I love MaryJanice Davidson's writing. Love the Betsy and Fred books, she's got a new serie's coming too that I can't wait to get my hands on. But mostly, I love her book Escape from the Slush Pile. It's like a crash course in publishing. Way cool!
I made the decision to approach agents of authors who's work I enjoy and who's style has a similar feel to Jess' book. In Escape from the Slush Pile MaryJanice talks about using the Internet to search for information on agents and publishing houses. She has an entire chapter devoted to it called Why the Internet Rocks. She's right - it does rock. And I've been working in tech since before the Internet; yes, there was a time before the Internet as we know it existed - it was called ARPANet.
Within in the span of 20 minutes, I found more information on my next targeted agents, and sent an email to one about the fact that her LinkedIn public profile directs people to her former agency (where she was a partner) and that she may want to change that. I also found lots of ratings for different agencies and agents so I now know who I don't want to send a query letter to.
It's also far easier than in the past to find ePublishers, submission requirements for the big print publishers like Bantam, Penguin, Avon, Harlequin (if you're a romance writer). Amazing stuff! Even better, I found I can get a copy of the Writer's Guide and other references MaryJanice suggests via my local library. Woo-hoo! (Yeah, I'm woo-hoo kind of gal at times...Gemini's have a complicated life).
I've also found a few folks that I trust to tell me the truth to read the book and let me know what needs fixing/tweaking/changing. Although Jess swears really bad, there were a few spots where I felt it may be masking the more interesting pieces of that particular piece of the story line. So we'll see how many changes are suggested, but cleaning up her mouth entirely won't work...because I'll never hear the end of it and she won't shut up long enough to let me sleep. If nothing else, Jess IS persistent.