Tag Archives: agents

On Waiting to Hear Back from Agents.

I’ve written posts about querying and even work-shopped a few for authors ready to submit their MS—which was tons of fun by-the-way—but today I want to dig into the painstakingly long WAIT that is involved once you query and (hopefully) once an agent requests a partial or full.

I finished my book project on April 29th, 2015. By finished I mean that it had been read by others and critiqued by a professional and all revisions were complete. It was a finished, polished, edited manuscript. These are the ONLY kind you should be submitting to agents. If no one else has put his or her eyeholes on your work, you might want to fix that. Find a beta reader, hire a freelance editor, do something to get another’s feedback. If you send an MS that has too many hiccups in the first few paragraphs, or even chapters, chances for rejection are high. I can’t stress how important it is to submit a pristine MS. This is not something I’m just saying. I know from experience.

I’VE MADE THESE MISTAKES SO THAT YOU DON’T HAVE TO! Please learn from me. Learn from this post. I’m writing it for a reason. I want you to succeed!

Okay, done with that. Let’s get to it.

As I was saying, on April 29th I submitted my MS to one agent. This was a situational circumstance and it’s perfectly fine to submit to more than one agent. So, after I sent my MS out, I freaked. I was so scared and excited and…scared. My heart pounded and all I could do was think about someone (someone who could potentially represent me) reading my work. This is maddening! I didn’t write for three days. I couldn’t concentrate. I constantly checked my email and, well I was just a mess. So, I decided to tear my house apart and give it the good cleaning it deserved.

Soon though, my house was clean and I still hadn’t heard back from this agent. So I did what a serious writer does and got back to work. I found that letting go and continuing to write was actually more distracting than cleaning. And it felt good to work on a new book project. And it felt good to not be cleaning. But 20k words into my new project and still no word from the agent. It had been almost a month. (I told you this stuff takes time). Instead of worrying about it, I just decided to query more agents. Increase my chances. Give my MS to more agents who were seeking its genre. (This is very important. Make sure you research agents before submitting. You don’t want to submit YA fantasy to an agent who is seeking non-fiction historical works or some such thingy). Here are my stats, and I use https://querytracker.net to help organize it.

As of June12th, I’ve queried eleven agents.

Rejections: 3

Partial requests: 2

Still out: 6

Full requests: Still waiting on the full from April.

See? This is the progress of three months. It’s slow. Like a snail moving backward on a turtle, slow. But that’s the process. Like I said above, I’m still waiting on the full request from April. This agent hasn’t rejected my MS, they just haven’t gotten to it yet.

So enjoy that you have a manuscript out in the wild. That’s a huge accomplishment! Pat yourself on the back and then…GET BACK TO WRITING ANOTHER BOOK!!!!

And here is a cute monkey picture.

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I was sitting in front of my laptop, staring at a project of roughly 35k and thinking, what am I doing? My book ERAMANE has been out since August 2013. Before hiring Archway to publish it, I queried nearly 60 agents; most replied instantly with a rejection, some didn’t respond at all (the hardest form of rejection I feel).

But I got to thinking, just because ERAMANE is out, doesn’t mean I should stop fighting for it. So, I put on my big girl pants, opened up Google, and with only a slight cringe, began to search for new agents. I found around ten, after reading countless bios, that might be a good fit for ERAMANE.

So, I reworked my previous query letter, the one I wrote when I was…less knowledgeable (yeah that works) and once I liked the new one, I re-worked it again. This took ALL day. I’m not even kidding. I even Tweeted it I think, that it took me so long to get this query to what I felt was a great one.

With a newly forged blade, I commenced to whacking (my metaphor for the query process).

It took me nearly two hours to query those ten agents, each having their own submission stipulations, (gotta get that stuff right) and since then, I have been checking my inbox every ten minutes. This is seriously cutting in to my writing time.

But, I feel good, like I haven’t let the flame burn out on ERAMANE, and even though I have other projects I’m working on, one in particular has consumed me, I know that while my attention is not set on ERAMANE, it is still stirring about out there. Maybe I will get a request for the full MS, maybe, just maybe, ERAMANE will grab one of them by the brainmeats (I totally stole this word from Jay Kristoff) and not let go. *Fingers crossed*

Disclaimer: Fingers will be uncrossed during periods of writing, eating, cleaning, driving, etc.