Sunday, August 12, 2018

Online Dating (Just Kidding) (Sort of)

One of my goals for August, yes, this August, is to start querying my novel with agents.

In a perfect world, this is the sequence:
1) I send a query to multiple agents describing my book.
2) One or more of them offer to represent me.
3) I carefully pick the one who will be the best for my writing career.
4) My super agent queries the book with editors at publishing houses.
5) The publishing houses get into a bidding war.
6) I get a seven figure advance.

In reality this is what will happen:
1) I send a query to multiple agents describing my book.
2) Half of them eventual send a form reply, the other half never respond, leaving me to wonder how long I should wait before I consider it a rejection.
3) I obsessively tweak the query and send it out to the next group of agents.
4) Goto step 2.
(See also, Dijkstra's "Go To Statement Considered Harmful")
5) Eventually I run out of agents to query.
6) I either self-publish or put the book in a digital trunk and forget it ever happened.

So yeah, good times ahead.

Today I was trying to figure out which agents to put in the first batch and I realized it's a lot like online dating. You start with a huge list of agents. You filter out the ones that accept the right genre and then you're down to something under 200. Now you have to prioritize them.

Do they have any clients you recognize? Do they have any clients at all?

Are there comments from other writers saying "Agents at this agency seem to last about two months and then disappear"?

Are they famous? Because maybe you'll have a better chance attracting the attention of a newer agent. Except the newer agent won't have the contacts that a more established agent would. But will an established agent even have time for a new writer?

Anyhow, I'm just going to be looking for an agent who's interested in what I have to offer and won't leave me buried in a shallow grave in a national forest.

That's not too much to ask, right?

1 comment:

Route 8 said...

Best of luck! I’d say your chances are quite good.