Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Trying on Agents

So, back in 2009, I wrote a post on another way to look at agent hunting that got a lot of traffic on this blog. It's still a post I'm pretty proud of and with some editing, might try to turn it into a tongue and cheek article for some bigger writing sites or magazines...

But something I've been keeping largely out of the public eye is that last summer I decided I wanted a new agent. It's a long story, but I decided to make the change at a time when everything was in serious limbo for me. Very scary.

I'm not planning to tell my personal saga here... (Although I might at some time and it does have a happy ending.) What I wanted to make a brief comment on are the great tools that are out there now for agent hunting.

The last time I was on the hunt, the new thing was You no longer had to buy those big books! And that site is still great. Also back then, there was a very new kid on the block, but it was one I was highly skeptical of. You want me to store the list of agents I'm planning to query in your database? And then whether or not they request and how quickly? Who are you? How can I trust you? No way....

But when I found myself wanting to research agents again now, I went back. And boy had it improved in the intervening four (five?) years. Awesome. Highly recommend it, and paying the small fee to have the "premium" service with no ads and some extra bells and whistles I found very helpful.

And using it I came up with yet another silly analogy about agent hunting: Agent hunting is like clothes shopping. Just as fun. Just as frustrating.

You browse through query tracker, a fabulous, well laid out boutique where everything looks so chic and fabulous. "Oh, I'll take one of those!" "Hey, I think I'll try that on for size." "Oh, that one would really bring out my eyes, I mean character arc."

And then, just like trying on clothes (for me anyway) as soon as you get into the change room, reality strikes. Most things don't fit. Or the store doesn't have your size and you don't even get to try your favorite on. And sometimes the ones that looked best on the hanger end up looking the worst once you've tried them on. It almost feels like some of the clothes hate you. It feels personal.

But when you find that perfect fit? Magic.

Happy to say I now have a new agent. Charlie Olsen of InkWell Management. And while I took very few choices with me into the change room, I think I found the right fit.


out of the wordwork said...

Congratulations, Maureen!! Your new agent looks FABULOUS on you! :)
Here's to a long-standing, beautiful relationship.

Kwana said...

I'm so happy for you Maureen and wishing you all the success in the world.

Molly O'Keefe said...

yeah - I agree, that agent looks great on you! And I wish there was a way to know the right amount of gut and the right amount of brain to use in these decisions. Most of the time I'm all 'go with your gut' - but how many times can one person get bitten in the hiney before she learns to use her head.

but I think you made a decision with your head and your gut and it was a good one.

Stephanie Doyle said...

I love the clothes analogy. Becuase it is just that thing.

Might look good, but doesn't fit. Might fit but not flatter.

Finding the right agent is exactly like finding the right outfit!

Here is to your success.

And just another plug for Query Tracker - I used it as well on my last hunt. And loved it. It kept me organized and moving forward as the rejections and partial requests came in.

Eileen said...


You know, as we get wiser and more experienced, we don't have to take as many items in the dressing room with us. We have a better idea of what will and won't fit us.

Excellent news, Maureen. Too too awesome!

Sinead M said...

Such a great choice. Excited to discover what comes next, because the next few months will only get more exciting.

Simone St. James said...

Yay, Maureen!

Man, I used agentquery like crazy. I should probably thank those guys.

Querytracker was still too young when I tried it, too - the interface was sort of hard to figure out and not all the info was useful. Sounds like it's improved.

Fingers crossed!!

Brooklyn Ann said...

Funniest agent analogy EVER! Great post!

Marilyn Brant said...

Absolutely, positively THRILLED for you, Maureen! And I think Charlie is a lucky guy ;).

Amy Ruttan said...

Congrats Maureen!

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