Tag Archives: Agents

Just when you think you’re finished…

So you know my book, Possession? Yeah, the one I was “done” with? That’s been out on submission since roughly the time God created the earth?

Yeah. It’s not finished yet. I did another round of revisions based on agent feedback which I am 2 1/2 chapters away from completing. It has been a horribly slow painful process and I don’t understand why. I normally don’t have to drag stuff out of me like this.

In the midst of this I have gotten a revise and resubmit from an agent. Now, this agent hasn’t read this newest version and she’s not going to. Why? Because it’s not enough. I didn’t realize it until I got her email. I instantly thought upon reading it that I couldn’t send the new version because it wasn’t different enough. Oh, it’s better no doubt about that, but I now doubt that it is the best representation of me and the writer I have become in the last year.

I tend to undervalue my talent and my skill. I do so on a regular basis. Even when people I don’t know tell me I can write, I still doubt. And then a dear friend, whom I deeply respect, told me I am so much better than I was a year ago. And I was good a year ago. I know I was. Agents told me I was. They told me I was good. They told me I was talented. But I wasn’t good enough to get picked up by one of them. Because something was missing. I think I’ve found it. I’ve found it and I’m going to use it to rewrite this book in ways I never would have imagined when I started.

And when I’m done, I’m going to resubmit, requery, query and I am going to get signed and I am going to sell this book because anything else just isn’t acceptable.

The depressant that is the internet

So there’s been a lot going on around the internets lately. It’s impossible to touch them all, but I am going to hit a few I think worth mentioning.

1) self-pubbing vs. traditional – It won’t surprise most of you that this topic has been up for discussion. Again. People on both sides of the topic are very verbal about why their way is right or someone else’s is wrong. But see, here’s the thing, every author has to decide for themselves what they want out of their career. What their goals are. The pathway they want to take to get there. What is right for one author isn’t going to be right for another. Just because the choice someone made isn’t the one you would make, doesn’t mean it’s wrong. As writers we need to support each other, buy the work of your friends whether it’s traditionally pubbed or self-pubbed. If a book is genuinely good, tell people. If it’s a horrible, unedited piece of crap I guess you can tell people that to, but I’d mostly suggest keeping my mouth shut on that one.

2) The usefulness of agents – While several people have been discussing this of late, a rather prominent author, whose name I shall not mention, kind of went off on a tirade about how writers are increasingly disgruntled with their agents, especially when it comes to self-pubbing. Again, the decision of whether or not to find an agent is a personal one, but I personally wouldn’t want to tread the publishing world without one. Despite all my reading, all my research I know NOTHING about this business compared to an agent. I need someone to have my back, to help me watch out for the potholes. That’s what an agent does, they look out for you, they market you, they talk you down from the ledges. And as us writers are an unstable lot, it’s good to have someone to do that for you on occasion.

3) Norway vs. Amy Winehouse – I am only going to say this. Both of these events are tragedies. While Norway’s loss is obviously a much larger one, it is okay for people to be sad about more than one thing at a time. It doesn’t mean they’ve forgotten about the other.

I guess that about covers it for now. I’ll be posting later in the week about professionalism in the writing world. I know y’all just can’t wait. 🙂

A thought….or two

First of all, I got another full request today! Yay, me! 🙂 Very happy.

Secondly, I read a blog post by an agent today (which you can read here ) which basically says writers should not blog about the submissions process. Now, this agent was mostly discussing this as it relates to submissions after you have an agent and they are trying to sell to an editor. The comments are eye-opening as well.

And I have to say I agree with this post actually. “But, Kathy…” you say, “you blog all the time about your submissions” This is true. I do. but I don’t bad mouth anyone in these posts. I don’t say I’d do anything to have this agent. They’re better than that one. The reason I don’t do that is it’s not true.

Every single agent (or editor) that I have queried, I have researched. I would love to have any of them as an agent. If I didn’t want them as an agent, I wouldn’t have queried them. Seriously. What would be the point? I’m not a writer that thinks any representation is better than none.

I also have no complaints about the process. Why? I RESEARCHED. Should I repeat that? Why not? I RESEARCHED. I knew this was going to be a long process. It would be stupid to think it anything but. Agents get hundreds, even thousands of queries. Even if they request material from only a small percentage of those letters, that’s a lot of reading. Plus, their clients take priority. And there are contests, and conferences, and a little thing called a personal life.

I lurk on writing forums sometimes and I am totally floored by the people complaining because an agent has had their full manuscript for 6 weeks and they haven’t heard anything yet. Seriously? It takes time people. You might as well sit back and enjoy the ride. Now, if an agent has had your submission for longer than the time frame that’s posted on their site you can nudge. But only, and I repeat ONLY, to make sure they received your submission in the first place. Things happen, emails get lost.

That’s not to say if someone’s had your manuscript for 6 months you shouldn’t say “Hey, just wondering if you got to me yet” but be polite. And do not vent in a public forum for crying out loud. This whole thing is a job interview people.  One big, long job interview. Conduct yourself accordingly.

Progress Report

Lest anyone think you’ve been forgotten, I wanted to stop in and give a little update. I’m still submitting. Got requests for partials from a couple more agents, which is great. I have started working on a new book which I will talk about when I’m a little further into it. So pretty much status quo around here.

At the risk of embarrassing myself

I feel compelled to share something with you. You should understand that sharing this information could lead to potentially huge embarrassment for me. I say this because I include my website address in all of my queries. If you are an agent checking me out with the possibility of being a potential client please disregard the rest of this post. Okay? Thank you.

Remember that post about the email I got from Deidre Knight and how thrilled I was? Yeah, I carry that email around in my back pocket. I also have it posted downstairs above my writing area and on the board above my desk at work. Why? I don’t know really. It’s not as if it was gushing praise of my superior writing ability. It was two sentences that amounted to I really like what I’ve read so far, send me the rest.

But here’s the thing…in this process of trying to get past an assistant to an agent and hopefully get anything other than a form rejection, to have someone, an important someone, tell you they get it is an awesome feeling. When I view it, it’s a reminder that maybe I am kind of good at this writing thing after all. When I get frustrated, I read it again and realize that I can do this.

Is there going to be a lot more work ahead? Of course. I get that. I understand that Deidre asking for more doesn’t mean I’m not going to get another form rejection to add to my pile. But for a moment, just for a moment, I can pretend my book is something great and that I’m not the only one that sees that.

Sorry for the delay….

The fact is, I haven’t updated the blog lately because I was a little bummed about this whole process. I was getting rejection after rejection on my queries. And I got two more rejections on partials, not only were they rejections, they were form rejections. No real feedback at all. ugh. It really makes you second guess yourself.

But then I got some totally awesome news just when I needed it. You remember my very first blog post way back when about Deidre Knight? (if not you should totally go read it. I’ll wait here. Done? Okay, then…) Anyway, here’s the thing about Deidre, and I have to be honest here, I had already crossed her off the list of potential agents in my brain. Not because I didn’t want her as an agent, quite the opposite in fact, but because I considered her unattainable. There was no way she was going to want me.

Well, guess what? She liked what I sent her enough to ask for the full manuscript! This is huge! I’m thrilled and overwhelmed and all that stuff. This is the first time this has happened to me cuz I’m still pretty new at all this submission stuff, and it’s impossible to describe. The feeling you get when an agent reads part of your book and wants to read more is this heady combination of absolute terror and total elation. As usual, I’ll let y’all know how it goes.

Oh, and the contest? Still haven’t heard anything about the final placements. grrr. will let you know when I do though!

I did it.

So submission is off to the agent. To be honest I’m not expecting a lot. Would I like to hear that she loves it and wants to represent it? Heck ya! She’s an awesome agent.

But, I haven’t even sent one query on this one yet. Let me tell you, the odds are not with me.

That being said, I love this book. I love the characters and the world. Without sounding completely egotistical, I think it’s good. Hopefully she will too.


On pitching and scary agents and whatnot.

Originally published 8/14/10:
So this was an interesting weekend. My writer’s group was given the opportunity to meet with Deidre Knight. For those of you who don’t know who that is, let’s just say she’s a big deal in writing circles. She’s not only a well-established agent, she’s also a multi-published author. Not only could we meet her, we were given the opportunity to pitch our book to her.

Ever since I found out that she was coming, I’ve been wondering what kind of person she would be. What the experience would be like, that kind of thing. I mean she seemed nice enough on twitter but how mean can you really be in 140 characters? (Don’t answer that question, I know people can be plenty mean on there)

For those of you who are not familiar with the writing industry, an agent is the key to a successful writing career. Finishing the book is only the first step in an incredibly long process. Without going into all the detail, let me just say that getting an agent to read any portion of your book is a huge step forward. It’s a step that will hopefully lead to them choosing to represent you. Now you know why I said scary agents in the title. It is scary to think someone is going to read and judge something you’ve poured hours of time and your heart and soul into.

Deidre was actually very nice and extraordinarily easy to talk to. I did pitch Possession to her. And while I think my pitching skills need a ton of work, she requested that I send three chapters and a synopsis to her. 

Keep your fingers crossed for me that she likes it enough to read the rest of it.