Speak to my agent!
A phrase seen on television or in the films by starlets flouncing off to their trailer. Whatever that actually means,
At over 60,000 words into a book, thoughts idly turned last night to what I’m going to do in the incredibly unlikely event that I manage to write enough words, manage to make it readable, manage to keep enough words after several edits and manage to convince myself that someone else would like to read it.
A quick read on the World Wide Winifred tells me that I need an agent.
An agent? Moi? How pretentious.
A further read, slightly more in depth, tells me that for every 1000 manuscripts submitted, they accept two.
That statistic alone must be enough to put a lot of people off. TWO?? Also the fact that they receive so many, that mine will just be another one sat on the slush pile, as I found out it was called last night.
It seems though that for all budding writers, to sell your book to a publishing house, an agent is essential. All that I read indicated that such a beast was indespensible for a long and profitable career. They have the ear of all those in publishing so know instantly if a particular tome is going to be a success or not. Hence why J.K. Rowling was rejected many times before Bloomsbury finally took a punt on her I guess.
For a debutant author it must be a fairly nerve wracking experience sending off a manuscript to an agent. Is it ready? Is it finished? Is it good enough? Is it what they’re looking for? The answer the the first three will probably always be no, agents have editors to make the book not necessarily better, but more commercially viable. Its the fourth one that is important.
This, so I read last night, is what makes a difference. I can polish and edit and hone my oeuvre all that I want, but if its not what a publisher is looking for, it won’t be accepted. That isn’t to say it’s not good, it’s just not what they want. (There is a phrase about polishing something that isn’t good enough, but it escapes me).
I read another little gem too, several times in fact. To submit to several agents is fine. To receive rejections is fine (REALLY???) but if you submit to a dozen agents and receive a dozen rejections, its not that your missive isn’t what they’re looking for. It’s because it’s crap.
If all else fails I’ll self publish on my Kindle!