need people to tell you what’s wrong with your book. And, believe me, there’s something wrong with it. Which leads me to…
  3. You need a thick skin. You will be rejected, criticized, and attacked. You need to find a way to get used to it and let it fall off you. Separate yourself from the work, and be prepared for 1 star reviews. Rebecca has a folder in her email labelled “Too Bad For Them,” that’s where she files her rejection letters from agents, — after she learns from them. Be sure to listen to the criticism because it can help you get better, but don’t let it slow you down from sharing your bit of awesome with the world. As for finding an agent…
  4. Try Querytracker.net. They have a listing of practically all the agents in the business. Search for agents in your genre. As you find them…
  5. Make an ABC list. Sort the agents into A’s – amazing, top of heap, awesome (most likely closed to queries), B’s – really good, this would work for me (probably also closed), and C’s – probably new, open to queries, might be able to get you started. And how do you know who’s awesome and who is as green as you…
  6. Research the agents. Go to their website, follow them on twitter. Get to know what they are looking for. Get to know which Authors they already rep. But don’t become a crazy stalker! Another great way, possibly Best way to get to know agents…
  7. Go to a Writer’s Conference. Research the conferences. Take workshops on writing, query letters, etc. Sit on panels where you critique others’ query letters. And, this bit can be expensive, but sign up for 1 on 1 pitching sessions. You get 5 minutes with top agents and their feedback can be invaluable. But most importantly…
  8. Be patient! Finding the right agent for you takes time. When you send out your query letters, send only a handful at a time. Then be prepared to wait 6 weeks before following up, with a nudge. If you get a rejection letter, that’s better than nothing. And if you get critiques, that’s awesome! You can use their advice to get better before you send your query out the next batch. It’ll take awhile, but use the time to strengthen your platform and write!

So basically keep going, keep growing, and keep it up. MANY Thanks to Rebecca and Good Luck and God Bless to you, me, and anyone else who needs it. See you out there!

Blessings,
Sarah

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