Heeeeere Agent, Agent, Agent

I cannot think of anything more intimidating than searching for an agent. If beta readers and helpful crit groups are elementary school, teaching the basics, then The Great Agent Search is junior high.

(I guess that means publishing is higher ed and the court of public opinion is life. That fits.) But junior high? *shudder* Nerves, fitting in, balancing Smarts against Cool, hoping they'll like me, learning new lingo, and flat-out rejection.

That's what agent-hunting feels like to me. No feedback. No explanation. Just a loud-and-clear message that, for some reason, "I simply cannot sell your project." At least when subbing an MS to publishers, I can justify that a corporate machine ate my dream. And when entering contests, I can rationalize that the judges are generally as clueless as me! But agents... they're people. Mostly.

(Tangent: why, did the Matrix sequels suck so? Bask in Hugo's menacing cool!)

So I began yesterday, a combination of a few e-queries and snail partials. I already received one lightning-fast "NO," but most will take a couple weeks to trickle through the pipes. The strange thing is, I don't even know what sort of goal to define for myself in this process. What's a good percentage? What are my best and worst case scenarios? OK, "worst" is pretty easy: zero agenthood. With this project, and it being my first, I cannot even hazard a guess.

Obviously, I'll discuss my feelings through the ordeal, but my details will have to be few -- at least until something (anything) firms into a deal. Cross your fingers.


Ann(ie) said...

The waiting never gets easier either.

Best thing you can do is not think about it and just keep writing.

Pacze Moj said...

Good luck!

By the way, is it possible to get a literary agent without a referral? A friend of mine writes screenplays, and he tells me that most agencies won't even look at writers who come straight to them. Not sure how anyone's supposed to "break in", other than through a referral service or by going straight to a production company, but that's the way he says it is. I don't suppose sending anything directly to a press quite works in the publishing world, though!

carrie_lofty said...

It depends on the agent, although I have no idea for screenwriters. And some publishers are actually nutty enough to take stuff from random folks :)