How I Landed My Agent

I got an email the other day from a blog reader (love love love those). She said she’s on the agent prowl for her urban fantasy novel and asked a ton of questions about how long it took to find my agent, The Call, my path to submission after signing, etc. I thought this information might be a useful blog post–after all, I love reading other “How I Landed My Agent” stories.

I wrote Enemy, Beloved in the Spring of 2010. I edited, critiqued with a handful of writers and readers and rewrote problem scenes. I wrote my query letter. I revised my query letter. I revised it some more and asked friends to read it and tweak it. I wrote my synopsis. I revised my synopsis. (See a pattern here? You’ve got to nail all three!)

Around May of 2010 I sent out fifteen queries. Of those queries I received two partial requests and one full request. The full request led to an offer of representation.

I signed with that agent. I revised about a month on his suggestion to make the novel “darker and hotter.” I did. He sent Enemy, Beloved to one NYC publishing house. I received a rejection about a month later from that house.

This past September I parted ways with my agent due to his opening of an e-pub. I had already contracted my romantic suspense with The Wild Rose Press, and didn’t want to sign my paranormal Enemy, Beloved, with another. It’s not that I have anything against e-pubs, it’s just that I have a *feeling* (or hope against hope) that this one will go further.

So (against Husband’s advice) I sent out another ten queries right away. (He thought I should take some time, revise some more and finish writing the second in the series. I was angsty and roaring to go!) Of those ten queries I received two partial requests, both of which led to offers of representation.

The Call came on Halloween–BEST HALLOWEEN EVER!! Nalini Akolekar of Spencerhill Associates and I talked about dogs, writing, home life, Dark Tide Rising, etc. It was very comfortable right away–a great fit. I asked a few questions. (I was so nervous!) I asked for a day to consider her offer. (Although I knew at that point she was the agent I wanted to represent my book.) I called the next day and accepted her offer.

Since then, Enemy Beloved has gone on submission with three houses. I haven’t heard back yet, but it’s the Holidays and with that comes being patient as all heck. I’ve heard that the publishing industry comes to a screeching halt the month of December. They weren’t kidding.

So that’s where I stand. If you’d like to read the query letter that got the requests, it’s pretty much the blurb found under the “Books” tab above. On the actual query, though, I had the genre, word count, correct salutation and brief bio.

I would absolutely love to hear other “How I Landed My Agent” stories, so if you’ve got one, please share! Hope that answered your questions, blog reader! If you have another, don’t hesitate to comment away or send another email! *grin

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6 comments on “How I Landed My Agent

  1. Kaitlyn says:

    My agent story is…oh wait! I don't have one lol. YET. ;-)The agents must have thought that Enemy Beloved was extremely publishable for it to be snatched up so quickly! Kudos to you!

  2. Oh just you wait! It'll happen! šŸ™‚

  3. Kaitlyn says:

    I really hope so =)

  4. Abby Minard says:

    I love these stories- thanks so much! You made it sound so easy!!

  5. Oh I really hope I didn't downplay how hard it was. I didn't mean it to come off that way at all. Dark Tide Rising (my romantic suspense coming out this February) was rejected A LOT…I mean A LOT…before I found an editor who believed in my writing and its premise…and who wanted to put the work in to make it the gem it's turned out to be. I did revisions until my eyes blurred. I revised until I was sure my writing was utter crap. Seriously. Nothing about writing or editing or finding an agent or selling a book is easy, no matter what you hear or how you feel inside. I believe every writer struggles at some point with some part of the process (or all parts of the process, for that matter). I struggle with query letters and synopsis (or synopsi, I suppose). I write them dry and boring like some medical manual. It takes TONS of advice and reworking to fire up my creative brain into those things. Every teensy tiny step is a major success and should be celebrated as such. šŸ™‚

  6. What a great post. As you say, nothing about writing is easy. Oddly, the easiest part for me was finding my agent – and then, um, deciding I could do without her 'help'. Maybe I'm just an awkward so-and-so. LOL.Merry Christmas, Kristin, and all best wishes for 2011!

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