I’ve been researching/querying literary agents for the past few days, putting in around 20 hours total so far.
The (p)research I did, reading everything I could on finding and choosing an agent, didn’t make it sound simple, but didn’t prepare me for this. Maybe I’m putting too much thought into it, being too discriminating, but I don’t think so.
One common sentiment I saw often was that choosing your agent is a lot like choosing your spouse. (It should also be noted that’s a two-way street.) But perhaps the quote I like most, doesn’t come from the myriad of sites and blogs and tweets about writing and publishing.
It comes from an article about sniping defenseless animals in the wild.
I’m in no way suggesting anyone start shooting agents (unless it’s with a water pistol full of champagne while celebrating a book deal). After all, I just got started in this. But just toss the word agent in front of the quote, and it sums up everything I’ve been learning quite nicely.
(Agent) Hunting requires research, patience, flexibility–and a willingness to fail.
It couldn’t be truer. A few days ago, I decided to start my first batch of queries by contacting a half-dozen agents. I would aim high, personalize each query, and send them off. Apparently not learning from my experience thus far, I naively thought: “This shouldn’t take long.”
Even so, I decided to give myself ample time, planning to send (only) two queries a day. Perfect. I’d have six queries sent off by the weekend. 20 hours later… I’ve sent two queries. One yesterday and one today.
Getting back to the hunting quote, the 20 hours are the result of research, and it is definitely requiring patience (and persistence). I’m sure quite soon I’ll encounter flexibility. And I’m counting the days until I get that first rejection!
That should test my willingness to fail.