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An Agent in the Crosshairs

Ummm….I forgot today is Wednesday. Labor Day screwed me up.

Well, anyway, on my mind is the topic of navigating this industry, specifically with agents in mind.

Theoretically, an agent is a good thing (or as an article in the RWR put it, perhaps a thing of the past?). Who doesn’t want someone to sell his/her work. I do. It would take one less worry from my mind. An agent would give me suggestions, praise, criticism all the while selling me and my book. And, most importantly, an agent can get my manuscript into those houses that don’t take unagented authors.

But, it’s such a crapshoot. Writers go round and round with what agent is the best agent, the best fit for the genre, the writer and the industry. Soon,Ā  a writer’s head is spinning. And you can’t judge based on the authors represented by the agent. If they’re big names, they may hog all the agent’s time. Or if they are small names, they might not have the savvy or knowhow to get you the best deal. Should you use some one from NY, a respected house, an upstart, an unknown….is your head spinning yet?

Now let’s get down to the query. Yikes! Go ahead. Start it. Dear Ms. Agent, ….?……? what do I put here? I liked your hair when I saw you at Nationals?…..Please, please, please take me on……I need you…Ā  Okay, so maybe those are the thoughts going through my head šŸ™‚ But I do hate writing a query letter, and I wrote one just last night.

So now you can guess what I am doing today. Yep. Fixin’ to get busy emailing my query to ten agents. Whole new query, whole new genre, whole new nail-biting time period to wait for rejections. Or requests (I’m being positive). But my chief worry is this: what if they remember me from the historical I queried not so long ago? What if the impression that’s embedded in the back of their minds is “Oh, no. Not this drip again” and then they mark it “Instant Rejection”?

Okay, we writers are not quite sane. We know that about ourselves. We also know that the great agent hunt can be daunting. I just hope I have the right ammunition and I get a prize stag at the end. Nothing like coming back from the hunt, muddy, frustrated and with a bad case of poison ivy. Been there, done that.

So what about you? Good experiences with agent hunting? Bad? Dont’ care?


15 Responses

  1. I have three agents waiting for my story—and can’t do anything about it right now. Grabbed a cup of coffee and sat down for a wee break so am supporting Sisters’ blogs, but then I’ll be off and running again. Such is life.

    When the time comes, I hope to have a better sense of it all thanks to the angst-ridden tribulations of all my Sisters. Who knows? It could be a real help and spare me some of the anxiety. All things do work together for good—it’s just hard to see the good past all the other gunk sometimes.

  2. I am so “there,” Amy. It’s hard to know which agent to target, when I’m not even sure where my writing voice fits best.
    Good luck with your queries!


  3. Thanks, Gwenlyn, for supporting me. How horrible would it be if no one read my blog. I’d be like that dude that blogged and nobody read it and then he went out and shot up that fitness center killing all those women. Well, I would be like him necessarily, but I do appreciate your responding šŸ™‚

    And, yeah, I’ve been paying close attention to what people say about making decisions about agents. I hope to be in that boat one day.

  4. I meant to say I WOULDN”T be like him.


  5. Yep, Tina, it’s pretty hard to know. I guess it’s like dating – you hope for the best and that the agent you pick turns out to be a winner.

  6. Amy, as you know I’ve found the best all the way down to “somebody, revoke her agenting license!” But really, I think it has a lot to do with how well *I* fit with each agent rather than their personal agenting style. You’ll find the perfect one.

  7. Maybe. But who can tell? I’ve met with one and liked her fine, but how do I know that she will be a good agent? I mean talk is one thing, walk is another.

    BTW, already got one rejection after only three hours. Ouch! Didn’t even want to look at the writing. Maybe she has an aversion to Southern contemporary šŸ™‚

  8. okay, you know I’m going to do this because I do it everytime :)….OR, she already has an author in her stable who writes something similar or she just tried to sell a similar project that didn’t work out or maybe she’s on the west coast/north and doesn’t grasp southern fiction or maybe she’s got a stable of contemporary authors and is being super selective….

  9. Okay, point well made, butt kicker! LOL.

    That’s what I was thinking in the back of my mind. Maybe she’s full up….and I looked back at who she reps and she’s got a Southern contemporary writer right up front on the page.

    So, I’ll settle for thinking that instead of “Not that drip again! Send her the ‘R'”

  10. I’d rather be writing than hunting an agent, but I know it’s all part of the process. So send out those queries, Amy! And keep on writing! The right agent, the right day, the right time will come when everything falls into place!! šŸ™‚ Fingers crossed for you!!!

  11. Well, I’ve been making good progress on my writing. I did almost three chapters in a week (unprecedented for me) – I’m getting in a rhythm.

    Yeah, the whole agent thing is hard to do. The rejections are going to come. I can’t imagine being like some of my GH finalist friends – having seven or eight to choose from. But I’d like to try it šŸ™‚

  12. Yup, I’m right there with you, Amy. I’m really impressed that you did almost three chapters and went through the query lark — moan groan. I don’t know if I like writing queries or synopses least.

    But the bottom line seems to be it’s easier with one of them than without. So forward we go . . .

  13. or, alternatively, dislike writing queries or synopses more. That at least comes out a little clearer!

  14. I have had great luck this year with finding an agent and editor interested in my work. That was when I went to the writers conference. When I changed my subgenre, they went for it!

  15. Amy, FInding the right agent is like panning for gold. It takes and perservence to search out the perfect person to represent your work and you will! Your a talented writer. So send those queries with not a thought of rejection. You’re going have to decided between several. WINK


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