So you’ve finaled in the Genesis, what now?!
Once you’ve basked in the glow, it’s time to get down to work.
Invest in a Professional Photo
Believe me, you don’t want to be on the jumbotron, with an arms-outstretched-duck-faced-self-portrait. On the jumbotron, that copy of Faking It: How to Seem Like a Better Person without Actually Improving Yourself sitting on the bookshelf behind you is readily visible.
Get Ready To Come Out of Your Shell
People will find you. They will find you on facebook, they will find you on Goodreads, they will find you on Google Circles – even if you’ve never actually heard of Google Circles. They’ll still find you. I mean, all along you’ve known that you’ll need an online presence once you sell—but that was years away, right? And it feels a little awkward accepting the congratulations. You feel like you should add a disclaimer: Thank you so much, but you should know, chapter five drags, and I sometimes eat frosting out of the can with my finger.
Have You Finished the Book?
Oh dear. That’s right. Those agents and editors are going to want to read your book. The WHOLE thing. Even if chapter five drags, and there are frosting streaks on the title page.
If I Get Disqualified, Did I Win or Lose?
Being grouped amongst such talented company is the true win.
The Genesis is unique in that if you sell because one of those fabulous editors judging the contest wants to buy your book, they disqualify you. (Which always seems strange to me. I mean, that’s the point, right?) Either way, that’s the rule. I was disqualified because my book sold a month before the winner was announced. Luckily for me, the Genesis judges were kind enough to enough to announce to the entire world, “Don’t worry, dear, you would have lost anyway.” Which probably should have made me feel better than it did. But it was such a gracious gesture toward the actual winner, Sarah Ladd, that I would have been a schmuck to feel bad.
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Do I get preferential treatment
for agent and editor appointments?No. You get first pick of a table at the Awards banquet in a very refined stampede.
But that’s not all! Polish up your query letters and hit ‘send’. Having ‘Genesis Finalist’ in the first paragraph of the query letter will open doors. Agents who had passed on me before, were suddenly interested in taking a look at my manuscript. That’s worth more than a front-row seat at a chicken dinner any day!
If you win your category, you get first choice of agent/editor appointments at NEXT year’s conference. All the other contests I’ve been associated with allow you first pick as a nominee. (I’d love to see the Genesis Coordinators rethink this. Everyone in the historical romance category, 2011, had a book deal along with an agent before the 2012 conference.)
And because the contest will now require a completed manuscript , I think it would be great if the nominees could take advantage of the momentum generated by the contest final.
It’s An Honor Just to be Nominated.
It’s cliché, but it’s true. It’s a huge honor to be included in such great company. Your fellow nominees will become your friends, your confidants, and your biggest cheering section. You suddenly realize you want their success as much as you want your own.
This business is full of rejections, bad Amazon reviews, and crippling insecurities. Having that moment when someone says, hey, this is good, is worth the entrance fee any day.
Now get back to work…That agent/editor is going to want book two soon!!
[P.S. I googled the most ridiculous self-help book titles to find Faking It: How to Seem Like a Better Person Without Actually Trying. That book actually exits! And is available on Amazon.]
Leave a comment to get your name in a drawing for one of three copies of Winning the Widow's Heart--Sherri will send books to the US and Canada and overseas winners can receive an ebook.
Winning the Widow's Heart--In Bookstores Now
Elizabeth Cole finds herself in the care of a lawman
When Texas Ranger Jack Elder stormed the isolated Kansas homestead, he expected to find a band of outlaws. Instead, the only occupant is a heavily pregnant woman-and she's just gone in to labor. A loner uneasy with emotion, Jack helps deliver widow Elizabeth Cole's baby girl and can't get back on the trail fast enough. The robber and murderer he's after killed one of Jack's own, and he vows to catch the man. But when he returns to check on Elizabeth and her little one, he discovers that she may hold the key to his unsettled past-and his hoped-for future.
~~~~~A wife and mother of three, Sherri’s hobbies include collecting mismatched socks, discovering new ways to avoid cleaning, and standing in the middle of the room while thinking, “Why did I just come in here?” A reformed pessimist and recent hopeful romantic, Sherri has a passion for writing. Her books are fun and fast-paced, with plenty of heart and soul.
Sherri's debut novel, Winning the Widow's Heart, is a June 2012 release from Harlequin Love Inspired Historical.