I know many of you have questions about the ASAWL concept and me, its creator. Allow me the opportunity to provide some answers:
Who are you, Buffalo telephone booth Raucous Writer Twitter person?
My profile picture is actually a bison, not a buffalo, and the phone booth is a reference to an older time I think is funny, although that phone booth exists today in Yosemite National Park.
I have a "professional" job, live in a big city, and am well-known in my field. My professional work has been published in trade journals and I write an award-winning blog related to my serious day job. When I grow up, I want to be a best-selling fiction author.
I hold multiple degrees, including several post-graduate degrees, and I recently received an industry award because I get stuff done. Seriously, I have the plaque on my wall to prove it.
Why are you creating the ASAWL website?
Simple. We need it. Twitter pitch parties are popular with authors and as far as I know, agents. The Manuscript Wish List is popular with agents because they can tell authors what they want. But the query system is ineffective and outdated. Agents complain about their inboxes filled with unsolicited queries that don't match their wish lists or submission guidelines. Authors complain that agents' wish lists are too vague.
Makes sense to provide a forum akin to an around-the-clock Twitter pitch party. Authors can pitch their work. Agents can peruse the pitch posts at their leisure and decide what they'd like to see more of (sorry to end the sentence this way but it just fit).
I am spending my own money on this endeavor. I am not underwritten by anyone or any companies. This is my contribution to the greater good.
Someone once asked me why I climb 16,000-foot mountains. Answer: because they are there, and I can do it, it's challenging, and it's fun. Same answer here.
What's the catch?
None that I know of. I'm not asking authors or agents to pay for this service. I'm not asking for donations. My goal is to revolutionize the way authors and agents find one another. Maybe I too will get lucky and find an agent to publish my first novel.
What's the reaction from agents?
Do you hear the crickets chirping? Nothing. Nada. Which I don't understand, because this revolution is as much about helping them manage the process of finding new authors as it about authors finding agents. What I can say is that NOT ONE agent or publisher has reached out to me to tell me why she/he/it thinks this idea won't work.
Are you trying to displace or replace pitch parties and self-publishing?
Absolutely not. My goal is to revolutionize the way authors and agents find one another. If an agent likes a pitch post, the agent can ask to see more. Pitch party and self-pub away, my fellow authors. I wish all of you success. I think providing a site where agents can search for what they really want makes sense.
Why are you the person to do this?
Another easy answer. Because no one else has done it and we need it. I have been in the query trenches and seen how ineffective it is. Don't believe me? Go to the QueryTracker website (to which I give HUGE kudos) and see for yourself just how few queries get a response at all (usually a rejection), much less a request for a partial or a full. It really is disheartening.
So far, I've received no negative feedback from anyone about why this won't or can't or shouldn't work. For agents, you will be able to search through the posts with key words and decide what, if anything, interests you. For authors, you can pitch your work.
No one has come forward to criticize the concept because there is no reason to do so.
So join the revolution. Follow the progress of the ASAWL website and use it when it's done.
Questions? Thoughts? Suggestions? Bring 'em.