Today I am pleased to introduce you again to George who is going to be telling you all about how he landed an agent!
Hello to all! First, a quick thank you to the lovely lovely Faye for letting me guest post on her marvellous blog. I said I would write about me getting an agent.
Quick note: Everyone’s submission experience is different. It’s all a part of what I find/found interesting about reading posts like these.
So, a bit of background, in June 2014 I decided I was ready to go out on submission with the book I wrote in November 2013 for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). Well, I say I decided, it was actually my friend Victoria Walters who said (paraphrasing) “The concept of the book is great, what have you got to lose?” I will be forever thankful to her for that, no matter what happens. So I’d had it be read by people, I’d edited it from the utter mess that it was after I’d written it and gotten it sort of ready. I was prepared for the pain, the waiting, the rejection.
Quick note: I had submitted to agents before, half heartedly doing it with a Middle Grade novel that had been redrafted and reworked and changed multiple times over the course of around 8 years.
First of all came research. I had never done *proper* research before. When I was submitting the Middle Grade I just used the Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook (which I swear by!) did a small amount of googling and then off I jolly well went. Well, this time I went hard.
I picked up a book called “The Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook Guide To Getting Published” by Harry Bingham, which I have still not finished by the way. You see the book is split into sections and I decided to read the sections that were relevant to me. I read the first section “Getting Ready” while I prepared my submission. It had all of the information I could possibly need. It was so incredibly helpful.
I then looked into the agents I wanted to submit to. This was a combination of looking in the Children’s Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook, googling my favourite author’s agents and checking acknowledgement pages of my favourite books to track them down. I came to a shortlist of 8, with the intention of submitting to more if it didn’t quite work out. Then I got mega organised. I made a spreadsheet with multiple columns and whatnot, detailing each agent I sent stuff to and stuff. Then I submitted to them all and then everything went crazy for a little bit.
I submitted it at 12:08pm on the 12th June 2014. The waiting game began.
At 3.13pm, on the same day, Sam Copeland got back to me asking for the full manuscript. Shortest waiting game ever.
Quick note: This had *never* happened to me before. I entered major panic stations. I never got to send out the fabled e-mails giving the other agents a nudge that you’d had interested. I was used to the whole wait for six weeks, get a rejection model. I may or may not have freaked out.
I got to tell the other agents. I got to be all happy and buzzy and high off life for the whole weekend. And I was at work as well. I bet everyone *hated* me. I was pretty much on fire for the whole weekend and I was so good and don’t actually think I tweeted about it at all.
A couple of other agents requested the full manuscript over the course of that week (What?! Why?! ARE YOU GUYS CRAZY?!) and the waiting game continued. Until Sam requested a meeting. And I read the next section of the book; “Planet Agent.”
I met with Sam and had the best time. We had tea and chatted for a little bit first, getting to know each other a bit, talking a small amount of smack about Miley Cyrus. (I knew we were going to get on once Miley was mentioned. #Realness) Then went through his thoughts on the book, thoughts which I shared. His worries were the same as my worries, his thoughts on potential changes making perfect sense to me. I then proceeded to be embarrassing and ask him the questions I had written down in my notebook. (Questions I had lifted from the “Getting Published” book. See? Mega helpful.)
I then spoke to a couple of other agents who had expressed interest in the book. It was a very nervous time for me. I told Sam that I would get back to him in a week. I had a decision to make and anyone who knows me will definitely know that I am completely and totally rubbish at making decisions. But this one just seemed easy.
Long story short, I signed with Sam Copeland at RCW and am still super excited and still can’t quite believe it happened. I feel absolutely honoured to be a part of Team Copeland, or whatever twitter team name we have (do we have one?!) and I feel so incredibly lucky!
So these tweets got a lot of love, which made me feel like I could explode with absolute outrageous happies! So I thought I would share them! :)