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I have an agent again!

Wow, last week was a whirlwind. Or maybe I should call it a windfall (of blessings). ;-) And this validation was sorely needed; I've been doubting myself ever since parting with my first agent back at the beginning of December (read story here). Now I know I did the right thing.

I started sending out queries around Decemember 9th. First round, I got four rejections on fulls and 12 rejections on queries alone. I still had out a few partials and fulls, but I wasn't very hopeful. Then suddenly, everything turned on its head:

2/8/11--Jenny Bent of The Bent Agency calls me, offering representation on SPLINTERED and all of my future books. She loves everything that my prior agent didn't like about my work. IOW, she GETS my fantasy. Yippee!

That same day, I send out notices to the other two agents reading the full that I have an offer... both agents get back to me immediately and assure me they'll be done reading by Friday, the deadline I've given for my decision.
 
2/9/11--Agent 2 calls and makes second offer. Woohoo!!

2/11/11--Agent 3 calls and makes third offer. AAACK!

Since I now have three to choose from, I contact each agent and extend my decision deadline to Monday the 14th. I take the weekend to research each agent's deals on PublishersMarketplace.  I also ask each one to take the weekend to read one more MS, the adult gothic literary that my prior agent sent out as a romance (asking them to make up lists who they might send it to other than romance editors) because I need an agent who will sell both my YAs and my adult fiction.  

2/14/11--I have a final phone call w/each agent to decide which one is best suited to rep all of my genres. I decide on Jenny Bent. She's a little newer to YA, but has already sold clients' books to the big gun YA pubs. Plus, she's been in the publishing business for over 15 years. She's a heavy hitter and deal maker. But most importantly, she's a very eclectic agent with a wide range of contacts, and I'm an eclectic writer who never knows what story will hit me next. Couldn't be a more perfect match. I call Jenny w/ the good news and we squeeeee together. ;-)

Next, I compile emails to let the other two agents know who I've chosen (the HARDEST part). I make sure to mention their best assests, and how difficult the choice was, which is completely true. I'll be sending them Thank You notes in the mail, as well. NEVER burn bridges in this biz.

Whew. So, that's my crazy week/weekend in a nutshell. The unexpected wave of interest was wonderful yet surreal. Every author dreams and hopes, but it can be overwhelming when it happens, and actually, it presents a whole new set of challenges. The other two agents are incredible; I really couldn't have made a wrong choice. So my best option was to be well informed and make an educated choice for my career as a whole. 

Agent goddess and I are doing a final polish of the MS and hope to send it off by the first of March. I'm so excited to be subbing to publishers again! Thanks everyone for your positive vibes. They sure paid off!!

And let this be an encouragement to everyone still seeking their agent ... if it can happen for me, I KNOW it can happen for you. Keep sending out those queries until you find the one who gets your voice and vision. :-)



Comments

( 48 comments — Leave a comment )
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(Anonymous)
Feb. 16th, 2011 01:03 pm (UTC)
Wooohooo! Now the fun begins. :-)

Jessie
author_aghoward
Feb. 16th, 2011 02:49 pm (UTC)
YIPPEE! It sure does! Thanks, my supportive and wise friend. :-)
Tina_Moss
Feb. 16th, 2011 03:18 pm (UTC)
CONGRATULATIONS!
I've been keeping up with your story on querytracker and just wanted to extend my heartfelt CONGRATULATIONS! It is an amazing story, amazing weekend, and AMAZING outcome! I can't wait to see your books in print! Best of luck to you!
author_aghoward
Feb. 16th, 2011 03:28 pm (UTC)
Re: CONGRATULATIONS!
Hi Tina! So nice to meet you!

Thank you for the congrats! What I hope everyone takes from this is to stay true to their book's heart and find the agent who will share their vision. That's so hard when you keep getting kicked in the teeth. But when things were at their very darkest, that's when the light finally found me. ;-)
(Anonymous)
Feb. 16th, 2011 03:19 pm (UTC)
QT sister
Hi Raven1 ;-) I'm so happy for you, really. And I'm so grateful that you shared your experience and keep on sharing it with us. It gives me hope and makes me realize that anything can happen - anytime! Your support in the QT forum has been very honest and generous. Thanks so much!!
NatSanders
author_aghoward
Feb. 16th, 2011 03:31 pm (UTC)
Re: QT sister
Thanks Nat! So glad to see you here! And I promise to keep posting (at least once or twice a week) as my journey progresses.

And I plan to pop into QT sometimes to cheer everyone on. I have to admit, cheering you guys helped me keep going even when I was at my lowest. Not to mention the encouragement all of you sent my way, too. QT is just a wonderful community! We're all in it together and sincerely want to see each other succeed. That's an amazing thing.
marybk
Feb. 16th, 2011 03:34 pm (UTC)
True Hope!
From a QT-er... :)

Just had 3 rejects on fulls, and so I've pulled back for a bit. Maybe I just need to get back out there. Maybe I didn't try hard enough yet (only queried 5 agents).

Thanks for sharing. Again, I wish you the BEST BESTER BESTEST of luck. Have a blast with your new agent. (And let us know how submissions go!)

-Marybk
author_aghoward
Feb. 16th, 2011 03:39 pm (UTC)
Re: True Hope!
Hi Mary! Thanks so much for stopping in and for the well wishes.

I think you should get back out there. I sent out 26 queries before all was said and done, and I still had 30 some more lined up to send out. I know it's hard, but the best thing you can do is query widely. It's the only way you'll find that agent who's made for you. ;-)

Keep on plugging!
(Anonymous)
Feb. 16th, 2011 03:51 pm (UTC)
Congrats!
Hey - bigblackcat97 from QT here. I don't have a LJ account so I'm Anon, apparently.

BIG congrats to you - this is an inspirational story if I ever heard one. Obviously you've got what it takes! Looking forward to reading your book.
(Anonymous)
Feb. 16th, 2011 03:57 pm (UTC)
Bigblackcat again - I posted a link to your blog over on the AgentQueryConnect boards, where I'm a Mod. I think this is a great, inspirational story as well as a How To for those in the process.
author_aghoward
Feb. 16th, 2011 04:18 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much, bigblackcat97! And you'll never be annonymous to me. ;-) I love hanging out with you at QT. And thanks so much for posting my link to the other forum! I really do hope other writers can be inspired by this. It took me six years and seven books to get here, so the moral is, just hang in! :-)
KristineAsselin
Feb. 16th, 2011 04:16 pm (UTC)
Congrats!
I've also been following your updates on QT (I'm golfergirlkca over there). Congrats on your decision--sounds like it was tough but that you made the right one! Good luck with your polishing and submitting.
author_aghoward
Feb. 16th, 2011 04:20 pm (UTC)
Re: Congrats!
Hi Kristine (aka golfergirlkca)! So nice to "meet" you finally! It's really so cool to be meeting all of my QT pals at last. I'll be posting updates here, so please stop in from time to time. I'd love to see you!

Edited at 2011-02-17 01:01 pm (UTC)
green_knight
Feb. 16th, 2011 05:16 pm (UTC)
Congratulations!

I think people like you are an inspiration to all writers: you're not relying on someone to love your material despite its weaknesses, it's obviously good enough to attract the attention of numerous agents, and the editors can't be far behind. Also, let's hear it for 'eclectic tastes'!
author_aghoward
Feb. 16th, 2011 05:50 pm (UTC)
I know right? I LOVE that word ... eclectic. :-) So much nicer than "subjective." Heh.

Thanks for stopping in, and for your really nice compliment! I hope I can inspire other writers. This is a TOUGH biz.
(no subject) - green_knight - Feb. 16th, 2011 06:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - author_aghoward - Feb. 17th, 2011 03:49 am (UTC) - Expand
CarynCaldwell
Feb. 16th, 2011 05:17 pm (UTC)
Congratulations!
I posted a comment earlier, but it never showed up, so sorry if this is a repeat! Anyway, I followed you over here from Query Tracker and just wanted to congratulate you. So exciting! I enjoyed reading your story. Here's hoping this relationship is fun and profitable for both of you!
author_aghoward
Feb. 16th, 2011 05:51 pm (UTC)
Re: Congratulations!
Thanks so much, Caryn! I love meeting my fellow QT pals. :-)
(Deleted comment)
author_aghoward
Feb. 16th, 2011 05:52 pm (UTC)
Re: Congratulations!
Thank you, Stephanie! It always makes me smile to see your lovely face here. :-) And YAY! If my story can renew anyone's hope, then it's been worth every painful moment getting here!
Re: Congratulations! - author_aghoward - Feb. 16th, 2011 05:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
author_aghoward
Feb. 16th, 2011 07:44 pm (UTC)
Thank you! And congrats on your sale!
leahraeder
Feb. 16th, 2011 09:58 pm (UTC)
Congrats from another QT member
Anita, major congrats on having to choose between three different agents! What a great predicament to be in.

I'm a QT member who saw your posts on certain agents' comment threads and was rooting for you. It's awesome to see a familiar name achieve success.

SPLINTERED sounds right up my alley, too. I'm an Alice/Lewis Carroll nut. Once you get sold, do some ARC giveaways, please. :D

All the best,
Leah
author_aghoward
Feb. 16th, 2011 11:38 pm (UTC)
Re: Congrats from another QT member
Yay! A fellow Alice in Wonderland nut! I love how you worded that. :-D

Thanks so much for the congrats and that's a great idea about ARC giveaways someday. I will!

And it's so nice of you to drop in here. Thank you!
motherwrite.blogspot.com
Feb. 16th, 2011 11:08 pm (UTC)
Hi, raven1! KristaG here. Saw your note on QueryTracker and knew I had to pop over. I didn't realize you'd been agented before. In some ways, I imagine it's harder jumping back into the query pool after you've already climbed out. Kudos to you for sticking with it, and congratulations again for signing with such a fantabulous agent!
author_aghoward
Feb. 16th, 2011 11:42 pm (UTC)
Hey KristaG. So great to see you here! Yep, you and I hopped around in the same circles on QT, didn't we? ;-) BTW, thank you for all of the wonderful agent interviews you do! Those are awesome tools for me and a thousand other writers!

And yeah, jumping back into querying again was EXTREMELY difficult. But I really believed in this book and wanted to get it out there, so I started querying again the second my contract was terminated with the first agent. I was afraid if I waited, it would get even harder. Kind of the pulling off the band aid thing, you know?

cathschaffstump
Feb. 17th, 2011 03:06 am (UTC)
What I know of Jenny, she seems like a good choice.

Congratulations!

Catherine
author_aghoward
Feb. 17th, 2011 03:48 am (UTC)
Thank you, Catherine! I like your avatar, BTW. :-) VERy cool.
Stephanie [blogspot.com]
Feb. 17th, 2011 06:47 am (UTC)
Squee!
Congrats!!! I'm so thrilled to read your fabulous news. Sounds like you made a great decision, and most important, found someone who *gets* you and is in this for the long term. Totally worth waiting for. Looking forward to reading about your many future successes :)

-Stephanie (WriteOnSistah from QT)
author_aghoward
Feb. 17th, 2011 01:05 pm (UTC)
Re: Squee!
Thank you Stephanie! You're right. It's been a crazy ride getting here, but worth every bumpy minute. So good to see you dropping in! I'll keep posting here along the way, so do stop by from time to time. And I'll drop in to see you too. :-)
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