I love having a blog. Because you can air your dirty laundry for all the world to see. Exes beware! Muahahaha!
No, I’m kidding. But I will vent using writing analogies. No names necessary. You know who you are (totally kidding… mostly). This could get weird.
Searching For The Love Of Your Manuscript
First, you begin your journey by searching for an agent. Good for you. You’ve put yourself and your manuscript out there. You’re totally, completely exposed, and it’s scary, but that’s okay. This could be the one. …Or maybe not. Remember, it’s like dating. You gotta kiss a lot of frogs to find your prince. Oh, so many frogs.
This part is a bit like online dating. You research each agent’s profile, compare skills, history, personalities, interests. When you find a few you like, you take the plunge and send them a query. Then you anxiously wait for a response, checking your e-mail every five minutes, just in case.
Hopefully they give you a shot. Either way, you’ll know pretty quickly if they like what they see — that is, your manuscript. And if they don’t like it, remember, rejection is just part of the process. Don’t take it personally. It’s them, not you. Right?
You Win Some, You Lose Some
The query process can be long and tedious. An agent may ask for more pages, only to turn you down in the end. It can take months to hear from some. Others may not respond to your advances at all. But then, just as you begin to lose hope, you find a match, someone you just click with. They have the same goals, the same values, and most importantly, they love you… er, your book.
Could it be? Is this happily ever after? Not always. Sometimes agents break up with you after you’ve been seeing them for a while. Or you might want to break up with them. Such is the dating game of publishing. It’s about finding the right fit, and sometimes you don’t know if it’s right unless you give it a real shot. Remember, it’s better to be on your own than with the wrong person. Don’t settle for less than you and your manuscript deserve.
But maybe you’ve truly found your perfect agent. It’s like a dream come true. However, you’re not ready to walk into the sunset just yet. There’s a complication: a third party. Yes. It’s a three-some. I told you this would get weird.
The Love Triangle
To complete the process, your agent must now find a publisher. It’s dating all over again, but now there are three people involved. Talk about complicated. And you thought actual dating was tough!
It’s important that you, your agent, and your editor share similar views when it comes to your manuscript and have the same goals for its future. Getting along in this regard is necessary. The three of you will be in this relationship for a while, at least until your little manuscript is ready to spread its dust jacket and head out into the world on its own. They grow up so fast don’t they?
Put Yourself On The Market
Dating is hard. Trust me! It downright sucks. But you gotta get through it in order to find your happily ever after. Don’t despair! Just keep your chin up and put yourself out there.
Each time you receive a rejection, imagine what your best friend would say if you had been dumped. “That’s just one person closer to finding your true love.” Only it’s not love. It’s your agent. Although, once they land you a book deal, you might love them. Look, don’t make this analogy any weirder than it already is.
Believe in yourself and your work, and you’ll find the right fit for you.