Romance By Catherine: The difference this time around...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The difference this time around...

The difference this time around…

As many of you know I’m on the ‘Great Agent Search of 09’” Why 09’? Because I’ve done this before. If you’ve never done the great search than perhaps some of what I’m going to blog about will come as a surprise to you while other things may not.

Before I started this journey to become a writer, I did a lot of research on exactly what I needed to do to get a book published. Yes, I know the first thing one needs to do is write a book… but that had already been done. I polished and glossed my ms to the best of MY ability. (at the time I’d no idea about CP’s) but I really did think ‘my baby’ was ready for the world. *snort!

Anyway, my first thought was to get on the internet and put my feelers out with an e-mail query or two… or three. Two years ago there where a lot of agents who didn’t accept e-mail queries. This has changed, thank God. So my list of agents to send to was small. Surprisingly I was asked for a partial right off the bat… My mother’s voice in my head said… “Good things come to those who wait.” Being an impatient woman, I didn’t like that voice and loved my instant feeling of… “I don’t suck at this.” This unnamed agency offered to represent me with a ‘form letter’ ** WARNING** then went on to say that they would have me seek a critique with one of their people for a small fee. ***WARNING*** My smile fell! I then learned about the P&E list and sure enough this agency was in the top 20 DO NOT USE!

Needless to say, I didn’t sign a thing with this agency and moved on to other agents. Out of about 20 queries, I had several “This isn’t right for us at this time.” responses, and several agents who didn’t even bother to send that letter. I received one request for a full and a couple of heart felt, ‘we discussed this at length but…’ letters. In the end, the ms simply wasn’t ready. I learned a lot about rejection in those few months.

Why is it different this time around? I’m so glad you asked. First, I don’t query to any ‘WARNING’ agents right from the get go. This time, I send out 3 – 5 queries at a time, knowing that depending on the responses from these agencies I may need to tweak my query letter, which I’ve done twice now. Out of ten queries, I’ve only had one not respond at all, six ‘not right for us at this time’ responses, one – not this at this time but think of us in the future and two requests for partials.

Why do I think this time around is going easier? First, I have CP’s now and my writing is much cleaner when it hits cyber-space. My query letters have improved and many agencies are now asking for 5 – 10 even 20 pages along with the query so they can get a feel for the writer before asking for more. I also believe that with the internet and e-mail agents are quick to respond if for no other reason to avoid the flood of “Did you ever get my query letter?” e-mails.

The agent search isn’t over by a long shot, but I do think that one day I’ll be able to say the words… “_______, is MY agent.”

One can dream, right?

5 comments:

Mary Ricksen said...

When the time is right you will have your agent. For now you're doing just great! Keep on the same path and all your dreams will come true.

Lynne Roberts said...

Good luck on your search. I know it's hard and time consuming. (I'm currently in a search too. )I have every faith you'll find an agent. Your writing is strong.

Kaye Manro said...

Very good post, Catherine! And I believe in you. You know that. It'll come...

Catherine Bybee said...

Good things do take time, Mary.

Lynne, perhaps we should share our list with each other. Thanks for the kudos... I do hope for the best this time around.

Kaye: Big cyber-hug, m'dear. I'm learning to be patient.

Helen Hardt said...

I have no doubt you'll snag the agent of your dreams, Catherine. I hope it happens sooner rather than later!