Sunday, July 6, 2014

Finding an agent

Writers League of Texas awarded my novel UNDERCOVER a finalist place in its 2014 Manuscript Competition and I've been sending queries to New York literary agencies trying to find an agent to represent me. It's a long, arduous process.

Each agent has specific guidelines--one wants a short synopsis and five pages, another wants a chapter-by-chapter synopsis and the first ten pages, another wants the first chapter but in rich text, and another wants... well, you get the idea. And each agent is unwavering about following her particular guidelines, or else. The "or else" means that she won't read the partial manuscript, and since that is the whole reason for contacting her, I follow each one meticulously.

It's not easy finding someone to represent an unpublished novelist, even if I'm a contestant finalist. Literary agencies receive hundreds of email and snail mail submissions on a daily basis. Okay, I get that. They're busy folks who have lots and lots of wannabe authors vying for their attention. But hey, isn't that the core of their business? Could they exist if wannabe authors weren't trying to get agency representation?

 My man created a manuscript tracker for me, so I could keep up with my queries and to whom I sent them. I've got nine queries out there right now, looking for a connection.

It's funny but I feel like I'm on because even when an agent expresses interest, she may not be the right agent for me. I'm working on the draft of my second novel and have started the idea file for a third one. This lady is no one-trick pony, so it's important that I find an agent who is interested in my writing goals and publishing dreams, not just in selling one novel.

The dance has begun. I'm both excited and impatient to see who will be my partner.