Here’s how seeking an agent is different than seeking a date:
|At speed dating event in Anchorage, where we both struck out.|
When seeking an agent, it’s time to be self-promoting.
Another words, talk about your accomplishments, your goals, and your strengths.
Agents appreciate pre-editing. It’s in an author’s best interests to have their work looked at by a critiquing group or professional editor in advance of submitting it. Dates like their Special Someone to speak freely. At first. The editing comes in later, after that relationship is cemented, when suddenly the Special Someone’s jokes and opinions are in need of a tweak.
Personal referrals to an agent are preferred. If you know someone who writes in your same genre and who’s happy with their agent, it’s supreme if you can get them to give you a recommendation. Not so with dating. Does your friend have an old flame that’s available? Don’t even think about it. Way creepy.
The relationship between a literary agent and an author is mutually beneficial. Their efforts complement one another. If an agent promotes the work of their author well and the work sells, the agent’s commission increases right along with the author’s profit. Lasting relationships I’ve seen or read about also provide a win/win opportunity for both parties. Wife gets a raise, shared household income increases. Husband begins an exercise plan, extending his life with his wife.
I’ve learned a lot from rejections from literary agents. I’ve learned a lot from my failed relationships, too, so long as there was dialogue about the relationship’s demise. But agents, like lovers, are often distant in their rejections, either not responding to queries, or sending a form letter that states basically, “It isn’t you. It’s me. Someone will want you soon, I’m certain.”
And here’s to hoping I don’t accumulate many more.
It’s almost Christmas. Kindle owners, do you have my short story yet for 99 cents?