So, I have a confession. A few weeks ago my literary agent and I broke up. I’ve been quiet about it because it’s been so much to process, but it’s time to share so others can learn from my journey. My blog is often upbeat, so let’s have some fun with this sad story.
In the “we have to discuss our relationship” email, the agent admitted that in showing it to editors at publishing houses, she realized she didn’t have the resources (editor contacts/understanding of my readership) to sell my genre of book. She suggested I might consider finding a new agent.
Admittedly, my first reaction was…
How could this be after all our time editing, and talking about this book? Naturally, I asked myself, “Did I not ask the right questions about her specific contacts? Had I relied on her judgement over my knowledge of my readership?” Regardless, it became clear that we would only amass more rejections together.
I’m not going to lie. For about a week my mornings began like this:
After this stage passed, reality set in. I had to find a new agent. That meant query letters. Submission guidelines. The possibility of more rejections.
My first morning at the laptop felt like this:
But then I read an article about aiming for 100 rejections. Could searching for an agent in a specialized and subjective industry be about odds? If I secured my first agent after only 8 rejections, then out of 100, I’d have options.
So for the last two weeks, this has been me nearly every day:
I’ve been combing PublishersMarketplace, literary agencies and primarily using an online agent-search resource called QueryTracker to sort out who I’ve queried, being careful that they represent my genre.
That’s not to say my book is a fit for everyone. So I’m also like this when I look at my inbox each day:
I’ll keep you posted, but here are the stats so far: 50 queries sent. 7 rejections. 2 partial requests. 2 full manuscript requests.
I will go to the mattresses!
And for all you agents out there with a manuscript wish list (#MSWL) that includes American Revolutionary historical fiction with more battles than bodice-ripping, and a reluctant, yet likable male protagonist like Jamie in Outlander?
I’ve only one word…