Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Agent searching

My goal over the weekend was to compile an agent list for my picture book manuscripts.  I surfed through the SCWBI 2014 catalogue and gathered together a few dozen.  Then, I narrowed them down to about 25 or so from their based on some parameters I had.  After looking them up on-line to research some more, it was then narrowed down to a final 10.  I then sent in 8 e-mail queries, and 2 snail mail queries.
Here's what my list looks like
Now for the hardest part.

The waiting.

I've sent PB MSs out before, but never like this.  I think I've sent about 15-20 out total since last February, with all reporting back as negatives or getting "timed out" (my term for it being 4+ months with hearing nothing), except for two that I'm still waiting on.  This time, I picked through several dozen and narrowed it down to a final 10.  Each of the 10 I e-mailed the same manuscript, noting in the query that it is a multiple submission.

Along with the waiting comes the fear of rejection.  I am very close to this PB MS that I sent out.  I'd only sent it to two other agents, one said they regretfully passed on it because it is a funny story and made them laugh.  He said he knew it'd probably get picked up quickly, it just wasn't a good match for them.  I have yet to hear from the other.  Of the 10 that went out between yesterday and today.

I already heard back from one...

And that was a rejection.  But, there was a positive comment along with it; it was not a generic form rejection that I've seen before.  "...which I read with interest.  It's a clever concept but I'm afraid I didn't connect with the text enough to see a place for it on our list."  So, I got some nice feedback, and an exact reason why.

This makes me happy.  Two rejections in 6 weeks with this MS, and I got positive feedback from both on this MS!

Getting these PB MSs out, or any manuscript for that matter, if you want to become a traditionally published writer, is a must and a fear you need to overcome.  For self-publishing, you need to get over the fear of "What will others say?"

Once you have your work submission ready, make sure you research your agents.  Check out their query procedures very carefully.  If you do not do as they state, your story will not get read.  And, getting read is what you want!  You also want to make sure the agent is the right match for you and your work.  I was quite shocked to find out that Highlights gets erotica manuscripts sent to them!  Seriously?  What kind of idiots send erotica to a children's book publisher?

Yeah, I'm ending with that thought :)

Have you sent any queries out?  How's it been going?  You know how it's going for me...so far...0-20 or something like that :)

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