I like working but not finding work. I like writing but not finding a publisher. Unfortunately, there are similarities. Consider these parallels:
1. The Search
For a job, we need to find where to apply. This means looking through help wanted ads, researching companies, and networking with people we know. For writing, this means scouring market guides, learning about agents and publishers, and networking with others in the industry. Just as we wouldn’t apply for every job at every business, we don’t query every agent and publisher. We work smart and are strategic.
2. The Resume
Just as the goal of a resume is to land an interview, the goal of a query letter is to prompt a request for a proposal. Resume equals query letter; both must shine.
3. The Interview
In a job interview we need to sell ourselves and our abilities. In a book proposal, we have the same goal.
4. The Follow-up
A successful job interview results in more interaction with the company. A successful book proposal produces additional discussion about our writing. Both bring us closer to an offer.
5. The Offer
Sometimes we grab the first deal that comes along. Other times we negotiate. And occasionally we say “no thank you” but leave the door open for the future.
The same is true for jobs and for books.