Category Archives: queries

A Novel Release During A Novel Virus Pandemic

Close your eyes and imagine – no Internet, no Google, only dial-up email. There are two generations of individuals who may not remember such a terrifying vacuum. Even if you were 10 years old in 1996, you don’t understand what “dial-up” felt like. We thought it was slow before we had a clue just how truly slow it was.

Back then individuals who wanted to be published had to send their queries and sample chapters by snail-mail in large brown envelopes to agents and/or editors to review. In fact, one really needed an agent, because most editors would not look at unsolicited or un-agented works. Writer’s Market was a source for potential publishers/agents, but writers could also pitch their books at conferences.

Selling one’s work has always been, to a great extent, the responsibility of the author, through book signings, conference attendance, and word-of-mouth. Since the mid-to-late 2000s, the internet has provided additional tools: an author platform (website or blog), Face Book, Twitter, Goodreads, among others. But, while these social media sites help, they are not the easiest applications to figure out, especially when you were born before Eisenhower was president of the USA.

In 2019 I began a series of postings about seeing a novel through the publication process. I’d posted articles about renewing my search for and finding a publisher, considering the offer, and working with the editor. On March 2, 2020—seven days before my book was to be released—I was working on a blog regarding marketing the work (see above paragraphs). But by then COVID-19 was inserting itself into the lives of the citizens of Planet Earth.

I’m not going to relate in any form what happened during the pandemic. We all lived through the months since March 2020. In fact, we still exist in a COVID-19-centric world.

But we have begun to move forward.

In that spirit, I’m pleased to say that the first two books in my Kate Starling Mysteries series have been released. Mistaken Identity was released on March 9, 2020, and Connections was released on July 6, 2021.

My marketing activities are gradually resuming although they are still somewhat limited. Many of the conferences and writers’ group meetings have been cancelled or simply “Zoom’d” thus far in 2021. In addition, many book stores and other venues were reluctant to host book signings during the pandemic (until recently). But the good news is, unlike in the 1990s, we have social media platforms to help.

Please check out my Books Tab to read information about the series and the first two books.

Another Writing Career Reboot – Renewing the Search for a Publisher

If you’re familiar with my blog postings from 2017 and 2018, you know my writing career has been full of starts, stutters, stops, and restarts over the last three decades. While I’ve learned a lot about writing and the publishing business through conferences and networking, there’s been limited success. I’ve completed four novels—one has been hidden away, one has been put aside for future consideration, and two are currently in play. The 2005 publication of Suspect was not successful or even memorable, and my short-term experience with a publisher in 2016 was disheartening.

But there’s always hope, right?

In 2017 I pitched both Mistaken Identity and Connections to an editor and an agent. I received some good comments from one and nothing from the other. I took those comments and the advice that I received from the editor I worked with in 2016 and set about polishing the two manuscripts.

My next task was to send out more queries. The internet is great, but it was quite tedious to find viable editors, publishers, and agents to approach, even with the help of Writer’s Market. This is not news to any unpublished writer. Many publishers require a writer to go through an agent. Some are no longer accepting new authors or unsolicited submissions. Nevertheless, I found a dozen feasible prospects in January 2019. It was a start.

While all those I queried were accessible through the internet, only a few accepted email queries with attachments. A few accepted email queries only and would ask for chapters if interested.  About half provided a link to either the or the Queryme.Online website, each of which provided a platform for the author to submit a profile and manuscript.

The first time I used it matched my work to other perspective editors and publishers as well as the publisher who “sent” me. I was able to do a quick look up to research the match and agree to or decline the opportunity. I was also provided a link to my profile so that I could monitor progress for all my submissions.

Queryme.Online linked me directly to the particular editor/publisher’s account and provided me with a link to monitor the status. As is typical, some of the queries were rejected immediately while others went unanswered for many weeks. Painfully slow progress was visible through the review cycle on or Queryme.Online.  

As time went by, I questioned if working on the third novel in the series was a waste of my time since neither of the earlier series novels had been published. I considered starting a totally new book with a fresh idea. Still, I was determined to continue sending out queries. In addition, I made plans to attend a couple of regional conferences to do pitches and network.

Unfortunately, the notion that I might never be published made itself comfortable in my mind.

And then I received the email I had been waiting for. A publisher was interested.

Considering the Offer—in my next blog.