I often get asked if things get easier once you’re published, and if selling one book makes it easier to sell the next. Truth is, the answer is “yes and no”. Authors still need to pitch their next book to their publisher and hope that it sells, and unless their first name is “Stephen” and their last name is “King”, there’s a chance it won’t.
This means you need to pimp your book, just like you did when you were first trying to find an agent. It usually means writing some kind of pitch or synopsis. So for those of you in query letter hell right now, here’s the pitch I wrote to sell LIFEL1K3 to Random House:
On a floating junkyard beneath a radiation sky, a deadly secret lies buried in the scrap.
Seventeen-year-old Eve isn’t looking for secrets—she’s too busy looking over her shoulder. The robot gladiator she’s just spent six months building has been reduced to a smoking wreck, and the only thing keeping her Grandpa from the grave was the fistful of credits she just lost to the bookies. To top it off, she’s discovered she can destroy electronics with the power of her mind, and the puritanical Brotherhood are building a coffin her size. If she’s ever had a worse day, Eve can’t remember it.
Problem is, she has had a worse day—one that lingers in her nightmares and the cybernetic implant where her memories used to be. Her discovery of a ruined android in the scrap pile she calls home will bring her world crashing down, and have her questioning whether her entire life is a lie. With her best friend Lemon Fresh and her robotic conscience, Cricket, in tow, she’ll trek across deserts of irradiated glass, infiltrate towering megacities and scour the graveyard of humanity’s greatest folly to save the ones she loves, and learn the dark secrets of her past.
Even if those secrets were better off staying buried.
LIFEL1K3 is an 90,000 word YA post-apocalypse cyberpunk adventure. It’s Romeo and Juliet meets Mad Max meets X-Men, with a little bit of Bladerunner cheering from the sidelines.
Pretty much the same thing as a query letter, right? Never fear that those querying skillz you’re developing now will go to waste. You’re gonna be using them your whole career. 🙂