So I’ve decided to go out on a limb, take the traditional route and instead of heading for the straight self-publishing road, I’m going to search for a literary agent and then hedge my bets of getting published. I’ve heard all of the stories and I’ve been given the stern ‘set yourself up for disappointment’s, but I have to start somewhere right? Today I sent off my manuscript to a publishing house who are looking for new, first time authors and I thought, ‘Ooh that’s me!’ so I sent it off with a short and bubbly introductory description of myself and my book and hit send. And then a light bulb moment happened and so here is a new part of my blog that is documenting my road to getting published. I hope that fellow writers would like to join me on this journey, share their experiences and tips and in turn I will share any tips I find along my way.
For the past few months I have been searching and making a generic list of literary agents that could publish my alter ego Kitt Lovell – the fun, lovely, pink and wittily glittery-girly author who will be the young woman behind my books. Kit was born out of my diary – after reading an old diary entry and finding that when I was single I had taken on this persona of a chick lit/flick protagonist. After reading the entry written on New Year’s Day; “Tonights agenda: Eat Chocolate; Watch Sex and the City the movie (because nothing beats watching Carrie batter Big with a huge bunch of roses); And drink tea, because I drank all of the alcohol last night”, looking back and saying, ‘This is not me! Who is this girl? She is hilarious.’ I knew that Kit needed to be birthed, a part of me that I love and hold close and hopefully will be loved by all.
So this afternoon I began to narrow it down and continue my search, really reading the fine details of what they are looking for and deciding what kind of literary agent I am looking for. Alas I came to a conclusion – finding a literary agent is just like dating and now since most searches and submissions are made online it is very much like online dating. Not only do you need to qualify in terms of what the agent in question is looking for but it is also very important that the agent is someone you think you would like to work with and closely. Could you imagine sharing your most personal creation with this agent? Just like asking yourself when looking for potential date – could I imagine sharing a toothbrush with this person? It works both ways and so I decided to immensely clinch my search. Beggars can be choosers when it comes to the person who is handling a huge part of your life and that is why I decided to choose to submit to agents that I like the sound of, agents that are a reflection of me. If they are inviting and friendly, if they offer authors helpful advice I want them to represent me; that paired with someone who can get the job done and I am nearly on my way to ticking all of my ‘Must Have’ boxes.
Now to pop the big question – this is the question that rounds everything off and takes a stance on whether you submit your manuscript or not – would I date my agent? We have to remember that this is someone that we are going to work closely with, for years, and so it is a relationship that needs to start as it means to go on, much like starting any new relationship.
So now my list is shorter I can make the first step in sending my selling email which is like sending that first initial response to someone’s dating profile! So let’s see where it goes and I’ll let you know!