So, the great agent hunt continues. It takes forever to do it right, to read as much as you can and to write…and re-write each letter so it doesn’t sound like a cut and paste, tasteless plea.
And you try and wait. Agents and editors all sort of like you to wait until they respond, but I think they know that it’s unlikely. They get deluged by so many emails…queries, questions, spam…that it is hard to get through it all in an eight hour work day. The shot gun approach to this is tempting, but not really good. If you don’t get what I mean, the shot gun approach is what we used to call blindly querying everyone all at once…just shoot blindly and hope you hit a target. I’m trying to be picky, to choose wisely. Every agent I query I believe in, I think that I’d genuinely like to work with them. I read their twitter feeds or their blogs, I think about my story and see if it fits what they like, I look at what they have sold.
You see, now that Chocolatier’s Wife is out of print, I am having a hard time, mentally. It’s the book I have the easiest time with…the one I am proudest of, the one with the best reviews, the one that more people want sequels to. The other two books are wonderful…and because I am fond and loyal to Zumaya, I want to offer it to my editor and see if she would like it because she and Zumaya have been amazing to me, but, on the other hand, I’m itchy. I feel like I’m doing a terrible job at being a Published Author and I want to…I don’t know. Explore new paths. Start over. And I am worried that CW will have a harder time finding a home because she was published, even though the publisher was small and is out of business, so I’m hoping that an agent will help because it’s another professional who believes in the book.
People who have been small press published authors for awhile often feel like you’re wasting your time with agents. And many people have done well…very well…without an agent, so it’s not (all) sour grapes. And so they will shake their head sadly at me, reading this.
And part of me is like, “This is my best book! I have to get it back out there! I’m losing momentum!”
But here is the painful truth.
No one’s path is the same. I don’t generally bother reading any book about writing because I know how to write, and I learn how to write better all the time by practicing and by reading widely. There’s nothing wrong with learn how to write books…if you don’t have to be a girl with a bachelor’s in creative writing (me, me!) then maybe it’s data that you need to stick into your head. But really. No one’s path is the same, so there’s no book out there with a step by step process.
Every time you send out a query, it’s a dice roll. Taste is hitched partly to mood. Yes, you like what you like, but you are more or less forgiving depending on your mood. I’m not impugning anyone professionally, but it’s got to play in there. Crappy days will make anyone less receptive, despite their best efforts.
Every step, in fact, is a dice roll. That enough people will write good reviews that enough people will read that enough people will share on Facebook. It’s all about luck.
Well, mostly. It’s also about being talented, but not always. I guess we can say…talented to someone? Or talented to enough people?
So, there’s nothing wrong with trying agents. Then, if that doesn’t work, making another plan of attack. It’s like any problem, you just have to nibble at it until it comes clean.
I don’t think this is what I meant to post about. But that’s good enough for now. I hope you’re all doing well.