Those of you who follow my blog, know that back in August my agent told me he was closing up shop. He was a one-man-show so unfortunately this meant that I was cast upon the waves.
I thought it would be a relatively simple matter to find a new agent. I had two polished manuscripts, one a gritty contemporary and the other a fantasy adventure. I was published and my most recent book was doing respectably well and had garnered some accolades.
I’ve queried before. Endlessly. I know the score.
I remember how hard it is to remember that not just any agent will do. It has to be the right agent. And this makes things more difficult. But I had had the right agent, and I knew I would find another.
However there are other factors to the equation and one of them is, it has to be the right book.
Ashes, Ashes was the right book, and Garrett was the right agent and Scholastic was the right publisher. I look back on that time and I think how lucky I was. Everything just fell into place.
And I guess I thought that that was how it would be again.
But agents are in this business because they need to sell books. Yes, they love books and some of them are total fangirls/fanboys (they HAVE to be) but bottom line is they have to make a living in this incredibly competitive business.
And because most of what they do is speculative and the pay-off can be months or even years away, they have to absolutely love your manuscript. There can be no doubt in their minds.
Feedback on my submissions has been very positive but no one thus far has felt that all-encompassing passion that is so necessary. They have all pretty much said that I am a gifted writer, that my writing is beautiful which is so nice to hear but that is not enough. They have to know that they can sell the book, at the end of the day.
It’s been quite eye-opening for me.
I’m working on something now which is giving me the same sort of buzz I felt when I was writing Ashes, Ashes. Just a deep, visceral sense that it is the right book. The book I should be writing. It’s still hard and frustrating and some days are a total grind, but at least I know that a few months from now (hopefully) I’ll have something new to show the agents, and maybe it will be another case of the right book going out to the right agent at the right time.
I can’t believe anything less.