Happy Easter and an apologies for the radio silence via my blog for a couple of weeks.
I’ve been sick as a dog and in bed for about 5 days. Another one of those bugs going around. Glass in the throat, can’t swallow, glands were up and ears were pounding. But I’m finally out of it after a 2-week hiatus.
Although wiped out I still managed to send a few agent submissions in between sleeping.
Even though I don’t have the news I want to deliver yet, I’m a day closer to the process and knocking on the right doors.
Taking the small wins…
I recently attended an online workshop about ‘How to get an agent?’. It lasted over 2 hours and at the end of it, the presenter tries to sell you a course to sign up too. That’s usually a given with these workshops but over 2 hours was a long time. Anyway, during the presentation, there is a chat box open, to which you can send live messages too.
There was a recurring message from the other 173 attendees of the workshop. “I’ve not had a reply from an agent” “No one wants my work” and “No one ever replies to my submissions. Now you’d be surprised that this is not uncommon at all. The workshop host said that there are only 2000 books a year that get published, so to even get considered you’ll be in the 1%.
I’ve been working towards my submission pack for over a year and the positive I took out of that workshop is… I HAVE had replies. 12 of them. My current agent spreadsheet shows I’ve applied to 36 literary agents and 12 of them have replied, with 7 of them having very constructive feedback. This is like top book agents, reading my work. I’m knocking on the door.
The most recent feedback I’ve had are as follows…
We found plenty to admire in this well-written and engaging proposal, which perfectly balances a comic tone with an important message. However, in this instance, we have decided to pass as there is too much crossover with a client we represent who is writing in a competing area of memoir.
Dear Af, Many thanks for your submission and for thinking of me for this. I am sure that this could be very intriguing but I’m afraid that I did not quite feel that all-important connection with your work which I know is vital in such a difficult publishing climate. As such, I’m sorry to say that I don’t think that it would be quite right for me at this present time and I am going to have to pass, but please do not give up. There are as many opinions out there as agents.
Thank you for your most interesting submission. Unfortunately, I am afraid that due to our many existing commitments at the agency, we are not in a position to be able to represent this project. We wish Mr. Marseh every success with his powerful memoir.
So, from those comments, if we take the positives…
Well written, engaging, perfectly balanced comic tone with an important message, very intriguing, most interesting submission, and a powerful memoir.
These agents are at top literary agencies. The names on their client lists are just insane and I’m knocking at the door.
I was recently of the mindset to gear up to self-publishing, but I don’t plan to do that now until at least October. One reason is because I don’t want to release and market a cancer book during the summer hours. And Two, because I’ve now had so many near misses, I feel like I’m closer than ever to succeeding with that traditional publishing deal.
In other news, I was contacted by a producer at the BBC last week about attending a BBC Podcast as a guest. Recording an episode at their London studios. Let’s see what happens but that was excitement for the week. Watch this space.
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Peace and Love to all.