Monday, August 15, 2011

Agent Story #8

*Oops! I totally posted this on the wrong blog, but now it's in the right spot.*

My agent story is pretty much like everyone else’s.  The only difference is the story that got me my agent, isn’t the one that’s being published.  But that is a different story.  :D 

Like many other writers when I started querying I had no idea what I was in for.  My experience with getting a publisher came from all the books I’d read growing up, television, and a biography of Nora Roberts.  Needless to say, the whole process of actually getting a book published was a bit…glossed over.

So, I went to the trusted Internet (because you know it’s always right.  :P) and did some research, which basically told me I need something called a query letter and a synopsis.

Following the instructions from said Internet I wrote a (awful) query letter and a (boring) synopsis and sent it off to a group of agents.  Of course, while I technically did everything correct, I didn’t realize not only was I not ready to query, but I didn’t even know what genre my story was!

So I went and found a crit partner, who helped me with a now trunked novel, but when I started my third manuscript, I had her tear it apart as I was writing it.  When it was finished, I had several beta readers, read through it again. 

Finally I felt like I was ready to query and sent it out.  Almost immediately (like 5 hours after the queries went out) I had requests (and this was just after Thanksgiving weekend!).

Because of this, I just knew it was just going to be a matter of time before I found an agent.  This book was going to be the one.

Then, one day, as I was researching my submission list, I happened to hear of a new agent:  

The fabulous Natalie Fischer at Sandra Dijkstra Agency (she has since moved to the Bradford Literary Agency)

Immediately I felt this buzz and I went to check her out. Everything I found out about her told me she was exactly what I was looking for, so after a while I decided to submit to her despite the no response = no policy and the hard copy partial submission.

A few weeks and an offer later, Natalie offered representation.  And I’m so glad she did.  All in all from the time I started querying my very first (very bad) manuscript until the time I signed with Natalie for my third manuscript it was a total of 8 months (exactly—I just checked my log. My very first query was sent out June 16 and Natalie offered February 16th. O.o)

 J.A. Souders is the author of RENEGADE a YA dystopian that takes place in an underwater utopian society, coming Fall 2012 from Tor Teen.  For more information visit her blog or website.

1 comment:

  1. I got my agent with a different book than the one being published, too!

    I'd like to know how many people got an agent based on their first novel. Can't be many--but try and tell that to someone querying the first thing they ever wrote. I know I wouldn't have listened (and didn't listen). It's a steep learning curve, that's for sure!