Tuesday, June 15, 2010
OH MY GALOSHES, Noah Lukeman was RIGHT! GIVEAWAY by Cheryl Wyatt
OH MY GALOSHES, Noah Lukeman was RIGHT! by Cheryl Wyatt might make you feel as though you're having dé-jà vu. Never fear, you're not going nutso. I posted a similar article on Novel Journey recently. LOL!
OH MY GALOSHES, Noah Lukeman was RIGHT!
In case you’re wondering, the galoshes are because we have been bombarded by rain this week. AGAIN! I wished I had a canoe to get out of the driveway earlier. LOL!
Noah Lukeman, esteemed Literary Agent and bestselling author of many popular craft books, penned one of my favorites: The First Five Pages: A Writer's Guide to Staying out of the Rejection Pile.
If you are an aspiring author and don’t yet have it, do yourself and your chances at publication a favor and purchase one for your Keeper Craft Bookshelf. His book can be purchased on his web site or anywhere online.
In this book, Lukeman discusses common writing mistakes that are across-the-board to new writers. He talks about the importance of Presentation…the immediate, out-of-the-gate perception that your first five pages will give to potential editors or agents.
In short, you have one shot within these first-impression pages to reel in or repel them.
Sounds harsh, I know, but you have to understand how intense the competition is and the astronomically high number of stellar submissions agents and editors get on a regular basis.
This is not meant to discourage you. This is meant to give your story a better shot at standing out among the multitudes.
This is VITAL information you MUST know if you are an aspiring author serious about breaking in: For two years in a row, I’ve been polling agents and editors from ABA and CBA about how long they read submissions before they know whether the manuscript is a go or a definite no go. I suspected that many of them would know by the end of the first ten pages, but was shocked at the outcome of this poll.
I phrased the question like this: If you are, or have been an acquisitions editor, or an agent, and have time to answer this question, I'd appreciate it.
Question: The majority of the time, how long do you MOST COMMONLY read material from a slush pile before you (usually) know for certain a manuscript will receive a "pass" verdict? "Pass" meaning it's a NO GO/likely rejection.
Please respond with one letter below.
A. First line.
B. First paragraph.
C. By the end of page one
D. Within three pages
E. Within five pages
F. Within ten pages
G. By the end of the first chapter
H. Within the first three chapters or before fifty pages
J. By the end of the book
K. Other (Please explain)
Without having seen anyone else’s response, A WHOPPING 97% of the hundreds polled gave “C” as the answer!!!
That means ONLY a handful of those interviewed gave an alternate answer.
NO ONE gave an answer beyond G other than ONE new literary agent who said he or she would actually read the entire manuscript. I’d be interested in knowing if this agent has since changed their mind about that. LOL!
In summary, how important is the first page of your manuscript? Crucial.
STRIVE for absolute excellence in that first page.
Then write EVERY page as if it were your first page.
Thanks for being with me today. I’d love to know what your personal first-page weakness is.
Maybe in sharing, it can help others struggling.
On a side note...
Steadfast Soldier, my June Love Inspired is still available. Hope you will run out and grab one if you haven't. It's also available online.
Here's the back cover copy:
Rescuing people is his job…
But the one person pararescue jumper Chance Garrison can't seem to help is his own ailing father, who refuses his much-needed physical rehabilitation. That is, until Chance hires unconventional occupational therapist Chloe Callet. To his surprise, Chloe and her sweet black Lab, Midnight, work wonders. And not only on the elder Garrison. Chance just may have met the woman who can get through his own toughened exterior. Can he persuade the lovely Chloe to take a chance—on him?
In an upcoming article I will share more results from the same agent/editor poll. I asked those who responded what their number one reason for rejection was.
So I hope you will tune in for that one next month. It's good info that everyone serious about pursuing publication must know.
I'm sure this is old hat to those of you who frequent this blog. Just the fact that you're online reading this article proves you want to learn. That you have a teachable spirit will go a loooooooong way with impressing an agent or editor. So hats off to all of you friends of Seekerville who are working so very hard to attain your dream.
We'll be here to cheer you on when (not if!) you reach it too.
Thanks SO much for spending time with us today.
Don't forget to share your first page weakness if you're a writer. If you're a reader, let us know your first page pet peeve.
EVERYONE WHO COMMENTS WILL BE ENTERED INTO A DRAWING for the chance to win Noah Lukeman's First Five Pages. Entry deadline is Thursday, June 17th at Midnight and winner will be announced in Tina's FABULOSO weekend edition.
Now I'm hushing up so you can share....
Right after you eat one of my homemade melted ham-n-cheese English muffins and good old southern grits with LOTS of butter and sugar. None of that diet stuff today. Fresh-squeezed orange juice and summer breeze amaretto coffee is in the pot.
Have at it and share your first page blues.