Never give up: How I found my agent

flyLast April, I learned valuable pitch conference lessons at the Desert Dreams Writer’s Conference in Phoenix. I left that conference excited to revise my manuscript. My goal was to query as many agents and editors as possible.

I thought my revisions would take two or three months. They took eight. *cough* Another lesson learned.

Flash forward to December/January, when I began querying again. I did so widely and got an amazing response: Ten full reads, which is a freaking miracle. Still, full reads mean a long waiting game. Slush piles are large, so it can take four months or more for an agent or editor to read the full manuscript.

All that time can wreak havoc with your confidence. Rejections, even more so. But I crossed my fingers, tried not to think too much, and stayed busy researching the second and third books and editing a contemporary women’s fiction novel.

Flash forward to early April, when I got “The Call” from an agent, offering representation. Wheeeee!

Had I planned for such a call? I’d read enough articles about agent calls, so I sure thought I had.

Was I able to project my best cool, calm exterior during that call? Nope. I was pretty much out of my mind.

Do I recall very much about that first conversation? Definitely not. I had the attention span of a 5-year old.

It’s two weeks later, and I’m thrilled to say that I’m represented by The Ruben Agency — the fabulous Eric Ruben (who I met at the conference last year) and his wonderful Junior Agent, Shannon Orso.

The lesson, of course, is Never Give Up. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else, and don’t waste time worrying the process is taking too long. Just keep entering contests and pitching at conferences, and definitely keep querying. The feedback you get with each rejection can be hard to hear, but it’s invaluable. Consider the input, see if you agree with it, and if you do, revise.

Persist. The right agent will come along, and at the right time.

So now what? More revisions of course, so we can get the manuscript ready to submit to editors. And then there are synopses to finesse (for books two and three), a website to create (stay tuned), and lots of social media activity. I’m sure the coming year will provide me with a whole bunch of new lessons to learn.

I can’t wait to see what happens next!

What are your dreams for finding representation and/or publishing your work? If you have a moment, let me know by posting a comment below.

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