And so it begins again.
That painful, tedious, humiliating process of trying to find an agent. With my first books I skipped this step, and went straight to the publishers. Since then, I’ve discovered the multiple benefits of having an agent, and I want to give it a try for this new book.
The process goes something like this:
A. I open Google and begin to research for literary agents.
B. After about 10 minutes of searching, I find a list of legitimate agents on a trusted site. I specify legitimate, because there are a lot of scam artists out there that I want to avoid. People who don’t care about introducing my book to publishers, but only in lightening my wallet.
C. I begin the slow process of going to each agent’s site, one at a time, and read about the agent. The purpose of this step is to find out if the agent handles the type of book I just wrote. The problem with this step is that every agent puts the information in a different place, and I have to spend precious time digging around each site.
D. At about the 5th site I find a winner, an agent who is accepting new clients and who wants to represent young adult books. (Gray Zone is a YA novel.)
E. I then go to the “How to submit” page and read what I need to do.
F. I follow the submission guidelines to the letter. Most times the agent wants a query letter, a biography, and a synopsis (oh, the dreaded synopsis!). Most agents also usually want an exclusive submission, so once I submit, I have to wait before I can contact another agent.
G. I wait the required 2-3 months, anxiously hoping that the agent will want to see the manuscript I’ve slaved over for the past 2 years. If you haven’t had a reason to chew your fingernails to the nub while you worry that a person you know nothing about might not validate the belief you have in yourself that you have something valuable to say, you should try it sometime. It will either make you cry with frustration, kick and scream, or make you want to be a nicer person, depending on your personality. (I’ve done all 3, so I don’t really know what that says about my personality.)
H. If I am lucky, an agent will ask for the manuscript. If I am very lucky, he/she will want to represent my book.
I. If I get a rejection letter (which is where the need for thick skin comes in), or no response at all, I start the process all over again.
Now, doesn’t that make all of you want to write a book, just so you too can have the pleasure of shopping it around?