The Midwest Writers Workshop ended today and it was definitely a worthwhile experience. Today's day was filled with how to write a winning query (with Diane Freed), facing the dreaded synopsis (with Joanna Stampfel-Volpe), how to do wounds and physical damage correctly with John Gilstrap, and more.
The most helpful advice I received, repeatedly, regarded the marketing of a writer who is self-published to a published agent. For those of you in this situation, here was the basic run-down I received:
1) Querying about your self-published book is probably a waste of time. It's already published. Unless it rapidly sold 8-10,000 copies, publishers won't want to look at it now, which means that agents won't want to look at it.
2) Awards count, and the success of your self-published book DOES count. If your self-published book has won awards, or you have vigorously marketed it, that is something you can add to the query letter for your next book that gives you credibility.
3) Work on the next book. Write a query for the next book. If you land an agent, sell the book successfully, you may then be able to approach your agent about re-publishing your self-published book.
Ursula Le Guin
5 hours ago