Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Hair-Pulling, Bang-Your-Head-Against-The-Wall Nuisances of Finding and Securing An Agent

You have finished your novel. After some time, you went back and reworked it. Maybe you submitted it to your critique group who gave you excellent advice and pointers, so you revised your novel again. Fixed a few more things. Added some depth there. Cut characters or scenes that dragged the story down.
Now it's ready. And it's beautiful.
You spend some time researching literary agents (you heard from the conference you just attended that agents are the way to go to securing a book deal). You pick your top five. After perfecting your query letter for a few months, you're ready to start submitting.
Then the rejections start coming.
You send out another five queries.
And get rejected.
Maybe your query is the problem. So, you rework the query letter and make it even better.
You now send out to ten agents.
The next week, you send to another ten.
Hey, might as well keep the momentum going. Eventually, you have forty queries out to agents.
Lo, and behold, one or possibly two ask for the first thirty pages! GASP! This is it...Hard work pays off...
A couple weeks later those two agents thank you but decline for whatever reason.
At this point, if you're like me, you're like... "WHAT THE....." (Fill in the blank with whatever word you would use in that predicament).

Here's the thing. You have every right to be frustrated. Trust me, this situation is basically my querying life. Frustration is even compounded when you have heard from industry professionals that what you've written is truly good. So, what is a writer to do?

Simple: DON'T GIVE UP.

*Write another book.
*Read several books.
*Take a walk.
*Drink some wine.
*Eat some chocolate.

But at the end of the day, you are a writer. If it's in your blood like it's in mine, giving up simply cannot happen.
Stop thinking about agents for awhile and go back to what you love doing. Eventually you'll be ready to try again with the query process.
I look forward to seeing your work (and mine) in print! Happy Writing!