Monday, May 24, 2010

Step Two - Get an Agent

How do you become a career author?

And I don't mean just a published author...I mean a CAREER Author...cause getting one book published isn't what a writer wants...we want to do it for a living!

I feel there are 4 steps to this. For those of you that don't know how this works, I shall explain these 4 steps:

#1. Write the book (I include both writing and editing in this catagory)
#2. Get an Agent (I include researching agent names & contact info, writing the query letter & sending it out PLUS signing with an agent in this catagory)
#3. Sell Book to Publishing House (this is your Agent's job but still a step)
#4. Book sells well so that the Publisher wants you to write more.

So, which of the four would you consider the most difficult? Any answer is fine, I'm just curious which one you would think is the hardest.

My actor friends would probably answer with the same answer I do, number two: GET AN AGENT! To be honest, I've been dreading #2 since the day I said to myself, "Get off your ass and finish the damn book so you can try to sell it!"

Back in November and December I sent out approximately 40 query letters to different agents that I found represent Science Fiction/Fantasy Authors. I have sent none since because I was getting a lot of turn downs and figured my query letter was not right. I met a wonderful lady who has since become my editor and she helped me get that letter into the right format. Then I paid her to edit my novel to help slim it down in length.

I currently am working on this edit. I'm 1/3rd of the way done. I have a ways to go until I finish and we begin to hit agents with letters again. I tell you this so you can understand the level of my shock and excitment when I found what I found in my email.

I open up my pen name email account on Friday to find not one, but TWO emails from agents. One is asking for my full manuscript and the other is asking for my first 50 pages.

Why yes, I did scream out "Oh my god!" at my desk to which my co-workers were like, "WTF?"

The lady asking for my 50 pages has written to say her co-worker (who I'd submitted my query letter to) isn't accepting any new clients at the moment but that SHE would like to read my first 50 pages. I'm sending those to her today. YAY!

As for the one asking for my full manuscript. I couldn't figure out why she wanted the full book. So I go through my email (gmail rocks for this task btw). I see that THIS particular agency I submitted to online with my letter, outline and either my 1st few chapters or 1st 50 pgs, I don't remember which. THIS is the exciting part. Why? Cause she's already read my first 50 pages and wants more! That explains why the wording of her email states if I get another request for representation to check with her first. She's VERY interested! **insert internal squeal of joy** I previously stated. I'm only 1/3rd of the way through the edit. I requested if she could give me 2 weeks to finish up my revision and she has said that is fine! *whew*

I tell you all this because, well, I'm going to be burried in editing for the next two weeks...and I may not be blogging until its over. Wish me luck. It all has to be perfect!

Now, don't get me wrong. Either of these ladies could read the stuff and say "no" to representing me. Good news is if they do that, I'll get constructive critisism as to why so as to improve for the next batch of agents I go after. So...its a win/win scenerio. Obviously we're hoping for the "win" that equals representation...but alas...I trust God knows what He's doing the right time it will happen.

Is that time now?

Maybe. Maybe not.

But I'm excited to find out!

I very well may visit you before the 2 weeks is up but if I don't...hang in there...I'm sure I'll have MUCH to talk about when I return.

Tamsin :)

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