Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Literary Agent.

Back in January, one of my New Year's Resolutions was to try to get a literary agent. I have several projects underway, in terms of writing, and my problem is always that something more interesting comes along before I finish the last one.

Anyway, I decided to try to get representation for some of my work and I put together a proposal. I read around before sending anything off. I found out about the agents, what authors they are interested in, how they like to be approached, how not to piss them off and so on. I carefully selected what I was going to put in and crafted a beautifully worded letter to go with it. I included the requisite SAE, and I am making sure I only approach one agency at a time.

Even so, I know my chances of getting a real, non-exploitative agent are very slim, and that I will collect a number of rejection letters.

So I sent the first one off a fortnight ago. The expected rejection letter was waiting for me tonight when I got in from work.

I have to say I am not very impressed. I sent a really professional package to them. They sent a two sentence message on a bit of paper with no date or address on it and no name to go with the scribble of a signature. If this is how they approach publishers, then I can't imagine they sell a lot of manuscripts.

There is a worry, in the back of my mind, that the low grade response indicates their opinion of my work. I have a mental image of them in the office, slitting open the envelope I sent them. After howling with laughter at the feeble contents therein, the agent reaches into his filing cabinet. Different grades of responses are stored neatly, ranked from "Bestseller response" to "Ghastly, stop wasting my time response". His hand lingers over the "Ghastly" one for a moment before selecting the response marked "Pointless twaddle - can't be bothered to respond properly".

I really hope the next rejection is more worthy, or my opinion of literary agents will go right down the swanee.

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