Tag Archives: book agent

Finding an Agent…

I went into this process with no expectations. I think I would be happy just to have my family members and friends reading my book on the Kindle (or their chosen electronic device) and telling me that it was indeed “good.” A work friend of my mom’s, perhaps, could say that she was “really into it.” A student I used to teach might say “I read the whole thing in like three days.”  I really believe that might be enough. I’ve never identified myself as a career writer so I have only a medium amount of emotional stock in this process. I’m an English teacher. I have two Masters degrees to prove it. Not an novelist. I just happened to write a book.

Until I started querying agents…

So far I’ve queried exactly 100 literary agents. I find myself looking for a few minutes here and there so I can check my database, quickly cut and paste the query letter (and maybe a few chapters), and send it off to another possible agent. Also, and this is more annoying-yet-unstoppable, I find myself checking email obsessively. Even every few minutes.

Refresh.

Refresh.

Be an email from an agent asking to see more–not an email from Nordstrom offering 25% off Marc by Marc Jacobs.

I have gotten some feedback. Three agents asked to see partial manuscripts and one agent asked to see the full manuscript. That request for a full manuscript sent me off the edge. I was just about to feed the baby dinner when I got it. I found myself frantically microwaving Dr. Praeger’s broccoli pancakes and calling my husband (not picking up), my mother (not picking up), ANYONE! Thus, the all caps tweet a few days ago. I had to tell the world. (Mom called a few minutes later. Then C.K. too.)

Of course I’ve heard nothing since then. Oh, the emotional trials!

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The Elevator Pitch

Today, I have to write a description of myself and my book. I’ve been putting off emailing this literary agent (a friend of a friend who said he would consider accepting new talent) mostly because every time I try to describe my book I feel like I’m missing something. I know what it’s about but it’s 95,000 words right now so I’m having trouble putting all that into one paragraph. Just yesterday as C.K. and I were writing my About page. He asked me how I would finish that sentence about my book. We ended up finishing it with something about 2 competing families on Long Island but that’s not all it’s about. 

I got some good advice though. A friend said that I should have other books to compare it to (i.e. “It’s Blank meets Blank with a little bit of Blank.”). And she said I should think about how I would pitch it in 30 seconds as if I was on an elevator with a publisher. Maybe if the elevator got stuck and we were somehow there for like twenty minutes…

I’ll let you know how it turns out. 

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