Bad Boys, Acquisitions Angst & Good Vibrations

Before we get to my post proper, a bit of bonus fun. As the title would imply, there are 3 Daves in my first novel, Three Daves. but usually it's just one Dave who gets the spotlight in my promos. So it seemed only fair to finally let my bad boy, Dave #2, out to playay in a short character interview over at Dawn's Reading Nook. If you have a few minutes, I'd love it if you'd stop by.

And now on to my contribution to this month's Insecure Writer's Support Group, brainchild of the one and clonely Alex J. Cavannaugh. Raise your hand if you've ever queried an agent or publisher. Hmm, quite a lot of you. Okay, raise your hand if you intend to query an agent or publisher at any point in the future. Goodness, that's nearly everyone. All right, last one -- raise your hand if you think querying an agent or a publisher is the least scary thing you've ever done in your life.

Anyone? Anyone?

I'm sure there's no need for me to list off the many reasons why sending our lovingly crafted stories out into the world to be judged is a frightening prospect. We all understand that this is a highly subjective biz, but rejection friggin' hurts no matter how gently it's worded.

Like I said a few months ago, sometimes it's the fear of the unknown that most feeds our insecurity. What do acquisitions editors love to see? What turns them off of a query? What makes them want to read more? I'm sure the answers vary from editor to editor, but to help scrape off just little bit of the acquisitions unknown, I've asked CK Wagner, an acquisitions editor at Omnific Publishing, if she'll take questions from my peanut gallery (that's you guys)---and she said yes! 

So she's all yours, kiddies. In the comments below, fire away with anything you've ever wanted to ask an acquisitions editor, and I'll have CK back later this month to answer your questions. (I'll take questions through Sunday & then will pass them on to her.)

Before you go, would you like to hear an acquisitions angst story with a happy ending? Yes? Well, at the beginning of this year I faced my fears head on and sent out a few query letters for my funny/naughty office romance, tentatively titled Vibrizzio. After a couple of agents passed on my query, I revised the letter and sent directly to a couple of small publishers along with a few more agents...small publishers seem to be my comfort zone and are a nice fit for my low patience threshold...both publishers requested fulls and Swoon Romance followed up quickly with an offer!

Swoon Romance is young, fresh and innovative and has a great catalog of books. So I was giddy when owner Georgia McBride told me she'd read my manuscript in one sitting, laughed out loud many times, and loved it. I signed an author agreement with them in the midst of AtoZ. So...yay.

You can bet I'll be sharing more about the story here, but for now you can check out a short summary at the Pinterest board I created for the WIP: The Movie blogfest. Urm, you're going to need to read that in order to understand the joke below that was made on annoucement day by my funny new Swoon sister, A.J. Matthews

Alrighty, what've you got for CK? 


Stephanie Faris said...

I started querying when I was 25...too young to know better! You're pretty brave when you don't know any better. The more you learn, the scarier it gets.

I always love to hear stories about crazy queries--so I'd ask her: What is the craziest query you've ever received?

Kyra Lennon said...

I haven't queries yet, but I plan to soon. I don't really have any questions left, not because I know everything, but because the more questions I ask, the more confused I get lol!

Suze said...

That tweet was funny.

Congratulatoo, my darleeeen!! As we've talked about this before, I think Vibrizzio has landed in the right hands.

(Okay, it's, like, so impossible to comment on this sans double entendres.)

Unknown said...

I'm sure there's no need for me to list off the many reasons why sending our lovingly crafted stories out into the world to be judged is a frightening prospect. We all understand that this is a highly subjective biz, but rejection friggin' hurts no matter how gently it's worded.

So agree with each word!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Congrats, Nicki!

Not querying now, but here's a question - when is a query letter too long?

F. Stone said...

Here's my question. All agents have specific submission criteria. Some even state the required information must be in a specific order. I have also been advised that all query letters should have specific information in each of the four paragraphs. There is such a wide range of formats. Why? Is it possible to create one well written query letter that will be accepted by all agents?

Liz Blocker said...

GO NICKI! That's fantastic news. Congratulations!!

Querying? Scary? I don't know what you're talking about... *shaking and sweating in terror*

I'd love to ask what she loves to see in a query!

Margo Kelly said...

Hmm. I'm not in the query trenches anymore (thank heavens), but I always wondered if personalizing the letter at the beginning really makes any difference, or if the agent would prefer you just get to the story description.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

What an awesome Tweet! Congratulations, Nicki.

Janie Junebug said...

I enjoyed the character interview. I've sent out plenty of queries, but not recently and I don't plan on sending out any. I don't feel as if I have anything to prove. I'll do as I please. But congratulations on your contract. The title is hilarious. I look forward to reading and reviewing the book.


Crystal Collier said...

Wahoo! How awesome. Way to go.

Questions... Hm. What turns you off fastest about a submission? What are the big red flags you watch for?

M Pax said...

One and clonely. lol

Question: Are you more likely to accept from an author you've met or a cold query?

Nick Wilford said...

Congrats on your deal! Nice one.

I would ask, are you looking for fresh ideas? Is another vampire story a turn off or turn on?

Cherie Colyer said...

Query is scary, but when you get that call or email from an agent or an editor, it's so worth it.

Congrats on your new book!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I have done much and will do much more querying. Congrats on the contract.

Juneta key said...

Never done it. Writing my first novel. I can add that to the list fears for IWSG, lol. Nice post.
Juneta at Writer's Gambit

dolorah said...

Congrats Nicki :)

My question for CK is "do you accept women's fiction?" Its hard to tell on the submissions list.

Hmm, also, what three things do you look for in a query that pique's your interest every time?


LD Masterson said...

Congratulations on the contract. That's great news.

I've built up a nice file of query rejection letters over the years and I will no doubt add more.

Michael Di Gesu said...


MAN do we have lots to talk about!

QUERY.... EEK. Will be starting next week.... The novel formerly know as BG is FINALLY DONE! At least I hope so....LOL.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Congrats on the Swoon deal! I think Swoon has an awesome line of books. I think they will have a big place in the romance market. Of all the books I have read of theirs, not a single one has ever disappointed.

Hmm, a query question...I wonder, do past books and online presence matter very much when submitting, or does just the book you're selling at that minute matter?

Rumer Haven said...

Oh, lordie, lordie, do I empathize with rejection...The ONE good thing about it, I think, is that the more it happens, the more I get used to it--which, yes, is a positive thing because now that actually motivates me to query more, not stop and cry whilst rocking in a corner like I did at the beginning. I know what rejection feels like, therefore I do not fear feeling it anymore...at least not as much. I'll never numb to the pain of it, but the sensation has dulled tremendously. And after a while, I take it as a sign that, hey, my story probably isn't ready yet. Back to the drawing board and all that jazz. I don't mind having to comfort my book baby in my lap for a while longer before sending it back out into that cold querying world, as long as I'm still making strides to grow as a writer. :)

Jennifer Lane said...

Suze's comment made me giggle Beavis & Butthead style.

I CAN'T WAIT FOR VIBBY TO HIT THE SHELVES! It is such a great story.

Damn, this is the second month in a row I've forgotten about #IWSG. Must get back on track. Let's see questions for CK...

How much attention do you pay to the writer's prior publication record/sales?

What's the weirdest place you've read a manuscript?

The Armchair Squid said...

I've never gotten anywhere near that stage of the process - but maybe someday. I can imagine it's awfully intimidating!