Aaaah, agent hunting. The weird experience of trying to find someone who likes my work enough to sign me up to their agency.
It’s the publishing equivalent to internet dating. The agents all smiling their most beguiling smile, with bios that sound attractive, listing what they’re looking for in prospective authors. Choose me, they cry, we’ll be a perfect partnership, a publishing dream team! Take a look at my other wives and see if you’ll fit in….
Because, unlike internet dating, you aren’t looking for someone to whisk you away and form a monogamous relationship. You’re looking for someone who, ideally, already has a few successful marriages on the go and wants to add you to their polygyny.
But how, in God’s name, do I choose? Not only are there sooooooo many but, more infuriatingly, they all pretty much describe themselves in the same way. The agencies all proffer a list of bestselling novels, award winning authors and agents who go above and beyond to make sure your work gets the best representation possible.
So, what am I looking for? Whose slush pile to I want to dive into head first, screaming PICK ME PICK ME!? In my ‘A’ list I’ve been concentrating on those who have existing relationships with my favourite publishers, have worked with authors I admire and write similar novels to myself, who actively use social media to promote their authors and are (obviously) accepting submissions.
Even then, my A list is too long.
I could go soul searching, I suppose. Stare at my reflection with a whimsical look on my face. I could enter my favourite of favourite places, my Sherlock-esque mind palace, and search for the answer there.
Or, I could face up to the less romantic truth.
I’m an unpublished author. I just want someone to say yes!