Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Re-Agented! (or It's a Small World After All*)

*With apologies to Disney

Tip of the Day: Email the talented Cynthia Leitich Smith (go to her LJ for details) for a chance to win Lisa's FAR FROM YOU along with an armload of other great books! (FFY is a great winter read -- get ready! Snow is coming....)

Guess what? Guess what? After my agent left the agenting business this summer and I was left floating on my own in a world of editor research, I am now re-agented! And let me tell you, the way this went down was nothing but serendipity (and a little bit of talent, right? ;-)). Here it is, in list format:

1) After querying the BETH book and LAKE NEADE to select agents for about a month, I have nothing to show but rejections or no responses.

2) I email Miss Delighted to Debut, saying, "Tina! What is wrong with me? Two years ago I got requests for pages all the time, but now I'm a better writer and I'm getting nada! What is going on?" Tina assures me that bc of editor slow-downs, agents are taking on fewer clients/are being more selective, and to hang in there.

3) Less than 24-hours after my desperate email to Tina, I have a request for the BETH book. Not from an agent who I queried, but from another agent in the agency who the query was passed on to. Hey, she sounds excited so I email her the full ms.

4) As soon as I click SEND, I see the agent has already replied to me again. Her email says that she JUST opened a box of agent copies of books, saw THE ESPRESSOLOGIST and peeked at it, saw my name on the acknowledgements page, thought there couldn't possibly be two Deena Lipomis writing YA lit, and said to herself how crazy it was that she had emailed me right before seeing my name. WOAH!

5) I write back that it IS crazy, Tina is my CP, and that one reason I queried their agency was bc when Tina's agent was with them, she loved working with them. All true!

6) The next morning, I have an email from the reading agent. She says she loves the book and wants to know if anyone else is reading it, and either way she will get back to me on Monday or Tuesday. OMG! At this point, it is all happening too fast for me to even freak out too badly.

7) I work the weekend at the library so time flies by. Phew. Monday morning comes and I'm sitting on the porch working on my wip and checking my email about every, oh, 10-12 minutes. OK, OK, 5-6 minutes. Around noon there's an email from the agent. My heart races. I immediately go back to working on my wip until I have the courage to open the email, about five minutes later.

8) I read the email, scanning the long message in search of the words, "No thanks, not for me," or "I'll take it." And I find..."but if you are interested, I would like to take the project on." EEEEEEEE!

9) I write back in my oh-so-succinct way (right) that I am super excited but: I have some questions, here are some other concerns and thoughts, and could we talk on the phone before I formally accept or decline.

10) She immediately writes back that she'll call me in an hour. So far her communications in the past five days -- five MINUTES -- have answered one of my questions about her responsiveness and quickness!

11) We chat on the phone for a while, she answers all of my questions, and I'm super excited to make the revisions she has suggested. Small things that will help amp up the dimensions of the the minor characters and the drama of the climax scene. Cool!

12) What else do I learn during our phone convo? That before she worked for the agency, she was an intern for Tina's agent and had read THE ESPRESSOLOGIST as a reader before Tina's agent took it on. She had opened the published copy of the book to see how it turned out on that fateful Thursday (a mere 4 days before) when she requested my ms. That was when she saw my name. Such a small world!

13) At the end of our convo, I officially accept her offer of rep! YAYAYAY! The contract comes on Wednesday, I sign and return it on Thursday, and in the matter of 10 days from query to signing the contract, I have a new agent.

Total time from querying any agents to signing: about 6 weeks (with my 7th novel)

Total time from querying any agents to signing with my FIRST agent 1.5 years ago: about 20 months (with my 1st through 5th novels)

To all of you looking for an agent: rest assured that with each book you write and revise again and again, and with all you soak in from the writing world, critiques, conferences, and kidlit novels you read, your work will continuously improve. It will seem "easier" to get an agent as time passes, but in reality, you worked very, very hard to get to the point where things seem to come easily. Yes, I know some serendipity played a part in my query process, but without a polished novel, it wouldn't have helped me at all. Don't give up if you want publication to happen for you! -- I know I'm never giving up! :)

This week, Kerry Evans of LGLA read through the final tweaks of my newly titled MG, BAKE, SET, MATCH and we are officially subbing for pubbing! Woo hoo!

Anyone have any newly agented stories to share?

Deena, Miss Subbing for Pubbing


Barbara Caridad Ferrer said...

It will seem "easier" to get an agent as time passes, but in reality, you worked very, very hard to get to the point where things seem to come easily.

Amen to this! Keep working, keep working, keep working and eventually, it'll all pay off. Mind you, a little fairy dust doesn't hurt either, but hard work is the key.

And YAY you!!

Janet Gurtler said...

That is a story made of awesome!
Congrats and good luck!!!!!

Lindsey Leavitt said...

I am so happy for you! What a great story!!!

Kristina Springer said...

This story is so fantastic all written out!! I already knew what happened but you had me hooked- lol! Yay for subbing for pubbing!!! And congrats again!

DeenaML said...

Barb -- thanks! And congrats again on your Carmen book! Your first two YAs are still popular with the teens at my lib!

Janet -- hoping good things for your next sale as well!

Lindsey -- thank you! And I am waiting with baited breath for your pink princess book to hit my library shelves by storm!

DeenaML said...

Tina -- thank YOU for all your support and listening to my play-by-play emails! :)

Rhonda Helms said...

YAY YOU! I am so thrilled it all worked out! :D

Jody Feldman said...

I hope this continues to be a happily-ever-after story. Congratulations ... and kudos for all your hard work!

Lisa Schroeder said...

Yay, yay, YAY!!! So happy for you Deena!

DeenaML said...

Jody -- thanks and I'm so glad you had a great time in TX!

Lisa -- you know I appreciate all your help, advice, and cheerleading!

Tabitha said...

Oh that is WONDERFUL!!! Congratulations!!!!

Do we get to know who your fabulous new agent is?

DeenaML said...

Tabitha -- thanks! Her name and agency is at the bottom of the post. ;)

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