(Spoiler: Don’t Expect The Same Results As Anyone Else.)
Hey Guys! If you know me in real life or in the writing community, you probably heard my big news. I HAVE AN AGENT! At the beginning of this month, I signed with Victoria Lowes of The Bent Agency.
In case you didn’t know, a literary agent is only the beginning, because now it’s time to get the book ready for submission to editors/publishing houses, HOWEVER it’s kind of a big milestone in the writing community. Heres what it means to me: It means that someone else loves and believes in my book and thinks she can sell it. And she can deal with the connections, contracts, negotiating, rights, etc–all the stuff I don’t have the expertise and time for–which leaves me with time to focus on writing.
I’m incredibly grateful for all the writerly support I’ve received along the way. Because, once I finished my novel, I really didn’t have a clue to the next steps, or all the fancy rules, secret handshakes and different paths to be taken. I started reading a lot and realized there were so many agencies and agents to be researched and also a lot of other opportunities to enter your book’s pitch or first pages into contests for exposure. SO MUCH KNOWLEDGE OUT THERE. And so many writers that offer support and giving back in the same journey. If you write and you’re not on twitter, you’re missing out. There’s a great community of writers and publishing industry professionals there that are full of support, links, advice, and opportunity. Who knew twitter wasn’t just for finding out Mad Men spoilers or what Kanye ate for lunch?
So, back to me and my agent story! Michelle Hauck’s blog, “Michelle For Laughs” has a great agent interview section, “Query Questions,” which is where I first saw the interview with literary agent Victoria Lowes. The lovely Michelle asked me to write up a post on my very own Getting an Agent experience. So please, go check it out: Getting The Call: Ami Allen-Vath.
The title of this post is What To Expect When You’re Expecting To Get An Agent. I like a good plot twist, so, since everyone’s journey is different, here’s what NOT to expect:
Don’t expect the same results as someone or everyone else. One person’s manuscript may get an offer before they even query it. Another writer may shelve five books before an agent offers representation on book six.
Don’t expect an agent to give you feedback just because they requested your manuscript. Agents are busy. Or they may not have read enough to offer anything valuable. Feedback is something to aspire for, it’s not owed to you. But yes, we can all agree that a form rejection on a full
suuuuucks hurts the ego a bit.
Don’t expect that the feedback you do get is going to be some magic cure-all that’ll make you change that one thing to get you even more requests and an agent on the next round of queries. I kept waiting for feedback that would fuel me into a magical revision of my ms or query. Yes, I got feedback that helped but never was there this one big rejection with ALL THE NOTES and ALL THE ANSWERS. If an agent has feedback that’ll be magical and “offer inspiring,” it’s probably going to be an R&R or an ACTUAL offer.
Don’t expect that every query you send out will get a response. I had 26 queries that didn’t get a response.
Don’t expect that this book is THE book. But don’t expect that it’s not. As soon as I started believing in my next manuscript and preparing a mental list of contests and agents for book two, I got offers for book one.
DO EXPECT great things from YOU. Make goals, rake in the knowledge, push hard, and move forward and up with every NO.
ONE MORE DON”T:
Don’t give up.