Saturday, March 15, 2008

Getting An Agent

One of my Deliciously Naughty co-authors landed an agent yesterday. You can read December Quinn's story about it here. I'm so excited for her--it's a big deal getting an agent to begin with. It's a HUGE deal to get one with a house like she did: Ralph Vicinanza Ltd. (the house that reps Stephen King). That's not to say that another agent wouldn't be able to rep her appropriately, but to be able to start right off with such a gonga house...

Well, like I said, it's HUGE!

How did she do it? How did *I* do it when I went about my agent search? Neither one of us spent hundreds (or thousands) of dollars attending conferences and pitching our books to the agent of our choice. We did the following:

1) Wrote a good book and self-edited it to the bare bones.
2) Had our critique partners go through it as ruthlessly as possible--so we could make it even better.
3) Sent out query letters to several agents, finally getting brave enough to send that one letter out to the agent we *really* wanted.
4) Hard work and serendipity equated the realization that we both ended up with agents who love our voice and are enthusiastic about our work.

There was method to our madness. I did my homework and I know she did hers--we did *not* send queries out to agents who clearly do not rep the type of book we wrote. We *did* send our queries to agents who already had clients who had written--and sold--the type of book we wrote.

If you want to write for a New York publisher, my strong recommendation is that you first secure an agent. They know the industry and, more importantly, they know the editors--who likes what, etc. And many publishing houses won't look at unsolicited manuscripts. Plus, once you do get an offer on your book, you want that agent on your side to vet the contract and get you the best deal.

Unless you like driving yourself crazy. And that's a subject for a whole 'nother post...


December/Stacia said...

Aaaw, thanks Sherrill!

Sherrill Quinn said...

You're welcome, hon. You rock!

Colleen Love said...

Congratulations to both of you! What an exciting day to celebrate! : )

Sherrill Quinn said...

Thanks so much, Colleen! We're both still dancing, and I've had my agent for a few months. *G*