Agents, taxes and oddities – Thurs Nite notes for 11/5/09

Quick & Dirty guide to finding agents

I have a list of twelve agents or agencies that I plan to submit Beanstalk and Beyond to. I assembled that list mostly from Publisher’s Marketplace.

Here are the steps:

1) Finish the book. If you haven’t done that, stop here and go finish the book.

2) Go to Publisher’s Marketplace. You do not need to sign up for a membership. What you need to find is the “Search Members” link.

3) Search for the genre, and add the word “agent” unless you want to see the pages of a couple dozen writers who also write in that genre.

4) Click through their pages. Write down the names of those you would like to submit to. (We all have our own ways of weeding through that list) Make sure you spelled the name correctly.

5) Onec you have your list of names, Google each name – and find out something about them. Check out their agencies’ actual website. read their blog if they have one. Get a vibe.

6) You’ll come across a lot of links for QueryTracker. This is worth joining at the free level.

7) Order your list in agents you wuld most like to represent you. Double-check the first one’s requirements. Send your query.

8) Wait.

There is a lot of conflictin onformation about te propriety of querying multiple agents at a time. I don’t – but that;s mostly because I can’t keep track of such things. Most of them have come to expect this practice, and the ones who want exclusives from the get-go are usually fairly specific in the submission guidelines.

If you don’t have at least a nibble after 12 queries – its time to look at your query letter. Hard.

OK – that’s what I know about that.

Agent Janet Reid shared her 20 nuggets of advice with Writer’s Digest. Worth reading.

Assuming you sell something (or even if you don’t) – Inkygirl has assembled a list of tax advice for freelance writers (so I don’t have to).

Inkygirl rocks – BTW.

I know less about Japanese poetry – but these guys know more.

The cloud at Chowhound considers fruitcake.

And if you draw a picture at Bored.com – they’ll tell you what sort of person you are. (I’m the sort that really doesn’t have time for that tonight.) (Can they predict whether you’ll like fruitcake?)

Now you know

 

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Three very different challenges to my sanity

First, some notes from my daughter’s birthday party last weekend:

If you give a seven year old a whistle – you will end up taking it away from her. This particular girl never grew tired of blowing her whistle. At first, we wondered about her sanity, but soon feared for our own.

“That’s a pretty whistle you have. Can I see it for a second?” … [CRUNCH!]

I didn’t really do that to her. But I thought about it – a lot.

There’s probably a good transition into Sunday morning talk shows from there, but the kids do not actually sleep at sleepovers, and most of my Sunday was spent putting out the nmerous little fires when exhausted children try to play with one another – or simply eat breakfast.

On Moday, I learned about bid bonding – the insurance bond contractors must provide to bid on a project. I won’t bore you with the details – but that’s what I learned.

Bidding a project isn’t about the math. It’s not that difficult to figure out the amount of money you’d prefer to get for doing a project. The tough part is deciding how far below number A you’re willing to go to get the bid – and then living with that decision. Isubmt that bid today, and then I’m done with spreadsheets for a while, and I’m back to the part of my job that requires a five-point safety harness.

Tuesday we did taxes. I learned that mileage fr your day job, your sole proprietorship and non-profit activities all use different calculations, and that those calclations changed md-way through the tax year. Even so, around 1400+ miles driven to write the hiking guide. Didn’t wipe out my profit (for tax purposes) but it came close. (I also bought a lot of hiking gear – which is all business expense in my universe).

How did we do our taxes before Excel?

Now You know