Saturday, April 13, 2013

Agents - What Are They Good For? Part 1

Quite a lot I've decided!!

This week, an agent I queried a couple of months ago requested my full manuscript - she'd read the first 3 chapters and wanted to read more. I believe the best way to describe my response would be:


My manuscript is out there in various agent hands at the moment, but all those requests were based on online contests that I finalized in. I only began querying a little while ago and this is the first request based off one of my queries. So for me, it was a BIG DEAL.

Hey, I've read all the blogs of writers and their tales of the query trenches - I know that it could all fall through and I'll be left where I began. But right now, I feel that at least I'm on the right track as far as this writing thing goes.

But what's funny is that I never intended to go the traditional publishing route at all. For those I've talked to about my journey - and it hasn't been many until now - my intention had always been to self-publish through Amazon. I'm tech savvy, have the digital art and photography skills to create a killer cover, and I'm capable of self marketing. My first manuscript several years ago caught the attention of a high powered, rock star agent - but when it all fell apart, I lost faith in the whole process.

Now, the truth is, that manuscript deserved to die. I may re-visit it some day, but really, does the world need another Sword Of Shannara? Cuz it was definitely in that vein. And even if it did deserve to live, I should have sent it to other agents. But she was the biggest fantasy agent out there at that time and if she didn't want it, why would anyone else??

So, I was set on self-publishing. Until I went to my first writer's conference and actually met published authors, editors, and agents. I listened and learned and finally had to come clean:

Hi, I'm Heather and I want to be traditionally published.

Problem - to be traditionally published, you traditionally need an agent. And turns out, it's about as hard to get an agent as it is to get published once you have one!

Tune in tomorrow for Agents - What Are They Good For? Part 2


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