The Great Agent Search!

When I decided to search for a literary agent in lieu of directly contacting small publishers, I considered just playing the numbers game and blasting query letters out to everyone and their Aunt Sally. If you throw enough stuff at the wall, something will stick, right? Then I changed my mind. I’ve been doing a lot of that lately. Instead, I decided to refine my search for agents down to a group that (I thought) was more likely to be interested in my work. The agents that I’ve been in contact with so far have been really classy, and I appreciate that so much, because I know how wildly busy they are. The number of submissions received daily by agents is astounding, so I am grateful for any feedback they have to offer.

One agent told me that she was sorry she wasn’t the right fit for me, as she only represents children’s books. That was my mistake – I’m not sure how I got from “the books she represents remind me of Where the Wild Things Are” to “hey she’ll love a book about CHD!” She said she understands the importance of my work on a personal level, as her nephew has CHD. That was good to hear. 

But I have some good news! An agency that I am very excited about asked me to allow them a three week period to evaluate my proposal and sample chapters exclusively. I happily granted that, and now it’s time to wait and hope that they see the importance of this book. And not because I’m so fabulous, but because Corey’s story of hope is one that needs to be heard.

In the meantime, I’ve settled on this as an author photo for the day when the book is finally published.


I need an agent!

My book is written.  My pitch is written.  My proposal is written.  I was all set to pitch small publishing houses, but then, after speaking with another author, I changed my mind.  I may end up trying for Tiny Publishing House You’ve Never Heard Of, or self publishing, but first, I’m going to try and land an agent and end up with Random House.  Why not go for the gold?  If it doesn’t work out, at least I’ll know that I tried.

So how hard is it to land an agent?  Here’s a good quote from the National Writers Union, “Finding a literary agent is like moving to a new town and having to find a contractor to remodel your house and a mechanic to fix your car all at once.  It has a strong element of Russian roulette.”

Great.  Where’s my gun? 

The key to pursuing an agent is apparently patience.  Everything I have read suggests that finding an agent is difficult.  Extremely difficult.  If you’re lucky enough to find an agent after six months and hundreds of query letters, working with the agent before your book is submitted to publishers will take another six months.  Or a year, or two years.  It may be a decade before my book sees the light of day if I stay the course.

A decade is too long.  So I’m going to try and land an agent for the next few months, and if I can’t do it in that time frame, then I’m going to pitch the small publishers directly.  It took most of the day yesterday to get seven query letters out, so I need to get back to the computer!

Wish me luck….