Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Finding an Agent Update

At the beginning of the year, I declared that I was going to look into a few literary agents very casually about my novel RoboNomics. And I have. But progress on this particular project has been slow.

So far, I've only contacted two agents, with mixed results. The first I contacted after reading his name in the acknowledgements of a new book that I thought was very similar to RoboNomics in tone and genre. I never heard back. And, as is the policy with these agencies, after two weeks I moved on.

Hearing nothing from an agent can be less hurtful than a form rejection. You're just screaming into a void at that point. But what it means is that the agent has rejected your manuscript without a thought to letting you know, the worst sort of rejection you can receive. Apparently RoboNomics was not even worth trying to contact me.

No biggie. I can always self-publish, right? I have my own proof of concept, I know from experience that this book can find an audience. But I will admit that out of curiosity, I contacted another agent working in the appropriate genre. This agency's policy was that if I didn't hear anything about my manuscript in six weeks, I should move on. I wasn't holding my breath that I would hear a word.

But I did! Within two weeks, I received an email, personally addressed to me, with more than just a form rejection. The agent in question said that she was impressed with my creativity, but that she hadn't fallen in love with my story. She said that tastes of agents are subjective, and urged me to keep on plodding along with submissions. Sooner or later, the message went, I would find the right fit for me.

This is what people refer to in the publishing industry when they talk about a 'good' rejection. Possibly the best rejection that ever existed! I was happy. I was encouraged. I even emailed back to thank her for the message.

That was in March. I haven't contacted another agent since.

So why am I dragging my feet?

Maybe it's because I submitted the novel to agents as a test. Maybe I wanted to see what would happen. Maybe it's a little psychological trick of the mind: because I received such a positive rejection, I feel artistically validated and so I believe I don't have to try anymore. But now that I have made a start, I am determined to keep my momentum going. And so take this blog post as my reaffirming my promise to you, to see this agent thing through before I do anything else with RoboNomics. But the clock is ticking! The final chapter is almost up on Wattpad!