Thursday, August 13, 2009

Finding A Literary Agent

I have found my searching for a literary agent to be quite difficult. As difficult as getting published, (ahem... by a legit publisher that is) will be I am sure. It is a more agonizing process than I thought it would be. The ability to be rejected several times without taking it personal is not an easy one to come by. I am sure this is a skill that comes over time. I haven't acquired it yet. It's not as though I am devastated every time a rejection email comes back, it's just each time I see an agent has written me back, I let the letter sit for 2.5 seconds before opening it with the high hopes that this might be the person who wants to read more of my work. So far, I haven't got that hopeful letter back YET!!

Every agent requires that you send them a query letter. Basically, it's like a resume for your book. Some require if you have illustrations to send those and some won't even open your email if there are attachments. IF you don't follow their specifications to a T (yes that is a capital T folks) they won't even consider your work. All of these things I didn't even know before entering this wonderful world of publishing.

I set out originally to find someone local. Much to my surprise, (I am being totally sarcastic here in case you didn't notice) there is no one in the Reno/Sparks area or even Northern Nevada area for that matter.
I did however get in touch with an agent in the San Francisco area, who referred me to this very helpful website;

agentquery.com

When I went to that website I then began to realize that I am a very small fish in an ocean of talented writers who were much more educated about this process than I was. I was scared. I was discouraged. I felt grossly underqualified to even be considering my work as something that should go public. My first query letters I was embarrassed by now. I did exactly what they said NOT to do before learning what a query letter even is or was. I didn't know that there are agents who specialize in certain genres of books and that I should be looking for those agents to even consider reading my query letter, let alone my books.

Then I remembered why I started this process in the first place. I regrouped and thought; some lucky agent is going to GET to be my agent, is going to GET to help me publish my book, and is going to GET to reap the Harvest of promises I have awaiting me.
So, once I realized all of this, I did some refining on my query letter, made a list of the agents that I wanted to pursue, and started sending away those queries via email. I have been rejected several times. I only have 12 more agents to pursue on that list that was 23 agents long.

I KNOW one of them will be the lucky winner.

3 comments:

Erica said...

Keep up the good work, Noel. It sounds complicated but you're figuring out it seems.

shontell said...

Stand strong. YOU CAN DO IT!!

noel said...

Finally got word from one of the big New York agents. She is the first to want to see more.
We shall see.

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