Friday, January 14, 2011

On Agents

In my few years of querying, (not the same book) I've come to this conclusion. Agents are so NICE. Really. In all my interactions with them, even when they have rejected my work, they are very nice people. I'm sure there are a few that wouldn't be in the nice category, but I have yet to find one.
I also think some people forget how busy agents are. It's amazing that they even have time to do all they do. Editing, shopping books to publishers, reading query letters and requested material, and having a family life as well. I hate it when I see someone complaining that they haven't heard from a certain agent about their work, and they bad mouth them on forums or their blog. Agents have lives too. They can't be everywhere at once. They can't read hundreds of manuscripts in a day. Some agents get so many submissions that they can't even answer queries anymore if they aren't interested. I'm sure it's hard for them to reject peoples dreams, but it's something they have to do. Think of how they feel. I'm sure it isn't easy.
If you are new to this query fiasco, I have one piece of advice. Well, two.
*Don't take it personal. If an agent rejects your query letter, it usually means that it isn't for them. Agents are people too, and they have their own tastes. Just like when we read a book and like or dislike it for whatever reason it is. I used to get so upset when I'd get a rejection on a query I sent. But after stewing over it for a while, I'd know my project wasn't right for them. The agent wasn't right for me. So, I'd keep searching, trying to find an agent who would love my project. Like I'm doing now.
But what if after all the partial and full requests lead nowhere? Or what if you don't get any bites at all? Then, write another book and try again. You can't accomplish anything by just sitting there. :) It's hard to put away a manuscript you poured your soul into, but sometimes it has to be done. If you wrote one book, you can write another.
The second piece of advice? Publishing is slow. You have to wait. Sometimes months to hear back on your work. Instead of checking your e-mail 50+ times a day, **guilty** write another book. Keep yourself busy, and when you least expect it, something may pop up in your e-mail that could change your life. :)
Anyway, those were sort of random thoughts, but I had queries on the brain and thought I would share. Good luck to those of you who have your work out there! It may make you crazy, but at least you're putting yourself out there and trying! Don't give up! :D


Michelle Davidson Argyle said...

What a great post, thank you! Also, you might want to check out my series on Small Publishers. That's another option. You can check it out here:

Chantele Sedgwick said...

@Michelle Davidson Argyle
I've been reading your posts and they are SO helpful! I have been thinking about going that route lately. It's been so nice to see people's success stories with small publishers. Thank you so much for the info. It had made me rethink some things and after I hear back from a few agents, I may be submitting to some publishers instead. :)

Elizabeth Mueller said...

Great post! Thank you for standing up for agents. :) I really enjoyed Michelle's post as well!

Have a great weekend!

~Elizabeth :)

Lisa said...

I admire your attitude! I can't wait to see "Not Your Average Fairy Tale" in print! Then I can brag and say "I KNOW HER!"

Casey McCormick said...

Great post, Chantele! I've been in touch with a lot of agents for my blog and the majority of them have been amazingly nice. They really are! I wish more aspiring authors could see the other side of things.

Chantele Sedgwick said...

@Casey McCormick I LOVE your blog. It's been such a great help in querying agents this time around! Thanks for all the work you put into it!:) Also, thanks for stopping by!!

Susan R. Mills said...

Yes! Definitely don't give up! I also hate when I read agent-bashing on blogs. These people do work hard.

Jolene Perry said...

Wait. Are you telling me that staring at my computer screen pushing refresh over and over won't make them work faster??