Come join me Sunday, July 30th!

Come join me Sunday, July 30th!
Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore- San Diego

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

IWSG- Not Getting an Agent


Insecure Writers Support Group Wednesday!  Yes, it’s that time again.  One day of the month when a few hundred writers scream their fears into the abyss of the internet.

 

Not getting an agent

Ok, I’ll admit it, I want to become traditionally published.  I want the amazing agent, the gifted and talented editor, the book sitting face out on a brick and mortar bookshelf.

And part of me fears that will never happen.

Ignore, for a moment, the way the publishing world seems to change at any given month.  Getting an agent—correction—getting the RIGHT agent is as difficult as it’s ever been.  I’ve seen what happens when the wrong agent and the wrong writer get together, and it’s not good for either.

Many writers obsess on agents so much that in their minds even getting the wrong agent is better than no agent.  It means they’re a “real” writer-right?  But finding that special someone who loves our work as much as we do isn’t easy.  And someone who may even believe in it MORE than we do is a major miracle.  Going with an agent just to have an agent is a sure way to end up even more frustrated that we already are (and lemme tell you folks, writers are a very frustrated group of folks!).

So my insecurity for today is not finding that amazing advocate to go fight for my books. I want someone in my corner, who understands my work (and my humor ;)) and can steer me back on course if I wander too far off.  Someone anxious to spend the amount of time it takes to get a book into the hands of the right editor.

And now I’m realizing that may not happen. 

Part of me is excited about all of the new options for writers.  Waaaaay back in the day self-publishing was a very long four letter word. Now it’s a chance for writers to really have control (for good or bad) over all aspects of their work.

That I may actually be able to keep a title I love, find a cover that works, and make sure that book has a professional editor all over it sounds amazing.  Scary.  Expensive.  But amazing.

Yet the other part of me is saddened by the fact that I may never have that agent of my dreams in my corner.
So that's my insecurity for this month!  What about you?

28 comments:

  1. I've put the idea of having an agent on the backburner for now. This month's paranoia is my release next month won't get the same love from people as my debut novel. >.<

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HUGS, Pippa! I'm sure it will get the love :)

      Thanks for coming by and commenting :)

      Marie- at work- can't log on

      Delete
  2. Hi Marie, For many years, I, like others, thought self publishing was a four letter word. But that was many years ago... When I found myself changing genres, after a break in my writing career, I discovered so much had changed in such a short time... I began to listen to others as I began to query and pitch to the agents I came into contact with. I will say I was offered a couple of contracts, but something didn't feel quite right. Call me intuition, who knows, all I can say is I am thankful I turned both agent and publisher contracts down for my series. Being the control freak I am, never before have I felt such freedom as I feel now being my own publisher and agent. Its a lot of hard work I will admit and I have no one to blame should I fail, but I'm still happy with my decision.
    Wishing you all the luck with yours. V

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Virginia! I thinking hearing from folks who have made the self-pub choice and love it really helps me think about my options.

      Thanks for coming by and commenting :)

      Marie- at work- can't log on

      Delete
  3. I've had some bad experiences with agents, so having one is not always the answer. For an early book, when I got several rejections from agents, I gave up on it. Years later, after I had cannibalized it for stories, I thought, Wait a minute--no editor or publisher ever rejected that book! Then, for my latest book, I found an enthusiastic agent who suddenly--without explanation--lost her enthusiasm (after we'd signed a contract). I guess it happens. Then, another early book was a successful children's book, but all I ever saw was a small advance. I think my agent kept my royalties, probably because he was providing my ex-husband with a rent-free apartment in Greenwich Village and I, supporting myself and three children, could not have afforded to support him too. I never even asked. Martha Moffett (marthaspencil.com)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh wow, Martha! Your tale is definatley one for why agents aren't always the best path. I hope things are going better for you :).

      Thanks for coming by and commenting :)

      Marie- at work- can't log on

      Delete
  4. If you think having an agent is the right choice for you, then don't give up! But it's also true that these days, you can still move ahead without one. Either way, I know your publishing dreams will come true, Marie! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Cassi :). I think I need to just develope enough belief in myself to see it through- whatever IT ends up being!

      Thanks for coming by and commenting :)

      Marie- at work- can't log on

      Delete
  5. I understand the frustration and fear, I'm in the same boat, Marie! But know that tomorrow is a new day and we don't know what it will bring for us. Keep writing and enjoy the journey (I know this isn't easy at times, in fact it's VERY hard when rejection letters pile up), but we are in it with you. You will get published!

    Jinhee

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Jinhee! It does help having folks who understand and can nod in agreement when all the frustrations come out. WE will make it! :)

      Thanks for coming by and commenting :)

      Marie- at work- can't log on

      Delete
  6. I think reinforcement by someone else who believes in me(you) makes me a better writer. There's something about confidence that liberates us from the schackles we put on each day. RWASD is a great start. I feel loved. Fellow members, women, have told me they loved my one self published romance (novella). Of course, just having the chance to pitch at our meetings and conferences is so many steps ahead of the writers out there who have no one.
    Bob

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. True, Bob! It's great having friends who "get" you and your work :).

      Thanks for coming by and commenting :)

      Marie- at work- can't log on

      Delete
  7. Like all of us, I've accumulated form rejections, pleasant handwritten "not for me"s, and sweated out the dreaded non response to an email query. I, too, want an agent. Someone who does not know me who thinks I can write. There are many options out there, but the validation that comes with signing an agent is what I'm looking for. Getting an agent might be the beginning of a new set of disappointments. But change is good, isn't it?

    Sharon

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL! Change is good, yes, Sharon :). I think it is up to us to figure what we want and what we need- then act on it.

      Thanks for coming by and commenting :)

      Marie- at work- can't log on

      Delete
  8. Hi, visiting from the IWSG. I too underwent the same fears when I started querying last year. Then I went and submitted to a few Indian publishers( we don't have agents here). I have put the agent thing on my back burner for the time being.

    Rachna Chhabria
    Co-host IWSG
    Rachna's Scriptorium

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for coming by, Rachna! And good luck with the publishers, hopefully something will come your way very soon :)


      Marie- at work- can't log on

      Delete
  9. I have the exact same fears as you. But there are so many options in publishing these days so that can be a bit of comfort. I still hold out hope for the agent / traditional publishing route, but there are days when yes, it just feels like it may not ever happen! It's so hard to be patient!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Carissa :). It's having other writers to share my fears with that helps me get through those, "not going to happen" days!

      Thanks for coming by and commenting!

      Marie

      Delete
  10. I'm to the point where it would be nice to get a good agent, but I don't care that much anymore. I've learned so much about publishing that it doesn't scare me to self-publish. But I'm still rewriting via critiques, still editing, and still taking my rewrites through middle school classes because I'm incapable to putting a book out to the public without making sure it's my best effort. I learned so much about writing and formatting over the years, including that I'm the one who catches the nit-picky errors, I now edit professionally. Insecure about writing. Not insecure about editing. Strange, but true.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love that, Sher! (Being secure in the editing :))

      I think you have a very healthy attitidue; no matter which path we go, we have to be the bottom line and the one responsible.


      Thanks for coming by and commenting!

      Marie

      Delete
  11. Hello Marie and other contributors,

    My experience with agents so far is they don't like mixed genre because they don't know how to sell it. And guess what kind of books were my first ones? Right. Urban Fantasy meets Space Opera. And a series, at least three. And every time I exercise to Katy Perry's ET and Lady GaGa's Poker Face, I think of that movie that's never going to be made.

    Personally, I just want to sell these books and am still pitching them heavily to editors. My problem is I love what I'm writing at the moment, my new ideas, and I want to move on.

    Right now, my hair-pulling-out-moment is after the contract is signed (my fourth novel) then the crickets start chirping. Then when the editors finally get back and months have gone by, I'm afraid that anything I might say or do may spoil the relationship and my book will never get released. Then RT or Nationals or the Steampunk Festival goes by and I have nothing yet to sign or promote. I've worked with someone to design the cover to my book, but after five months since signing the contract, the publisher hasn't gotten to my second edit.

    When the contract was signed, I thought I was a published author. Well, RWA doesn't see it that way yet. And you can't go into the Golden Heart if you've been published, but you can't go into the Rita if your book hasn't come out (that's my understanding for most contests.)

    So, don't lose heart if you haven't yet gotten published. It can only get worse!
    I met the agent I want to spend the rest of my life with at California Dreamin' Conference but I got a very nice rejection from her saying my work would be a little difficult to sell. And she was looking for a paranormal romance series! Go figure.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh man, Susan! But the amazing thing is--through all of this--you are STILL moving forward! You have the true spirit of a writer and I'm sure you're books will be great (once you get the editors to respond anyway ;)).

      Thanks for coming by and commenting!

      Marie

      Delete
  12. I'm thinking we all suffer from that insecurity at one time or another. Probably hundreds of times. The trouble is that it's not an unrealistic fear. It's posible we'll never get an agent, no matter how well we learn to write. I'm grateful we writers do have more opportunities these days. If we didn't, I'd probably never be able to sleep at night.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agreed, Ken! I will admit that having the option of self-publishing really does make things better. Still scary- but better!

      Thanks for coming by and commenting!

      Marie

      Delete
  13. I can see many of us relate to this insecurity. I haven't even tried submitting a novel yet, working on the edits, but I know it's the route I want to take. Yet I see so many talking down on agents, or saying why bother. There are many options and we all have to find which path works best for us.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, welcome to the madness, Dawn! :) I think the good agents are the ones adapting to the new world of publishing--and they are out there!

      We just need to find one for us :)

      Thanks for coming by and commenting!

      Marie

      Delete
  14. Don't get up. I'm going to be totally cliche here - When the right time comes, it will happen. But I believe this. I'd rather have an agent too (for several reasons) and although I've gotten so close, it always seems to drift away. But someday, it will happen. Patience - I say this with gritting teeth ;)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hey Marie -

    I just saw this blog and wanted to butt in and say you can self-pub and still end up with that wonderful agent... :) With all the changes in publishing agents are happy to talk to authors who have already self-published... I don't think it needs to be either/or anymore... :)

    Hang in there!

    *HUGS*

    Lisa :)

    ReplyDelete