January 22, 2019 by Sarah Van Goethem
HOW I GOT MY AGENT
Here it is, the post I should have written a long time ago: HOW I GOT MY AGENT. Better late than never, right?
If you read my last post, My Querying Path, you already know that while my PitchWars book had full requests out, I wrote another book. I totally recommend doing this. Not only will it keep you from going nuts checking your inbox (okay who am I kidding?), but you have another option if the one you’re querying doesn’t get you an agent.
So, let me pick up where I left off. I’ll set the stage.
I decide to query the new book. Yup. It’s full steam ahead. I’m impatient (I don’t think I’m alone in this).
I still have approximately 11 fulls out with agents on my PitchWars book, but it’s far too tempting not to query the new one. It can take months for agents to respond (and I understand why), but I want every chance I can get in this business. To be fair, I have stopped querying the first book now, so technically I am only querying the new one (this is what I tell myself).
I send 22 queries.
PitDark is here (who can resist Twitter pitch parties?). I put up 3 pitches throughout the day. I get 13 likes from legit agents. (SIDENOTE: Sometimes I still miss these pitch parties!).
I send to 10 of the agents.
I also query 4 more agents.
Out of all of these, I get 14 full or partial requests, a few of which come the same day I queried, or the next day (within 24 hours).
Within a week, I have THE CALL!!
That’s where it gets interesting, because I now see why you should only query one at a time. I have to go to the agents with the first book and say I have an offer on another book that isn’t the one they currently have in their reading lineup. It’s a bit messy.
In the end, some step aside, but 4 who have the first one, want to see the second one as well.
I end up having another call.
Both agents are lovely.
I sign with Dorian Maffei whose enthusiasm won me over from the beginning.
Now a few things I have learned from this whole process:
- If you’re querying more than 1 book at a time, it can get complicated. Beware.
- Don’t query too soon. Patience is tough, I know. But would I have had more offers if I had done more revisions on my 2nd book? Yes, I believe so. I queried too soon (a common mistake), and my book still needed a bunch of edits. I got lucky because a few fell in love with the premise and my writing, but I still did a major overhaul of this book after I signed with Dorian. If you’re querying several at a time? Make sure your book can be the best that you can make it before you hit send. And take a good look at whether or not you’re not just somewhat addicted to the constant adrenaline rush of pitch parties, inbox checking, and agent stalking.
- Agents can be fantastic. There are not enough good things to say about having someone in your corner who believes in you. Rejections are inevitable. Having someone to tell you they still believe in your book, and ask you what you are writing next, is really the best thing.
Because we all need to be writing THE NEXT THING.
Happy writing, friends!