"I get up in the morning, torture a typewriter until it screams, then stop." ~Clarence Budington Kelland
Well, it's arrived: the moment I admit that I'm entering the agent search once again. OK, maybe I'm just temporarily entertaining the thought, but it's there.
See, I've gone through the whole agent query thing before, with 3 other novels. It was interesting, and I learned quite a bit, but ultimately once I realized I could sell to Samhain and Wild Rose Press, I devoted my efforts to learning about the editing and marketing processes.
And I did.
So with Summer's Song, I'm thinking maybe I'll float it out there to a few agents and see if any bite. I'd like to think that some publishing credits might help me out now, but who knows? I spent some time yesterday perusing sites, and it's a tough market out there, no doubt.
By the way, two sites I would recommend, to anyone else in the market for an agent, are The Passionate Pen (she's a private author but hosts a FANTASTIC, regularly updated list of agents and publishers who take romance/women's lit) and Agent Query.
Something to think about, though: you really have to know why you want an agent. To break your manuscript into the big houses? To help you set up a marketing plan? To focus your long-range career plans? I looked at some agents who've sold novels to electronic/print pubs. I saw a Samhain author listed as a client at one agent's site! No offense, but I can do that by myself. And they take 15% of your profits, so you really have to make sure they're making you $$ you couldn't make on your own.
I ran across one agent, though, who's decided he wants to rejuvenate the romance industry. His lists of "Wants" and "Don't Wants" are pretty specific. The latter include Inspirationals, Erotica, YA, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Futuristic, E-Pubs, Literary Fiction, Stories with "Romantic Elements," Non-fiction, Poetry, E-Pubs.
And yet he's an agent who reps romance? Um, OK, even though electronic publishers are one of the fastest-growing areas in the romance industry. Probably a good idea to list not once but twice that you don't want anything to do with them.
Oh, and he also makes clear that last time he read over RITA and Golden Heart entries, he had this to say: "I recently had the chance to review both Golden Heart and RITA manuscripts. I have to say, I was shocked. If someone was really looking at the story, they would realize the writing was far from good. Frankly, if I had to give them a grade, I would have been giving a lot of C's and D-'s.
Stories read like comic books. Characters were stereotypical. This list was endless.
But here is the thing. These books all had "those great techniques" that have been proclaimed as being the end all be all of writing.
In the end. Did it make the story better. No.
So, please writers. If we really want to see the romance and women's fiction industry make some significant improvements, then let's work on writing (and publishing) the GREAT story and not just the stories with gimmicks."
There's a lot of the same kind of attitude on every page and document on his website. Suffice to say I did not put him on my "Submit To" list.
We'll see what I decide...I'll keep you posted...