Thursday, July 01, 2010

How to Get an Agent: Part Three – The Query-Go-Round

This week I’m going through the steps of getting published. You can start from the beginning here.

So you’ve started to send out queries. What now?

Some agents respond within minutes, some take months, and some only respond if they are interested. Stay organized and keep a spreadsheet so you know where you stand.

Never under any circumstances write back something crazy to an agent. If you’re even thinking about writing some vengeful ‘how dare you reject me’ diatribe, then you need to think about whether or not you are ready for this giant Road of Rejection. If an agent rejects you, the only thing you should ever write back is “thanks for your time” and only do that if they send a detailed, personal rejection. After you get a rejection, note it in your spreadsheet, file it away, and move on. Everyone gets rejections.

Always be professional.

In some cases, the query-go-round turns into a whirlwind of quick requests and offers and wonderful phone calls. In most cases, it takes a while. Months. Don’t sit around and twiddle your thumbs. Work on your next book!

Imagine a year from now, you’ve queried 100 agents. Some have asked to read your manuscript, but it all ends in rejection. You’ve spent this year doing nothing because you were certain this book would snag you an agent. It didn’t and you have nothing else to offer. How do you feel? Pretty depressed, I’d think.

Now imagine that same scenario except that during the year you’ve finished your second book. So, yeah, 100 agents have rejected your first book, but now you’re ready to query again. Your second book is better than the first and you’re psyched to get back on the query-go-round. Not as depressing. More like…exciting!

Come back tomorrow for the last installment!

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