Friday, November 6, 2015

If You Give 'Em An Inch ...

I've noticed a lot of agents are foodies.

You really have to watch these agent types.  Within one week of sending three chapters of my book, this particular agent I queried wanted me to send her all the rest of them!

As a querying author, this is actually a wonderful if-you-give-a-mouse-a-cookie moment.  This is called a "request for full" and it's kind of big deal in the querying process.  This signals that two things have happened: 

1. You have caught an agent's eye with your query letter.  They like the tone and style of your letter and are intrigued by your premise. 

2. Now that they have read several thousands of your word lined up together in the first three chapters of your manuscript, they believe you have the skills necessary to complete an entire book.

When you are asked to submit a full, you can reasonably expect that a real, live agent is going to read your manuscript.  As I've learned, many agents have a trusted cadre of beta readers they farm the initial read out to in case the whole thing falls apart after the first few chapters.  But any way you slice it, your book is about to be read.  That's exciting!

Or is it?  It's one thing for an agent to pass on your book based on a short query letter.  I'm sure many brilliant authors crash and burn on the query letter just like brilliant students can be miserable test takers.  I know the query letter that landed me his particular request was far from the first version I sent out.  I really stunk up some inboxes with my first tries at that letter. 

And having your first three chapters read gives you a great feeling that your grammar skills and ability to form coherent sentences are up to snuff.  You could even feel confident that your general voice for the submitted material is interesting and compelling.  These are all very good feeling feels to have.  So with all that in your favor, what could possibly go wrong?  How can an agent like the beginning of your book and your writing in general and not want to represent you?

Guess what?  You're going to have to wait to find out!  And by 'you' I mean 'you' the reader of this blog as well as 'you' the abstract subject of this story.  (It's a multi-purpose 'you').  I hope you'll check back in to find out what the next response from my someday-agent was!  Today's blog chronicles the third exchange between myself and this agent.  This represents a time period of approximately 22 days.  The email chain for this exchange ends up being 36 messages long!  Don't worry, I will be summarizing many of these.

See you for the next installment! 

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