I decided to go through my Sally Stuart's book and kind of get an idea of how many agents and publishers are around. My book is 2 years old, so it's not up to date as far as preferences go, but it does give me an idea about who will even LOOK at new authors.
It's daunting. Very. I'm in the revisions stage of my Amish novel. My novel is not the usual "put a bonnet on it" kind of book. It tells some stories that aren't very nice to know about, but it's based on TRUE stories that ex-Amish shared over the last year. I know parts of this book may upset loyal Amish fiction readers, but I had to write the truth. The WHOLE truth. There are great aspects of Amish life that many love and appreciate, but there are some things about Amish life that are NOT always happy. My trouble is that I have no idea, at this point, where my book fits in with the genre categories. Is it modern? Is it historical? When I contact an agent or publisher, what genre do I choose?
And just when do I query? Do I need to have the entire manuscript revised before I even query? Or do I need to have the first three chapters polished only? I read many agent blogs, but I still get confused about what is considered appropriate timing. Ack! There are so many unknowns to the new author on the writing road!
How about you? Have you queried an agent or publisher? When did you decide to query--was it early on after your book was written, or did you wait until the entire manuscript was revised and edited? What advice can you offer this novice book author? I can't wait to read your suggestions and experiences!