Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Let's Talk About My But

I can work with those odds.

So an agent asked for my manuscript.  I've been here before.  And now I've waited a couple of months without hearing anything.  Also familiar territory.  So I send what is affectionately referred to as a "nudge".  You try to make this email sound like something other than a desperate cry into the dark.  It's kind of like when you ask a waiter if your food is ready.  The obvious answer is, "Is it on the table in front of you yet?"  Well that's a response that will kill a tip percentage, but you get the idea.  I think the nudge is useful if used appropriately.  I gave it two months, and my nudge generated a response.

And that response was, "I like it but ..."

So now we have to talk about that my but.  The letter was full of I-liked-this-buts.  I don't like big buts and I cannot lie.  They were issues with characters, issues with the ending, and a general problem with the way the romantic elements of the story unfolded.  It was far from the "sorry I didn't get right back to you, I was busy dropping all of my other clients to focus completely on you, my new favorite author and client!"

But ... it wasn't a no.  In fact, there was an honest to goodness offer to revisit after revisions. And you know what that is folks in the terrible, beautiful dance of the query process?  That's a second date.  So my first impression wasn't a disaster.  This agent had read my entire work, spent a couple of months thinking about it, and made suggestions about what she thought was needed to push it from the 'like' column to the 'love' column.  Because that's what it takes for an agent to commit to representing your work.  They see stories they like all the time, probably many they enjoy more than actual published books they've read.  But they really have to connect on a deeper level to go all in.

And now was my call to action.  Three months into the process with just this particular agent and I have a nibble.

In the famous words of Lloyd Christmas after being told his odds of ending up with a girl like Mary Swanson were one in a million,

"So you're telling me there's a chance!"

No comments:

Post a Comment