Friday, September 28, 2007


So, for those of you that don't know, I am in the process of writing a book. (Well, 2 books...if you want to be technical. I needed a break from the first, and had a story in my head, so I started another one.)

Anyhow, as I was writing the 1st (which is very nearly finished), I started the whole "what do I do to publish this thing?" search. I decided to go the agent angle, because the major publishing houses do NOT accept un-agented material. So, I went about submitting query letters to agents all over the place.

Everything I've read and looked into says that it's harder to get an agent then it is to get published. They are not willing to take you on unless you can make them some money... understandably.

So, from what I can tell...the process is this:

Submit a query letter. If they are interested, they'll ask for sample chapters, and possibly a synopsis. 95% of manuscripts do not get past the query letter process.

Send the sample chapters. The agent will read them and hopefully ask for the full manuscript. If they ask for the full manuscript, there's a REALLY good chance that they'll take you on as a client. It's nearly impossible to get to this stage. Like 99.9% of manuscripts get rejected after the sample/synopsis is sent in.

Okay, so in my process, I got lots of requests to see samples...and a few "no thanks" after the original query letter. The ones I sent samples in to, I either never heard back from or got polite "it's good, but not what we're looking for" form letters. Whatever....I wasn't expecting anything major...this was my first major attempt at doing something with my writing.

Then I got a request for more material from an agency in NY. It's a HUGE agency...represents John Irving (Cider House Rules) and Dick Francis, as well as a lot of other names. They used to represent Kesey before he died. Basically, a lots of clout agency. So, after I started breathing again, I sent her a synopsis and some sample chapters. I was not expecting to hear anything more from her.

So, fast forward to this weekend...and about a month after I sent her the sample.

I get an email from her telling me that she really likes my writing, and told me to fix a few things and send her the full manuscript. (!!!!!) She said that she would wait for it to be fixed. So, yeah...I've been killing myself with late nights trying to get this thing, if you don't see me around here for a while, you know why.

Anyhow, here's the deal. She could've just said no, right? The fact that she's willing to wait for me to make revisions, and did not give me a time frame that I HAD to get it back to her is good, right? I mean, she must think it has potential if she's willing to wait, right?

Help me out here. I'm not sure what to think. I mean, should I get my hopes up...seeing as how it's nearly impossible to get to this step in the process...or is this fairly common?

Does anyone know?


Dave2 said...

I have no advice, as I decided to pass on my book deal... but I do wish you the best of luck! :-)

Hilly said...

I would get your hopes up to a certain extent, yanno? You are totally right that she could have just said NO, but she wants to see it so give it your all, sistah!

annie said...

I don't know anything about getting things published, but yeah, they could have said "No". I'm thinking, maybe a BIG company has more money to take risk with on new authors? You know, a smaller company is looking for that BIG fish to get them money. But, I dunno...

Anonymous said...

CD Said: No advice here either...I'm just happy that you are almost finished with a book after I have been bugging you for YEARS to write one! Keep at it! I think it's a really good sign she has asked you to revise. Congrats!!