Friday, May 1, 2009

Querying Vs. Britain's Got Talent

Seeing as I don't live in a cave, I've now heard of Susan Boyle. I've even watched her audition on YouTube, and enjoyed a tingling sensation watching her blow away the rather smug looking judges (not to mention the two muppets behind the curtain, who make the guys on our local version look almost intelligent).

Having seen only two BGT auditions, Paul Potts and Susan Boyle, I decided to try and dig up some of the less successful audition clips that I knew must be floating around in the ether. It didn't take long to find this, and it is truly a thing of beauty....




As funny as this is, my hat goes off to that guy for having the balls to appear in front of so many people. Even if I had the ability to make butterflies come out of my bottom I don't think I'd ever have the guts to go on stage like that.

Seeing as I'm sending off queries for my manuscript right now, I also couldn't help noticing the similarities between BGT and the querying process. On the show a performer steps out into the lights with exactly one minute to impress the judges. They start their act, desperately hoping to impress, knowing the longer they can keep the judges watching the better. But when the judge has had enough, the buzzer goes, and the performer walks off with their head in their hands.

Then you have an email query. You write your pitch, hoping to dazzle, and hoping the agent will read the whole thing and not give up part way through. If they read the first sentence and hate it you're finished. There's no buzzer, just a simple click and the sending of a form-letter rejection. But if they get to the end and like it - well, then it's just a simple matter of getting them to like your book.

And after it all, if you're really lucky, you end up as the literary equivalent of Susan Boyle, rather than the unfortunate man in the video above.

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