Updates

Status: Releasing Entranced on February 17!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Why you should not fall in love with an agent

I don't mean an FBI agent or a CIA agent (though I recommend treading with caution). I mean, obviously, a publishing agent.

What exactly is an agent, anyway? According to Dictionary.com, an agent is

a person or business authorized to act on another's behalf.

That about sums it up, right? No? Okay, to make it more clear, an agent is the go-between for you and your publisher/editor. You give them the right to make decisions for you, and they keep you out of the fire. They also attract the interest of publishers who couldn't care less who you are unless you have an agent. The reason being, I guess, is that if you can't even get an agent excited about your book, why would they want it?

All writers who are obsessively aggressively stalking courting querying agents know that you are supposed to research your agent before you submit your book to them. You want to make sure if you are submitting YA, they rep YA. If you're submitting a romance, make sure they don't prefer horror. If they're looking for boy books, don't submit chic lit. If they have a weakness for angels, don't give them your zombie book.

This is all great advice. Most of the time when doing this research, one agent is pretty much the same as another. It would be great to snag one, any one. But sometimes it happens during this research that you find THE ONE. The agent that you know is for you. They started writing when you did, majored in the same thing as you, enjoy the same books as you, feel about their family the way you do, have the same goals for their writers that you have for your career, and THEY REP WHAT YOU WRITE! Bells ring, angels sing, and you KNOW this agent is for you. Your heart pounds as you carefully amend your query letter, tailoring it for this special agent. You send it off with trembling fingers and wait. Anxiously wait for the response.

And it comes, two days later, with a rejection.

How can this be? How could the love not be mutual?

Here's why. Because the agent didn't research you they way you did him/her. They don't know that you would be best friends if you lived around the corner, and probably it's better that way. It might take the objectivity out of the game (there is objectivity, right?). They might like YOU so much that it's hard to take a good look at your book. And that wouldn't be good for you, in the long run.

So. Don't fall in love. Speed date all the agents you want, notice the ones that make sparks, but for heaven's sake, keep your heart out of it.

Happy querying!

Don't forget you can watch my interview on July 4 and 5 right here!

*Image from writersrelief.com

11 comments:

KarenG said...

Excellent advice, Tamara, and the picture cracks me up because it pretty well illustrates how writers feel about agents!

Kate Larkindale said...

So true! I've been to scared to even query my dream agent because I know how much the rejection will hurt. But that's really stupid, because of course, there is a chance she'll love the book...

Christine Fonseca said...

Amen to that sista!

Christine Tyler said...

*Le sigh* It's too late for me. I'm in love with an agent. Bah. Maybe some speed-dating will be good for me.

Haha, this feels like high school.

Stacy Henrie said...

I SO hear you! I've started telling myself that as much as I wanted to work with this or that agent, in the end, I want someone who's passionate about my work. And maybe that will be someone I didn't even realize would be the best fit.

Melissa J. Cunningham said...

Such good advice, but like most people, I learn the hard way. I got all excited about Sara Crowe and KNEW we were meant to be, but guess what? Yep. It was a no. Sigh. Oh well. Onward and upward, I guess. You posted this a little too late! LOL

Linny said...

I'm so far from wooing agents, that it's irrelevant. But I did enjoy this post. :-)

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

That's so very funny, how many of us have been there. Yes. big sighs. If only they knew how cool we are...

RaShelle said...

Great advice, Tamara. Thanks =D

Elle Strauss said...

Staying objective in this business is the key--thanks for the great post!

Jolene Perry said...

Funny. I did a similar post on this last week.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...