#Overwhelmed

Today I finally narrowed down the list of agents I want to query, and now as I begin to do more research on each one specifically, I am finding myself getting more overwhelmed and a little nervous. Seeing agents’ who have the likes of “Gone Girl” or “The Fault in Our Stars” under their published client belts makes one’s head spin. I find myself wondering “Do I really know what I am doing here?” The lead-up to actually submitting my queries and waiting to hear agents’ response is arguably more tense than it will be after I have submitted my first round as I am second guessing my own capabilities. I am very confident in the quality and marketability of the book I have written, but how will I feel after that first inevitable rejection letter? Will I still believe in my abilities as an author?

Conversely, I also am nervous about the possibility of success–like stepping off of a roller coaster or drinking too much coffee too quickly, the possibility of success is a major head rush. Obviously this is a better kind of overwhelming sensation than the fear of rejection, but it is just as intense. It would be surreal to accomplish this lifelong dream at such a young age. One thought is clear in my mind through all the spinning emotions–it is paramount to toe a delicate balance between fear of getting rejected and over-confidence at being accepted and published. I don’t want to get my hopes up, but I don’t want to cast aside all hopeful optimism either.

Maybe–scratch that, certainly–my writing won’t be for every agent, but that doesn’t mean I should lose confidence in it; at this point, with a polished manuscript, I need to remind myself that my job is relatively easy…just sit back and let the writing speak for itself.

9 thoughts on “#Overwhelmed

      • Ha, isn’t that the kicker?

        And oh jeez – Linn Prentis, Irene Goodman, Marsal Lyon, Dee Mura, Talcott, Andrea Brown. . . I’m sure there are more but they’re slipping my memory. What agencies are you looking at?

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      • I have a list of ten that I am working with now, so I won’t list them all here, but I am particularly excited about querying Jodi Reamer at Writer’s House and Kimberly Witherspoon at Inkwell. I am aiming high on this first round–maybe it will pay off, maybe not! I am just going to be very relieved when the queries are finally out there and I can stop obsessing over all this research.

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      • Yeah, I’ve been finding specific agents of books that I adore and starting there. Most of them are pretty high up (starting high up I think is the best idea, like you said). I know I’ve got Miriam Kriss and… yeah, drawing a blank. Apparently it’s been a bit since I’ve looked at it!

        I’ve also been finding a lot of new agents, because I read that they can be a really good starting point for first time novelists. They have the expertise of more experienced agents that they work with, but they’re actively building their clientele too.

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      • I know if you’ve explored around on my blog posts, you’ve probably seen the one about AgentQuery.com. I can’t recommend it enough–you can search agents by agency and it tells you which ones are accepting queries + what they are specifically looking for! It also takes you step by step through the submissions process…a godsend for a neophyte like me!
        I am also interested in what new agents have to offer–especially ones who are new to a reputable agency. This is one of the reasons I am so excited about the Las Vegas conference next weekend; one of the faculty is a new-ish (since 2011) agent from Janklow & Nesbit. Just being able to meet him face to face would be awesome–I don’t care if we never talk about my book, because then I have a personal connection to refer to for my query letter!

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      • Yes! I think I have stumbled upon that site. It’s pretty great. I also make all sorts of excel sheets with all the different information I need for each agent – even bits from interviews/their website that would be a good thing to mention in my query… but I tend to overdo things a bit.

        Oh, that conference sounds awesome! I don’t think there’s anything going on around where I am, but there might be a few things closer by. I haven’t branched out into going to conferences, and I really need to. I’m nervous about them!

        Good luck with the agent from Janklow & Nesbit! I’m really rooting for you.

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      • Hahaha, we are kindred spirits–I spent too much time (procrastinating) color coding my excel spreadsheet of agents! I think overdoing it is better than under-doing it; knowing those little tidbits will make a query letter stand out!
        Thanks for your well-wishes for the conference! I am very excited; I live in a really remote area, so I love the chance to travel and connect with people! I plan on attending the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Conf in Denver this September and then the San Francisco Writers Conf (the big one!) early next year, so if you decide to make the step, let me know! In the meantime, I will be blogging about my experiences, so stay tuned! Thanks for the follow and the comments–I love hearing from fellow authors!

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      • That is very true! It’s good to show that you’ve putting effort into this whole crazy process.

        I’ll let you know! And I’ll definitely stayed tuned. Thank you for following as well; all the best wishes!

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