I’m excited. I’m very excited. I’m about to burst.
It’s hard to explain how it feels when something I’ve been working on for a long time is about to enter a brand new level. And it’s especially hard to explain when this new level is the level where the awesome stuff happens.
I’m finished writing the novel, although I could (and maybe I should) still keep editing it. It seems that every single time I look at it, I find things that I want to adjust.
But, I’ve decided that it’s time to stop. I want an editor to take a look at it, and give me some feedback.
It’s hard to keep editing without knowing if I actually should be editing at all, and if I’m editing the right parts of the story.
Three people have read it
I decided a while ago that when I felt comfortable to share the story, I wanted to let a few people read it. I wanted the feedback from people I know, and trust.
I’ve received the feedback, and it was amazing. I didn’t know what to expect. This is my first novel, and I didn’t have a clue if I could write a story of fiction.
The reason I wanted three of my friends to read it, was because I didn’t want people to share anything before I had the proper feedback.
I guess I still don’t know about the quality before I get some feedback from a publisher, an editor or an agent, or at least someone in the publishing industry. But, I’ve received the feedback from my first three readers, and all three told me that they really enjoyed reading the story. The feedback felt amazing, and it still does.
Marketing the novel
I have thought a lot about marketing the novel, and a while ago I decided that I wanted to do things like:
- Create a blog for the project
- Create a video trailer
- Create an amazing design for the novel
- Use social media to promote it
- Use paid advertising to promote it
- Write and publish press releases
And then some.
But, after reading the guidelines on the websites of the top publishers in Norway, I realized that they didn’t want any of this.
All they want, according to their websites, are plain text on paper. So, that’s what I’m going to do. I don’t want to upset the people I’m not depending on. I’m not sure, but I believe that first impressions are everything in this business.
Writing the cover letter
I’m writing the novel in Norwegian, but I’m not the only one writing a novel in Norwegian – by far. There are so many people writing, that publishing houses are probably receiving thousands of unsolicited manuscript inquiries per year. And I really want them to read mine.
I need to write a letter that will get their attention and hook their interest. The letter becomes the reason why they should read my novel. Actually, it sort of feels like I’m applying for a job.
I’ve started writing. I’ve stopped. And I’ve started again. All from scratch.
Writing a cover letter to a publisher is hard. I want it to be brief, and I want them to discover the story while reading the novel. I don’t want to explain it to them – but I sort of have to.
So far, I’ve discovered three things I need to add to the cover letter:
- A presentation of the author (me)
- A presentation of the story
- Thoughts about the future
I want to be as brief as possible when it comes to writing about who I am. I’m just going to write the facts, and I believe I’ll end the part by adding a sentence about why I wrote the story (although I’m not quite sure why I did).
Presenting the story
To me, presenting the novel is the most important part of the cover letter. I need to write an irresistible introduction. This is really what the cover letter is all about. It’s especially important since I haven’t written any other novels and I don’t have anything other than this novel to impress the publisher with.
I’m planning to get people hooked on the story by adding three things: setting, protagonist and problem. I’m only going to focus on conflict and originality.
Thoughts about the future
I haven’t told you this, but I have actually already started plotting the sequel. I’m going to write a second novel, starring the same people and I’m going to continue the story where the first novel ends. I love writing, and I have a lot more things to say about this story.
I’m not sure if I’m going to add anything about the sequel in the cover letter. But I’m sure going to add that I’ll do anything to get the novel published, LOL.
I have read a lot about how to write a novel, probably 10 different books, and many blogs. But the process is about writing, and writing a lot, it’s not about reading, although it’s helpful.
I have no idea what will happen next, but I’ll continue writing no matter what. I hope that it helps that I’m excited.
… because I’m very excited, about every part of writing and publishing a novel.