Please note, this post is meant to be pretty tongue and cheek so don’t take it all literally. Unless of course you want to, well.. in that case, do. And, yes, I realize that I’ve only been querying for a little less than a month and that it takes some people years to land an agent. I do know these things and so lets just say that patience isn’t my strong suit. I also hear those of you who are wondering why in the world I’d trade being indie in order to go the trad route. I hear you. Trust me. :) This isn’t meant to be a debate about one or the other. I’m pro both ways. Or any which way, actually. I’m sharing this because I know many of you are going through something similar. Whether it’s a job, a lover…or like me an agent that you’re trying to land, sometimes it does help to know you’re not alone. And that there’s an upside to waiting, hard though it may be.
I’m on deadline so I’ll have to keep this short and sweet. Also, I just moved the said deadline up by three weeks so it’s looking as though Breaking Bedrock will be released around mid December or so.
There’s big news and no news on the agent front. My manuscript is in the hands of a handful of agents at the moment. That said, I’ve also received a handful of rejections in the past week or so. Just a quick statistic I’ve heard on landing an agent. Most NYC agents receive somewhere around 400-600 queries a month, of which they request (maybe) 25 manuscripts, usually offering to represent only 2-3 of those. To say the odds are tough would be a little bit of an understatement. That said, I’ve had requests for 10 fulls thus far from some of the most well respected agents in the industry. So, I know based on statistics that something in my query must be pretty good. That said, still no offers of representation. Yet. Which brings me to tell you how trying to land an agent is really pretty similar to finding a lover….
First off, just like with a lover…I don’t want just any agent. Obviously, I want someone with similar goals who believes in me and my work. But first it takes getting the right person to notice me in the slush pile…and that is a feat. Just like with dating you have to hope what you’re offering up is music to their ears. And DAMN IT if that music isn’t SO subjective. You have to be generous when describing why you’re querying any particular agent. And you guys, I’ve found myself saying things like “your writing/blog/twitter feed just spoke to me” but, of course, only when it was true. So…then when they notice, the next step is laying it all out there. Which is a bit like being naked and saying “This is me. And THIS is what I’ve got. Take it or leave it.” And having them leave it. ;)
Just like with lovers…there’s the waiting. Is he gonna call? Is he not gonna call? He loves me. He loves me not. Then comes the dreaded rejection. With agents it can come in a few forms. There’s the form letter, which means: we’re really not a good fit and saying anything more is a waste of both our time. There’s also the more specific, but sucky nonetheless, and perhaps even worse, the: “it’s not you it’s me” kind of stuff which you know almost always means it IS about you. And my personal favorite…”I’ve made mistakes before and this could be another one of them.”
But all that said, rejection is just the beginning. Par for the course. What happens when you put yourself out there. It’s business. I get it.
And I’m guessing that finding an agent who offers representation is a little like being lovers AND married to one another. It’s kind of a big deal. Which makes me appreciate each and every experience, every rejection, every no that I’ve received. For everything that didn’t work out the way I’d hoped it would, I’m grateful, it makes me just that much more thankful for all that I have been given in life. As it is with love, waiting sucks and rejection hurts…but finding a good match, someone who not only wants what you’re offering but is worth having…well, I believe that is the sweet reward of persistence. And just as it has been with love, I’m banking on guessing and hoping…that it can happen with agents, too.
P.S. Here’s a little something silly about fitting in and finding your kind. Dance party, anyone?