Now that the New Year is settling in and publishing is emerging from its holiday break, many of you in the Awaiting an Agent phase might be getting ready to send queries, have set your resolutions for the year to secure an agent, and feel like 2008 is going to be your year.
First I have to say: GO YOU!
The first of the year always feels wonderful to me. It’s like you get to start a new chapter of your life, and cleanse the bad of the last year away, for good. And the excitement to start the New Year off with a bang is fresh and…well…new.
But the bad thing about the start of the New Year for publishing and agent seeking, is that before the beginning of 2008 comes the end of 2007. And at the end of 2007, comes something if you are like me, you dread seeing. The good-old Year End Agent Query Reports. Like this, this, and even this just in the new year.
And if you are like me, your first instinct at seeing numbers like that is to hyperventilate.
Because if Agent Kristin Nelson got 30,000 queries in 2007, then how many queries is she going to get in 2008? Basic mathematics—or at the very least publishing trends—surely suggest the number has to go up, doesn’t it? And if she took on eight clients in 2007, then clearly she doesn’t have as much room left on her client list, right?
And no matter how excited and pumped you are for the New Writing Year, seeing statistics like that can be overwhelming.
Well, my advice to you, fellow Agent Seekers who might be overwhelmed by those stats, is to print them out and shred them to little pieces one by one. Or if you are against paper shredding, then take those stats to heart with a grain of salt. Why am I giving you this advice? Because if I give it to you, then I have to take it myself, right?
Yes, but aside from that, if you could magically chisel away all the people that queried for genres the agent doesn't represent, didn’t revise their manuscripts once—let alone multiple times, sent queries to the wrong agent, and all those that didn’t personalize their queries at all, then the number would be much more manageable. And if you are savy enough to read blogs like this, study the industry, personalize your query letters, and the myriad of other wonderful things I know you fellow Agent Seekers do, then you are ten steps ahead of the other thousands upon thousands of people submitting to agents.
I started the year in 2006 and in 2007 gung-ho to get an agent. Though I had many close calls, I still don’t have one. But what did happen was that my writing has improved tremendously, I’m much more market savy, and I feel I’m much older and wiser, if you will, with this third book. So my time spent in 2006 and 2007 looking for agents, I wouldn’t trade for anything, and it only means my chances of securing an agent in 2008 have increased ten-fold.
And that excites me.
It also drives me.
Because I know I’m not only closer to finding an agent right for me, but also my publication goal.
So here’s to a great 2008 Agent Find.
Till Next Tuesday,
Emily, Miss Awaiting an Agent