Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Agent Hunt- Part 2

I’ve had an interesting past week; extreme high to lows, but it’s all in the process of hunting for an agent. I thought it would be interesting to continue posting on my query process for all of the writers who have yet to take the plunge (and those who have been through the search can help with good advice). This is my first time through the query trails, and I never thought I could be so glued to my email.

The first few queries I sent out, I wanted to test the waters. Not sure how my query would fair, I've queried agents I thought would find my novel interesting or my novel seemed to be what they were looking for. I've made sure to take the time to personalize each and every query I sent out.

I didn’t hear back for a few days (which is very normal), but then three days later I received my first response. I stared at my email box, afraid to click on the letter. I sat at work, with my laptop next to me. Taking a deep breath, I opened it. Yep…rejection. It’s funny, I didn’t mind. In a way, it made me even more excited. I was finally in the game.

The first rejection spurred me on to send out more queries. I went down my list I made the week earlier and started to send out a few more at lunchtime. A couple of the agents were known to be quick responses, so I sat and waited. Six minutes later I had a 1 next to my inbox. Sure enough, it was from the speedy agent. Taking another deep breath, I clicked again. I had to read it two times, as shock, excitement and fear came over me. It was a request for a full. Despite being ready, I felt like I wasn’t as I stared at the email. Looking around, I tried to find someone to tell. I work in the same office as my husband, but he was in a meeting. Checking Skype, my crit partners weren’t on. I was freaking. I emailed them the good news and went straight to work. Well, actually, I asked my boss for the next day off to do another once over/revision of Lost and Found, then I went straight to work on it (luckily it was a slow day at my day job).

The next day, I woke up and got ready like I was going to work. Checking my email, I had another request for a partial from a different agent. Apparently my query worked! Starting at 9:30am, I worked until 11:30pm with only one short break. Everything had to be perfect. Finally, I sent out the partial and then the full.

Since sending the requested material, I've heard back from both agents, and both were rejections. One agent said that she loved the premise but wasn’t as engaged with the actual manuscript, the other said she didn’t feel the passion for it to offer representation. At first, this made me second guess my first chapters, but then I realized I’m still early in the game. I’ve gotten this far, I just need to find the one agent that feels as passionate about Lost and Found as I do. If every single agent that reads the first few chapters says the same thing, well, then it will be time to go back to the drawing board.

Yesterday I picked my heart back up off the floor and continued my query process. So far I’ve sent out 15 queries. Two were rejections off of the query, one partial request and the full. I still have 11 queries out there to agents…maybe one of them will be the one. If not, there are many more to send to, and believe me, I’m not ready to give up fighting.


Mary Brebner said...

Congratulations on the great response from agents-That's fantastic!! Even though you've had some rejections--you're there, you're in the game. I'm still in the process of writing my first book but I'm always interested in the process, esp. someone like you, who's a YA author, too. Good luck and don't give up-there's an agent out there for you.

Summer said...

Awesome. It sounds very exciting. I hope it happens soon that you find the right person for you.

Tami Klockau said...

Thanks Mary, it's nice to hear that my posts are interesting to fellow YA writers and good luck to you! This isn't my first book, but the first one I've felt was ready to get to this point. Like you, I started reading up on the process of other YA writers/authors back when I was writing my first one.

Summer, from your mouth (or should I say your typed words?)to the literary agents' ears. :) Thanks for the kind words!

Tracy Belsher said...

You'll catch one Tami - it will happen. Just a matter of when.


Kristin B said...

Such highs and suck lows, huh? (*Notices typo. Decides it should stay*) I'm about to start querying on my fourth. Three-time loser here, so far, but you just write the next one.

You've got a pretty good request rate going, so you must be getting close. I can't think of any particular advice, except to keep it up at the speed you're going. I tend to slow down & lose motivation--don't let it happen to you!

Tami Klockau said...

Thanks, Trace.

Kristen, thanks for the advice (and the hilarious typo!) I've been working on a new book, so I don't go crazy. That's all you can do, right? Good luck to you on your 4th try! 4th time the charm?