How I Got my agent
If you’re an #amquerying author, I know it can be helpful to read other author’s stories to learn from their experience. I also know sometimes it can be a downer. When I’m feeling imposter syndrome (sadly it never goes away) I remind myself of two things: first, publishing is a business, and second, focus on your own journey and don’t compare yourself to others.
Publishing is a business, but I think it’s especially hard for writers because we pour our souls into our manuscripts and when they’re rejected it’s hard not to take it personally. My 3 tips: 1.) It’s okay to be sad. Lean on your writing friends to vent with in private. 2.) After venting and your mind is clear see if you agree with your feedback, if you received any, and go back and revise. If you didn’t receive feedback go ahead and file your e-mail into an “Agents Who Missed Out” folder. It can’t be said too many times. Publishing is subjective and it’s all about finding people who “click” with your story.
Don’t compare yourself to others. If you’re feeling down as you come across announcements for agent signings and book deals try and step back and remind yourself that you don’t know that authors journey. They could have been working on their book for ten years for all you know! But mostly it comes back to publishing being a business, and this author was able to get their book into the right hands at the right time. If you’re going to get into this industry you have my best wishes the stars align, but I think it’s also wise to mentally prepare for the long haul. I recently had drinks with a NYT bestselling, Caldecott winning author who said they were feeling imposter syndrome! My jaw dropped but it highlighted one eternal truth for us writers. Imposter syndrome never goes away.As authors, perseverance is a skill that’s just as important if not more important than improving our writing craft… I’ll end my soapbox with a handy Sylvia Plath quote:
“I love my rejection slips. They show I try.”
My Agent Signing Story
My Query Letter
Overall writing + querying timeline: From writing my first book to signing with my agent with my second book, it took almost 3 years.
#amquerying timeline: I queried two books over 1 year and 7 months with several breaks in-between as I participated in three mentorship programs.
# of queries: For both books, I queried or pitched 60 agents (some agents I queried both books). I had a 48 percent request rate for materials.
Book 1 (YA Science Fiction) (85K)
3 pitch contests
31 queries + pitches
2 revise & resubmit
Book 2 (MG Fantasy/Paranormal) (50K)
3 pitch contests
29 queries + pitches
No request PitchWars 2019
Full request Author Mentor Match Round 7 2020
Selected WriteMentor Class of 2020
Selected Avengers of Colour Class of 2020
Selected Author Mentor Match Round 8 2021