Wednesday, September 29, 2010

It's that time--Finding an Agent


So you’ve finished your book. Your critique partners have given it their stamp of approval. You’ve paid for a professional editor to clean it up. Your Beta readers have given you their suggestions. You’ve read it out loud twice. You’ve begged your husband to read it to you. (He declines.) You create your synopsis and work out a great query with a hook.

You are ready.

Now what?

It’s time to select your agents.

You’ve read all their blogs, you’ve asked other agented writers for suggestions, you’ve searched all the Find an Agent Web sites.

Guess what?

The list isn’t that long.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t find all that many for the genre I want to submit. I also can’t find that many who seem like someone I would work well with.

Are you just too choosy, Terri?

I don’t think so. But from what I know, an agent and writer need to click or either might come to regret the union.

I don’t want to find myself in that situation just to have a book published.
So what’s a girl to do?

Here’s my solution: make sure my book is good and ready when I submit. I get one shot at it per person. That’s it.

That’s where I am now.

What’s your solution to finding a good agent? Or do you really care?

32 comments:

Diane said...

There does seem to be less out there then I originally thought there was. Here's hoping we find the right ones. :O)

Julie Musil said...

LOL to the husband not reading to you. So true!

Good luck with your search. I'm confident there's a perfect agent out there, just waiting for you!

Laura Pauling said...

I totally care! But sometimes there are some great agents out there that don't have a significant web presence and you almost have to blind query them. You can ask questions and all that stuff later if they're interested. It's a lot of the newer agents and agencies that blog and are on twitter. But even saying that, I hesitate before querying just a name when i can't find anything out about them!

Julie Jarnagin said...

Good luck! Sounds like you're doing all the right things.

Wendy Paine Miller said...

My solution...prayer. Because I know I've found one. The question is does she feel the same. ;)

~ Wendy

Lynn said...

The publishing industry, as far as I can tell, is quite different in Canada. Most Canadian authors go straight to a publisher without an agent. Later, they may seek agents. Sounds like your following all the right steps to seek an agent. I'll keep you in my prayers.

Lin Floyd said...

I presented my children's poetry nature book to an agent at the last writer's conference and she said she was representing another author with a book just like mine-so I'm looking again.

Karen Lange said...

Since I've never sought an agent, I don't really have any advice. But your thoughts make sense, and that's probably what I would do. Congrats on your progress! I'm excited for you!
Blessings,
Karen

Amie B said...

see - i thought just the opposite! the more i search, the more i find!

although i really want someone who i'd work well with - someone who "gets" my book and me - ultimately it comes down to a numbers game.

kind of like the lottery - you've gotta be in it to win it!

Susan R. Mills said...

Well, of course, I care. If your work is good enough, you will find the right agent to rep it. I get the feeling your work is ready.

Nehha N Josshi said...

I am sure you'll find the one that suits you:) All the best!

Paul Greci said...

Hi Terri, I don't know what genre your book is, and I'm curious what the number is your talking about when you say there aren't all that many agents for your book. Do you mean 5 or 15 or 25...

I think making sure your book is good and ready is a great plan. I'd only add this: start writing another book while you are querying. You'll want something to take your mind off the wait. Plus, you never know what book will be the break-through book. Good luck!! I'm rooting for you:-) :-)

Rachna Chhabria said...

Terri..you will find the perfect agent. We all are rooting for you.:)

I am sure the good news that you FOUND the perfect agent is just few posts away.

http://rachnachhabria.blogspot.com/2010/09/unleashing-our-creativity.html

Journaling Woman said...

A great step, getting an agent. Good luck.

Jennifer Shirk said...

Well, I haven't looked yet. BUT yes, please be choosy. :)

I have a brief list of some agents from author friends. Not all of the agents have blogs so it's nice hear these things through the grapevine.

Joanne Sher said...

DEFINITELY be choosy, Teri. I have a list of 4 I'm considering querying when I'm ready for my NF. Getting there.

kathy taylor said...

I really care who it is, especially because the manuscript I have written doesn't fit cleanly into a genre. I am saying a prayer that you are signed by the agent of your choice, Terri.

Jeanette Levellie said...

You are right. You need to make sure you hook up with the right person and agency, or you'll cry and pull your lovely hair out. Sounds to me like you've done your homework perfectly. Blessings and love,
Jen

Melissa Marsh said...

I don't know what the solution is. I've been trying to find an agent for numerous years now and it's really, really hard - especially with the way publishing is right now. I just gotta have faith!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Terri -

At the Philly writers' conference, the agent panel agreed they get most of their clients through conferences or referrals from their authors.

Right now, I'm holding my breath, waiting for a verdict from an agent. I've done my best. It's time to trust God.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Deb Shucka said...

It sounds like you've done all you can. Now it's writing a great letter and praying - and waiting. I'm praying with and for you. :-)

Sarah Forgrave said...

I just sent out a proposal this morning to an agent who requested it at the ACFW conference. The concept of query letters scares me, so I'm hoping this will be the one. :-)

Shirl said...

Well, I can't help you on this one. I would never get that far! Your pure determination amazes me.

Hold my hand: a social worker's blog said...

Terri,
Good luck! Praying for you.

Doris

T. Anne said...

Yes! Make that book sparkle. It needs to be your best, most amazing work ever. A good query doesn't hurt either. ;)

Lynda Young said...

And there is even less in Australia. But, if it's meant to happen it will. I like Wendy's solution: prayer.

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

I submitted to a few of my favorites first but reserved others for in case I discovered that I needed to tweak my query/novel. That way I hadn't burned all the ones I really wanted in the first round.

But in the end, I'll be happy without whoever I get.

Good luck!

Sally said...

Wish you luck with the agent hunting. I got word today that my manuscript, entered in a contest, did not make the next round. Looking for the next place to submit. Good luck to us both.

Nancy said...

I never thought of an agent before my blog days. Now, when and if I am ready to sell a book, I would have to look into it. God's best in your search.

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Terry--I don't have a lot of advice for you...I would say going to conferences that those agents you "like" are attending could be a plus....if they do have a blog, start a dialogue with them on it...get to know them and let them get to know you. The agent I met with at the last conference knew who I was before we met at the preconference cocktail party...from my comments on one of her clients blogs. :) Meeting her confirmed that she was someone I would like to work with and keeps her on my list...

Amy DeTrempe said...

You do need to be picky. They need to be on the same page as you. Good luck. Your agent is out there, they just don't know it yet.

Susan Panzica - EternityCafe said...

I'm not yet ready for representation, but I have already pitched to agents at conferences and each time found it to be a most valuable experience. It's a face-to-face meeting that provides insight into their personalities and preferences as well as insight into the industry as a whole.

Before the conferences, I researched the agents that would be there, checked their websites, the Christian Market Guide, etc., to determine which ones I would request for a meeting.

Blessings to you in this next phase of your writing journey.
Susan