Harlequin may be under fire lately, but in my experience no other publisher gives unpublished authors as many opportunities. The resources and education on the Harlequin Board are priceless, and they’re free.
In preparation for our online pitch with Emily, we were all treated to an online mini-class with author Winnie Griggs on how to refine our pitch down to 100 words. Winnie gracefully worked with each one of us. Another great resource, this is still up and available to anyone who wants to learn how to tighten their pitch. There is a bit of an art in this.
We were each assigned a time slot in which we would show up in the chat room online. Emily was in a separate chat room and we gathered in a separate room together, and each went into Emily’s chat room alone at our appointed time. We typed (or cut and paste) our 100 word pitch to Emily and she responded in one of four ways:
I'll cry if you don't send me your manuscript (requested full)
__I'd like to get to know your manuscript better (requested proposal)
__I'm not sure if there's a spark between your manuscript and me, but I'm willing to give it a chance to convince me (requested synopsis)
__There's just no connection between your manuscript and me (no request, but isn't it great to know the idea won't work before you spend time writing it?)
My answer was the requested synopsis. While I had hoped to be asked to send my proposal, I sent my synopsis off immediately and within two weeks heard back that she would like to see my proposal – the first three chapters. I took a few days to polish those and sent them off in mid-July. Part Two tomorrow ...