Aging Expectations

My Quest

old_booksI’m continuing to pursue publishing my book Believe In Brilliance (working title) by securing a literary agent.

Lot’s of people ask me what publishers I’ve sent the book to…but from my limited understanding of publishing, you don’t ever send directly to the publisher. You need to have an agent first.

Then you work with the agent to make the book top notch then the agent sends to publishers on your behalf. The agent doesn’t charge you anything but of course, takes their cut from the deal they secure. They need something out of the deal, right?

Right now, I’m in the process right now of finding that agent representation. I’ve sent a query letter (a letter telling the agent about myself and my book) to 12 agents. Four of them have turned me down. I’m trying to keep a stiff upper lip. I don’t know if you know this but there are quite a few popular authors who have had their book rejected…

Harry Potter, by JK Rowling – 12 rejections

A Time to Kill, by John Grisham – 16 rejections

The Princess Diaries, by Meg Cabot – 17 rejections

Carrie, by Stephen King – 30 rejections

Chicken Soup For the Soul, by Jack Canfield – 33 rejections

and my personal favorite…

The Help, by Kathryn Stockett – 60 rejections

Can you believe that? The Help is a fantastic book. I LOVED it. Who would reject that even once? So, I’m in good company. I won’t cry until I pass Ms. Stockett.

My current resources for researching agents are Agent Query and Writers Digest.

So far, I’ve been relying on Agent Query. I like the database searching better.

I look for agents via the database using the criteria of my book’s genre (young adult, new adult, women’s). I also add travel in there too, just in case they’re interested in my self-published book. Then I go onto the actual site of the agent to see what their submission guidelines are, how the web site looks, what they are really interested in prompting, etc.

If it all seems to fit or fit even a little, I note them in my spreadsheet with info like:

  • Agent Name
  • Email Address
  • Company Name
  • Web Site Address
  • Summary (what I think of the agency in general)
  • Found Name
  • Score (1-10 scale of how likely I think, they are to respond positively)
  • Date Sent
  • Timing for Response
  • Check Back Date
  • Reaction

Note the Reaction category. I want to track this so when I do finally get accepted, I’ll have my own stats to say how many times I was rejected…I’m thinking positive in a negative sort of way.


Are you looking for an agent? Where? What’s your success rate?



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