Finding an agent is very much like high school dating. You do everything you can do to make the other person fall in love with you. Then, they ask for your number or you just give it to them and you wait. And wait. And then, if you don’t hear back from them within a “reasonable” time or if they “reject” you, you will often find yourself wallowing around in your pajamas for days, eating Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, and watching old episodes of The Great British Baking Show. This was my lot in life when I first started my journey of seeking an agent in 2015.
I had just published my first novel, Drinking From a Bitter Cup, and I was struggling to figure out my next steps. My husband, Robert, and I had been our own agent, lawyer, publicist, marketing department, you name it, for Drinking From a Bitter Cup, but I knew I didn’t want to wear all of the hats with my next novel, so I started the process of seeking out representation for my next book, tentatively titled at the time, Shoot Across the Sky, now titled When Stars Rain Down.
The process began in January of 2015. I took my entire winter break from teaching to finish the novel and begin the process of researching agents. After talking to various author friends, I quickly found out that finding an agent was not going to be easy. Mainly because the majority of agents, especially the top agents, receive hundreds of submissions per week/month so it was imperative that I did everything I could to give my manuscript the best chance of even getting read. So, below are a few steps I took that I think will hopefully help you.
Bottom line, don’t give up. If you really are about this writing life, a no is nothing more than a detour NOT a road block. You can do it.