The Great Agent Hunt

The great agent hunt starts this week.

The first step, you see, of submitting a book is figuring out who might like to read it. What agent out there will love it enough to go to bat for it and for me, to take it to editors and say, “This book is worth putting out into the world!”

I’m both excited and frightened by the process. I’ll get to spend hours at my local library poring over the 2012 Writer’s Market, and right here at home looking at the meager agency listings in the back of The Writer magazine. I’ve already looked in the acknowledgments section of my favorite urban fantasy books to see what agents are representing books similar to mine… and suddenly I’m so intimidated I want to curl up in bed with a pillow over my head.

It’s a terrifying prospect.

It’s not unlike applying to colleges, which I did five years ago now—or is it six?—to go to grad school. First you find the best colleges in the field you want, and then you narrow it down to places you actually want to go. Then you narrow it down to places you actually have a shot at, but you throw in a few wishful-thinking schools all the same. You also throw in a few you don’t really want, but you feel fairly certain will accept you… no one wants to be the last belle at the ball, am I right?

So then you write your application materials. The cheesy essays that are all the same but all a little bit different somehow. Maybe you write one that’s great, and then you try to use piecemeal bits of it in your other essays, because you know a good thing when you see it.

We all want to put our best foot forward, and we also have to stand out from the hoard of other applications. So not only do we have to create shining work, but we also have to inject our personalities, make our perfectly correct work also enticingly unique.

And then you wait.

I didn’t start this blog post with the intention of freaking myself out, but I’m afraid that’s all I’m doing.

Still, this is all just a dramatic lead-up to say this is probably the last you’ll hear about the great agent hunt. Once I’ve actually started submitting, I plan a radio silence on the topic. Professionally, I think it’s best to resist the urge to comment on each rejection and/or request for chapters.

Wish me luck, then, readers, and happy hunting.

7 thoughts on “The Great Agent Hunt

  1. Those first few weeks were definitely overwhelming and painful. I hope that after this next polish/revision I’ll have something that makes them bite.

    Good luck with the hunt!

  2. Good luck and let us knw how it went when you succeed. I admit I only had an agent for about six months, many years ago. Then she decided she’d rather be writing than agenting and went out of business. Not that she was very much help while she represented me; the only printed slip I ever got for my manuscript was from one of her submissions! Luckily for me, I had a friend writing for Allen and Unwin who got me an interview which led to my first book, part of a non- fiction series for children. After that, publishers were prepared to at least read my manuscripts, even if they said no. Agents were very difficult to get back then anyway. I gave up and sold my own.

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