After finishing the manuscript, I knew there were a few more steps before I could show it to a literary agent in the hopes of being traditionally published. Firstly, there is the final readthrough to ensure the draft is as polished as possible. Then, writing the synopsis and query letter and having them ready to send in multiple formats - depending on what the agent requests.
A synopsis is a one-to-three page document of the entire story that is easier for an agent to digest. While I wrote mine at the same time as an earlier draft of my novel, it was in need of a major overhaul as the story grew in the telling. What was almost five pages was trimmed down to three as I broke down the important beats of each chapter in their own paragraph.
As for the query letter, it is something I struggled to get right. This is a one page cover letter of sorts which has to communicate a lot of things to the agent in not a lot of words. The thing I was stuck most on was the query blurb - comparable to a movie trailer for the novel (This is a different version to the one that can be found on the "Novels" page for The Stars of Aspiria). The blurb ended up changing drastically through feedback from my writer's group and I hope it is good enough to represent my story.
I also produced author business cards to hand out at local gaming and networking events, which have been received extremely well. I attempted to match the style of this site with the monochrome, font choice, and square edges of sections. A unique idea I had was to put the first paragraph of my novel on the back of the card, then a link to the site if the reader wanted to learn more. I found it was more interesting than just having personal details and it was also a way for me to get my writing in people's hands while they waited for the full thing - a teaser to whet their appetite. A lot of my friends have been waiting to read my novel, so I thought this would be ideal.
Now, I feel I am ready to start my querying journey. Its hard having to promote yourself as a writer, but I believe the preparation I did will make a good impression. As a closing note, I would like to thank my friends and family again for their support in getting me this far, and hopefully even further beyond.