Friday, January 14, 2011

Agent Search

At some point most people who want to be a published author will begin their search for an agent. It's a sort of rite of passage that can't be avoided, though it can be put off and put off with claims like "my manuscript's not ready" "just one more tweak" or even "maybe I'll send in the next story." I know cause I've probably used a bunch of these excuses over the years.

But this time around, the excuses are gone. I can honestly say I've begun the search in earnest. And yes, I've gotten rejections. Some were standard, the thanks, but no thanks. A few were quite encouraging noting that my writing was nice even if the story didn't quite work or didn't fit the agent's needs. So yay on that score! At least I'm on the right track.

Having gotten these rejections though, I am left with some lingering questions. How do you know when the manuscript is ready to send out to agents? What do you do if a couple of agents hit on the same criticism? Do you revise the book? Move on to another and submit that one instead? And what do you do if the genre you're trying to break into just isn't selling well at the moment?

1 comment:

  1. This is awesome. I had no idea you were writing!

    I'm of the opinion that if you're getting similar remarks from more than one person, then you need to think about it. If it's fixable, rewrite. (Like if your characters aren't developed or the conflict isn't strong enough.)

    Random remarks can be chalked up to taste. (Or craziness. I got called a racist once. Not sure where *that* came from...)

    Good criticism will resonate -- even if it hurts to hear it -- and you'll see that yeah, this person is right.

    And you should always be working on something else. First, it keeps you from obsessing full-time on the current submission, and it makes your writing stronger. You'll often find ways to fix the last manuscript as you work your way through the current one.