My New First Steps in Finding an Agent

So yeah, I’ve pretty much given up finding an agent with the query letter and book that I had going…kinda. Here are my plans to acquiring an agent at this point:

1) Generally Accepted Rewrite: Or a GAR (If James Dashner, or any other accountant for that matter, reads this blog post, they’ll get my joke with that.) It’s funny, something felt wrong when I went from revision 2 to revision 3 of my book. I dropped a storyline I didn’t want to drop and I kept another I really didn’t like. Well, I’ve dropped the one I didn’t like and I’m returning/updating the one that I liked. This is what happens when you go with your gut and not with the few readers.

2) Query Overhaul: Hopefully, I’ll be able to buy Elana Johnson’s “From the Query to the Call” as a help towards overhauling my failing query. At the very least, I’ll be able to attend her presentation at the Utah Valley Writers Workshop on 5/15.

3) Listening to My Favorite Authors: Did you know that some of my favorite authors are ones that I’ve never read. But I’ve heard them speak and wish I could absorb more of their thoughts. Dan Wells, Sarah M. Eden, Howard Tayler, and Aprilynne Pike are some that I wish I could just listen to more often. (Again, Josi, I didn’t attend any of your classes, don’t get jealous.) But listening to them talk, as fun as it is and as vain as they get, it’s important to pay attention to what they say. Now, they’re not going to say “If you do X, you’ll be published.” (Unless, of course, X is self-publishing.) But they do give out pointers to improve your writing. Honestly, even polished authors can use new thoughts and fresh perspectives. So the point of this is, authors have websites. Authors offer advice, occasionally. Some of that advice is useful. And, as Brandon Sanderson said/says, “Sometimes, you need to ignore the bozo on the stage.”

4) Agent Stalking, Part 1: Yeah, sounds like a crime right? Guess what, agents, like authors, are fairly vain/arrogant people. Their weakness? Them! They like it if you have read their latest client’s bestseller and wrote a story that follows that type of story/format/genre, etc. I mean, if I were to want to query Epstein Literary (who is definitely on my list), I am going to research what type of books she has recently sold. Why? Because I’d rather she be comfortable with my book and not feel like it’s in a foreign tongue….duh! My goal is to find at least one book that an agent represented (that same agent I’m interested in) and read it, have my wife read it, skim it. Pretty much do something so that I can see whether or not that agent may be a fit. And even if mine is different, see if I can at least fit in the categories that the agent is seeking.

5) Agent Stalking, Part 2: Many agents have blogs, twitter accounts, etc. Now, I’m not going to add Colleen Lindsay to my Facebook account. If you follow her twitter, you’d learn that she hates it. I would, however, add her if she were my agent. But honestly, my plan is to learn from any advice that these people are willing to offer. Why? Because they’re basically handing out free lessons about themselves. The more you know about an agent, I feel the better the chances to write a query letter geared towards that person. Agents are individuals who like to be addressed individually.

Anyway, this is my five step plan that I’m going to follow. Is it going to work? I intend to make it. I know I’m a decent writer. I know I have things to improve in my storyshowing (sorry, I’m a pretty darn good story-teller. But telling and showing are two different things. People seem to want show.) Regardless, I’m going to do what I can to improve my current book and tell the story I intended to tell when I first wrote it.

Please remember: Alien abductions are involuntary, but probings are scheduled.

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3 Responses

  1. Yes, don’t give up…the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Good thing you have revamped your plan. It will happen – stay diligent or at least enjoy the ride!

  2. I will help you read. I love doing it.

  3. Good luck!

    I’m in the process of deciding what novel to write next. I have several that I’ve started, and I want to write one that feels like it will be easily marketed. I might blog for reader input tomorrow…

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