Monday, March 7, 2011

Red Rover, Red Rover

Red rover, red rover, bring an agent right over.

Is it the right time for you? Are you searching for the one?

In this writing world there are several options when going looking to become a published author. It's all about what's right for you...

You could go with a small publishing house such as Lucky Press, WiDo, or Omnific who are great fits for several authors. With fabulous reads and a wonderful team to help them do their best it's just one of the many options we have as writers.

However there is the other option, the agent option. The one where you'll have to send query after query out and hope that they pick you. An option that ensures someone else on your team. Someone to help you decide what's best. A person who knows more about the publishing world than most writers.

So if an agent is for you, how do you start?

1. Finish your novel (trust me, no one wants to waste their time). Make sure to send it out to others, have it critiqued, learn to perfect.
2. Establish credibility (if it's in the cards). Short stories, poems, magazine articles, the works. Anything you're apart of to make an agent have a stronger interest in you. I consider my blog a great tool to use.
3. Research. Now it's time to find the right one for you (no, I'm talking marriage) but I am taking the perfect agent. You want them to love your characters as much as you love them. Research, research, research.
4. Write a query letter. If you're looking for some advice Elana Johnson knows what's up with her ebook Query to the call. Check it out, you won't regret it. Have it critiqued as well, work through it. This is where it counts. One page to make them love you.
5. Send queries to the agents. Best of luck to tag one. Some are lucky and snag one in 2 weeks, others have to send out well over 100 before they get a bite. Either way the story holds true when they say, it only takes one.

So what option are you choosing?

42 comments:

Talei said...

I'm definitely finishing my edits and getting my book in tip-top shape before querying. Well, thats the plan. ;-)

Thanks for the tips lovely! Have a fab week.x

Jessica Bell said...

Well you know which path I eneding up choosing! :o) That's no to say though, that I will try and snag an agent with my second novel. It's my fisrt step. And a step in the right direction. For me at least. I think I chose wisely ;o) PS: please get rid of the darn word verification! lol

Laura Pauling said...

Right now I'm opting to try for an agent. But with the right story that I love - who knows what the future will hold. I'm open to anything. And, yes, I research. But I also think we can over research when reading up on agents. Because it always seems to be the one a writer never expected!

Jen Daiker said...

Talei - Good luck with querying!!

Jess - Can't do it. The word verification must stay. I don't do it to make you guys dislike me, I do it because spam visits me if I don't. Sorry.

Laura - I suppose that's true. Guess along with researching would also be to NOT over analyze!

Ellen Brickley said...

I'm finishing edits and researching at the moment - although I am interested in trying the self-publishing option so if I don't get any bites I may be doing that! I would prefer to be traditionally published though, I need editorial input!

Steena Holmes said...

and your choice?

I'm doing both. I have a novel I am querying for but submitted to a epub a romance I wrote ... so we'll see how it goes.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I'm with Laura. I'm going the agent route. Right now I'm busy in the query trenches while working on my new WIP. Working on a WIP is great because it helps you forget you've got requested materials out. Of course, it also makes it easier to forget to send out queries. ;)

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I don't have the word verification. I switched the setting so that I have to approve comments older than 3 days (that's when the spam was showing up) and removed the anon option. Only spammers commented using anon. Problem solved. I haven't had spam in months since I made the changes. :D

salarsenッ said...

Research is essential. And yes, Elana is the bomb were queries are concerned.

Melissa said...

Definitely going the agent route.

And I totally downloaded Elana's book! I'm going to read it when I finish classes this semester and get started on my query for the summer!

Katie Mills said...

I'm still querying agents, though the process is long and daunting and over all depressing, I'm still doing it.

lynnrush said...

I opted for the agent. :) I've been with her over a year now, and I'm glad I went that route. For me, it works. We still target both small and large presses. So, we'll see what happens. :)

Great post!

Lindsay N. Currie said...

Well, you know I'm in the agent-wrangling stage right now but I agree that both avenues have perks. Happy Monday Jen:)

Erica Mitchell-Spickard said...

When I get to that point, the agent will by my route. It will probably be the harder route, or maybe it wont...only time will tell, but I want some tradition since I am writing this in the "traditional" sense. I suppose? Now, I just have to finish. Easier said than done. Blah. But I'm closing in on 24k and that's better than my previous records :) Hope your having a great morning m'dear!

Suzie F. said...

Still working on #1...finishing the book! *sigh* But I plan to try the agenting route once my ms is ready.

blueeyedadri said...

My brother-in-law went the self-publishing route, it's a full-time job for him.
I will be looking for an agent after seeing what he has gone through.

Great Post!

Chris Phillips said...

I'm querying, it's a long process. Thank for the link to Elana's post.

Angela Felsted said...

I think it makes sense to try both because you never know which avenue will open first.

Erinn said...

I'm in the query process too. It's long and boring and a lot of staring at your email. LOTS OF HITTING REFRESH.

Michelle Merrill said...

When my story is actually ready to query, that's the way I'll go. I need someone on my side :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sticking with my small publisher until they say no!

Hannah Kincade said...

I'm going the agent route. I don't have the time or energy to do what they do. And I'm a writer not a publicist. It's good that there are so many options for all of us.

Silver Strands said...

Wow. Glad I found you - there's some great advice in this post. Thanks a bunch!

Christine Danek said...

I want to finish something first, but when it's ready--the agent route.

Meredith said...

The agent route for me! Once I finally finish these revisions, that is...sigh.

Kelly said...

About four years ago, I submitted picture books directly to editors. I did get an "almost", and they considered my book for a while, but eventually a no. But still I think the agent route is the best way to go. I'm querying now, going slow, only two agents so far. But the waiting is hard!

Diane said...

Sending out query letters here. Hanging in there and hoping for the best. :O)

E. Elle said...

In my head, an agent is a better fit for me. However, I don't think I'll really know until it's time to start looking at publication. Right now, I'm pretty happy just writing for writing's sake and knowing that something more is on the horizon.

Raquel Byrnes said...

Great advice. Especially the finishing the book part. Meeting agents at conferences is also helpful.

Talli Roland said...

Great advice, Jen! There are so many great options out there these days for writers. Happy Monday, lovely lady!

Christina Lee said...

YEP --and some (like me) had to move to querying book two before snagging one. *sigh* And make sure to talk to writer friends and get SUPPORT!

Ghenet said...

I'm going the agent route once I'm done with my draft and edits. :)

Nicole Zoltack said...

Right now, I'm epublished. I have two stories that I am trying to get in tip top shop to try to get an agent for.

Jennifer Hillier said...

I went the agent route. It was definitely the best choice for me and for my genre, but there is definitely no one-size-fits-all path.

Abby Minard said...

I'll be going the agent route, hopefully by the summer. Good luck with your querying, Jen, when it comes time.

Lacey Devlin said...

Great post! I'm not looking yet but when I do...

Tracey Neithercott said...

I'm going to query agents--just not yet. I'm taking my ms apart and putting it back together before I start querying.

Colene Murphy said...

Agent Agent Agent! It's like Beetlejuice right? Say it three times and there they are? Or was there a spin in there somewhere? ...I'll get back to you...

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Julie Hedlund said...

Querying agents as we speak. What's that Tom Petty song? The waiting is the hardest part...

Donea Lee said...

I really haven't given the agent-route my very best, yet. I know I can do better. And I haven't queried much. I did a few a while back, but in hind-sight - the novel wasn't ready. My fault. I'm going to give it my 153% best try first. If that doesn't pan...I'll weigh my options. It's never too late to become the next break-through novelist! :)