Last night I twittered, "Finished a Full MS. Commence Pondering."
A few people replied, asking what that meant.
Whenver I finish a full manuscript, regardless of how much I love it, I try to spend a few hours (somtimes days, depending) thinking about it. I want to know that I'll feel strongly about it not just in that moment I read the last page, but that the feeling lingers, and the story stays with me, even after I'm done reading.
The first things I think about are revisions:
*How big would we need to go in revisions? Are the changes minor, or significant enough to request a "revise and resubmit?"
*Are the weak spots in the character, plot, or hook? How easily fixable is it?
Next, it's the market:
*Is this book hitting on a big trend? Or something that was a trend yesterday, and is now overdone? Or is it in a quieter spot in the market-- a niche or a literary book?
*How many editors do I know (without looking at my spreadsheet) who are dying for something like this? If I can think of at least five without even trying, that's a great sign.
*What other books are already out that deal with a similar subject/conflict/hook? How does this differ?
*Are there similar books (same paranormal creature, same time period, same something) that recently sold in Publisher's Marketplace? This can be good and bad-- good, if it shows interest in this type of book. Bad, if it is too simmilar or there are already multiple deals. An imprint that just bought a Boy-centric Steampunk Adventure won't want another one. Especially if they just shelled out BIG bucks for said boy centric steamppunk.
Next, it's the author:
*Do I know her already from being an author/networking? If so, what sort of personality and online presence does she have?
*If there are links in her query-- what does her blog/website say about her?
*What comes up in google?
The point here is to make sure that I have a strong project (hence the revision part of pondering) that is timely enough that I think I can sell it (hence the market part) and that it's written by an author I want to work with (hence the author part.)