Is ‘agented’ even a word? I don’t think it is, but I like the sound of it! I am now agented; I am with agent; I have an agent 😉
Basically, I’m very excited to announce that my YA manuscript Inside Out is now being represented by the lovely Sally Bird, of the Calidris Literary Agency. Sally has been an agent for over 21 years, and has a wealth of experience, so I’m really looking forward to working with her and learning so much more about the publishing industry!
A couple of people, on hearing my news, have asked when my book will be published. Oh, I wish it were that fast and simple!
Basically, Sally first read Inside Out (working title) around October last year. She was After four weeks of waiting, she responded to say that she liked it, but she didn’t feel it was quite ready, so she suggested I make some changes and try her again, if I wanted to do so. Well, readers, that is a rejection but a really positive one in publishing-speak! Mind you, I had to seek reassurance from author friends on this account 😀
So I worked (and worked and worked) on it over some four months, and got three lovely teenagers to read it for me, too. Luckily they all enjoyed it (and made some very relevant suggestions!) and I finally sent it back to Sally. And waited again 🙂
When she emailed to say that she liked the changes and now felt she could send it out into the publishing world, it was incredibly exciting! It was somewhat dampened by some sad family news, but still a thrill, and something I’ve really wanted for many years.
The next step is to work with Sally on a proposal for publishers (all that marketing stuff that I am really not good at!) like why this book will sell to teenagers, and what it can be compared to on the market. Once that is put together and we work out which publishers to approach, Sally will send my manuscript out… and we’ll wait. Again.
There is always the chance that we won’t find a publisher for Inside Out. That is relatively common, and it’s a very competitive market out there. But having an agent gives you more opportunities and someone with the contacts, skill and knowledge to give your manuscript the best chance. And it may also fall down to luck and timing in the end!
Despite those incredible stories about the latest BIG novel that’s doing the rounds, “sold into fifty countries within a year of the author deciding to write a book”, the publishing world mostly moves very slowly. This is a good thing, really, as it means that books are not being rushed out, most of the time. But don’t ever go into writing thinking that you’ll have an agent or publisher or book deal within weeks of sending out your work. That’s not to say that it might not happen to you, of course! But it’s a minuscule chance that it will, so be prepared to sit back and wait.
Meanwhile I’ll keep writing and reading and working away while I wait, and hopefully one day I’ll have more news to pass on, about Inside Out or perhaps another manuscript being published. So watch this space 😀