Monday, June 22, 2009

On Finally Securing an Agent, and Coming Back to Earth.

I had a range of reactions to getting that 'Yes!' from the British agent this weekend: disbelief, shock, joy, doubt, suspicion, then joy again. I did little writing, which was to be expected considering how out of things I felt. This morning I am accepting and grateful, now the adrenaline has worn off. I've apparently cleared the penultimate hurdle in this writer's foot race, but it has left me tired, as I slowly flutter back to earth today.

Although I did my usual snoop around, prior to sending off my query to them, I've since done even more homework on the company, and have found nothing negative. It's a relatively small outfit, with an equally smallish list of clients. This is possibly why they take such a personal approach with their queries. On their submission site, they are encouraging, warm and humorous - no drill sergeant orders here. I showed a snippet of their guidelines on May 29, in case you missed it. I certainly was getting impatient with being addressed like a wayward child on some of those other agency pages - in fact, I didn't query agents whose wording was overly demanding or patronizing.

All I have to do now is sign the agency agreement, assuming I like their terms. Practical as ever, I believe it's never over 'til it's over. The final hurdle will be their success in finding a publisher. And that's a whole new challenge in the race, akin to marathon runners 'hitting the wall', as they put it, but who's going to give up now, so close to the winner's line?

Anne Mini of Author!, Author! (left side bar under Helpful Sites) has a wealth of information - I mention her a lot, because she's so good. She's covered just about every question the unpublished writer could ask. Here's a paragraph on rejection that I'd like to share:
"The important thing to bear in mind is that at the query or pitching stage, the book could not possibly have been rejected because the manuscript was poorly written . The query might have been rejected for that reason, naturally, but it’s logically impossible for an agent to pass judgment on a manuscript’s writing quality without reading it."

So my suggestion to you today, if you're not quite convinced your query is the best it could be, or your automatic rejects are coming at you fast and furiously, give that vital letter an overhaul. Check out Anne's site and all those others offering tips.

Right now, with each query, you're standing outside the agent's door, your email 'send' button is your foot inching around the door, but your fascinating query is the only thing that's going to fling that door wide open. Once it's open, you'd better have a fantastic manuscript to follow up with. And I know you do.

Go get 'em!



Embee said...

Congratulations! That's awesome you now have an agent. Now it'll be no time before your published, and it'll go even quicker for the second book! Now I'm even more motivated to get back to my WIP!

Fran said...

So we can expect so see more activity on your blog, charting your progress, yes?

Thanks for your words, Embee. Always appreciated.

Bonnie Kozek said...

congrats fran!!!!! great news. keep me posted. and keep writing!!!

Eric said...

Congratulations on your success. We're waiting on pins and needles for the publication date :)

Johanna said...

Fran, that is marvelous news! We can all say we knew you when... Couldn't be happier for you!