Today I e-mailed my first book to my second squad of agents. I use the term squad because I can’t help but feel like I am playing Fantasy Football when selecting agents. I actually used the phrase ‘Oh yeah, they didn’t make the cut the last time.’ I have a little scoring system too; like when you can’t pick a midfielder (for my North American friends, when you can’t decide between quarterbacks) and think well a: got a combined score of 3 but b: got 4, so they get in the team.
I was a lot calmer this time. The first time I sent my book to agents, I was so nervous that I could not physically type. I had to ask Gauri to send the e-mails for me. I simply sat there next to her shaking with nerves and gibbering incoherently. I am so lucky she still likes me. A neurotic writer trying to get his first book picked up by an agent cannot be a great proposition to live with.
It was easier this time. I think it becomes more a process, like filling in data on a computer screen. I forget what I am actually doing and just get the job done. I am not sure this is a good thing. Then again, it is all part of the process and I am learning this as I go along.
I find it odd to pick agencies and agents. I really try and think ‘Who will work for me?’ Then, I also think that my gut is telling me this, but my head is telling me that. It is like going on a date and you don’t know the person, but you are sure that you have to make the relationship work. They could be awful in the long run, but you really need them to be with you now. They are the one’s that can give birth to your little baby book, and unless you do the artificial insemination version of getting published and self-publish, you need them. Damn, that’s a frustrating idea.
But then, they need us too right? With no books, agents do not have a lot to do. So, why is the situation so skewed in their favour? They can ask for exclusive reading periods, they can take months to respond or they might never respond. Would we take this treatment in real life? Ok, so I know we need agents as writers, but maybe, just maybe, we deserve to respect ourselves a little? I saw one agency asking for six weeks exclusive reading time. Who has six weeks to spare when not even another agent is looking at your book to wait for a 99% rejection rate?
By the way. I am really not against agents. I want one. It is a dream of mine that completes my becoming an author fantasy. I want to have early morning meetings with coffee and croissants to discuss with my agent revisions, my next book, publicity tours etc. I just feel bummed out that I feel so deficient in their eyes. I have to do so much to gain their approval and they still might never even acknowledge me. I so want this relationship, but they might be ‘I am happy being single right now.’
So, I guess, I will just keep sending out my work in the hope that I catch an agent’s eye and they concede to coming on a date with me. I then hope to say the right thing, make witty comments and pick up the tab. Ok, I have completely lost where I was going with this analogy. This is the last time I blog on acid. Joke. I am just really drunk. Joke. I am merely squiffy… No, I am actually very squiffy.
Worst segue to an ending ever. (Seriously, I am laughing at how bad this is, but I can’t think of a better way).
Take care buddies,