I’m warming up in the bullpen, getting ready to pitch. No, I’m not playing baseball… I’m starting to look for a literary agent.
I am getting ready to start pitching my book and I’ve decided to go the traditional route of looking for an agent prior to cold-pitching publishers. Why? Well, even though I know a lot of writers manage to get published without an agent, I still think the majority of publishers are more receptive to agents then they are to unsolicited queries. Perhaps this is naïve.
Honestly though, the main factor in my decision to pursue representation is that I have no idea what I’m doing in the publishing world and I don’t have the time to try to become an expert. I’m a working mom with a busy family; I’m lucky I have time to write, let alone find time to navigate the ocean of publishers out there. Does that make me lazy? I prefer to think of it as realistic, and I’m willing to forgo a percentage of my future earnings so that I don’t have to run the publisher gauntlet on my own.
So, while I’m doing the final polishing of the novel, I’m also taking time to craft a series of “query” letters. For those readers not in the know, these are letters that you use to sell yourself and your book. Somehow, in less than one page, you need to make yourself (and your book) sound like the best thing since J.K. Rowling. The goal is to pique your target’s interest enough such that they request a full manuscript. Then you cross your fingers that they fall in love with your book, or at least like it enough to consider it saleable.
I just read a piece of advice telling me not to give up until I’ve pitched to at least 100 agents… Sounds like I’ve got a long road ahead of me!
Who knows, maybe I’ll get lucky and land an agent in my first round of queries, or maybe I’ll pitch to those 100 and still be unrepresented. Either way, it’s exciting to be moving into the next phase of the process.
Wish me luck, and please, give me your advice!