I hope you've had enough help this week that you feel good about your query. We've had a lot of fun playing the part of teacher's assistants. Before I go into the submission guidelines, I wanted to say one more thing about dealing with critique.
You guys were amazing! No dirty emails berating us for being unkind. We really tried to be kind and helpful. If you cried any tears, you did it at home and then got to work. Good for you!
But here's the thing.
You have to remember that although we've had some experience, our comments are still just our opinions. We haven't read your novel. We don't know what THE most important thing is about it. YOU do.
I spent a year trying to make my query and my book fit into what everyone else said it should be. After about 20 crit partners--yes, I am a glutton for punishment--there was nothing left of ME in my story. Why? Because I tried to change everything that someone said I should change.
Guess what? That doesn't work. You will never be able to make everyone "get" your novel or your query. When it comes down to it, follow your heart. Polish and perfect, but do it in your style. Your voice. It is after all your story.
To tweak Peeta's words: If you're gonna get published, you wanna still be you.
Wow, that didn't sound as cool as I thought it would. See, it doesn't pay to try to be someone else.
Now, on to how and when to submit your queries for Final's Week (of what we are thinking of dubbing QueryCon), and grading by our fabulous judges.
Rules and Submission Guidelines :
1. Must be a follower of UB
2. Manuscript must be complete and polished
3. Manuscript must fall into the genres our judges are looking for (see below)
4. Please do not comment on the posted queries--this week is for the judges only
5. Put Finals Week--(Name of Novel) in the subject line of the email.
6. Start with:
Name: (name will be posted unless you tell me not to)
Then paste the query in the body of the email--no attachments.
7. We will accept the first 20 queries sent to unicornbellsubmissions@gmail.
8. I will send an email confirming receipt of the query and your number for "Finals Week"
9. Queries will go up by 6am Monday morning and stay up all week.
Reminder of what our judges are looking for:
Krystal Wade from Curiosity Quills
Andrew Buckley from Curiosity Quills
Nancy Bell from MuseItUp Publishing
Amy Lichtenhan from SapphireStar Publishing
Donna O'Brien from Crescent Moon Press
Krystal--I love older mc's (18+)! I'd like to see some good dystopian, more male mc's too, and then of course anything scifi/fantasy/paranormal with something new and unusual.
Andrew--I’m looking for adult fiction be it paranormal, sci-fi, fantasy, urban fantasy and/or anything quirky or humorous. No YA or NA please. I like strong protagonists with a unique voice and wonderfully evil antagonists. Please, please, please, no in-your-face sword and sorcery type pieces. They’ve been known to cause sharp pains in my posterior. I’m also looking for cookies. Oatmeal raisin are my favorite.
Nancy--MuseItUp is looking for more dark fiction, horror, as we are light in that department. However, romance, historical romance, YA/MG from a male POV that will entice that sector. Of course, we are open to anything that is well written and crafted. We don't publish literary fiction or poetry.
Amy--We're especially interested in contemporary romance and paranormal romance at this time, although we are accepting submissions in all fiction categories.
Donna--Currently, we are looking for voice rather than specific genre requirements, though we are primarily a boutique publisher of high quality fantasy, futuristic, and paranormal fiction. We are interested in urban fantasy, dystopian, futuristic science fiction, steampunk, mind-bending time travel, space operas, mythological as well as historical retellings with a twist, epic high fantasy, and the paranormal. We are also interested in paranormal categories of suspense, thrillers, gothica, and mystery. CMP also accepting submissions in the YA and New Adult categories of the above mentioned genres.