By DiAnn Mills
Overcoming the Fear Factor: Finding the Right Agent
Your story is in final form. In your opinion, it’s the best you’ve ever written, and you’re filled with confidence. The suggestions, edits, and marketing plan are in place. Your proposal reads like an NYT writer.
But you don’t have an agent.
|An agent? Can't be that scary.|
Sometimes agents terrify us. We think they are the one factor that will get us published, when the truth is a quality manuscript is your best advocate.
So what does an agent do for a writer?
|Stand up! Sit down! Write! Write! Write!|
1. Submit your writing project to the proper editor.
2. Follow-up with editors.
3. Negotiate a contract. This is where your agent is worth his/her weight in gold. We writers are creative and usually not comfortable in talking contract terms.
4. Update you with industry trends and changes.
5. Interpret and communicate royalty statements.
6. Be your best cheerleader for the life of your partnership.
7. Advise you in every facet of your writing career.
Your job is to submit a polished manuscript, properly edited, and in the requested format of the agent. Even if you’ve met the agent, make sure you have the correct spelling and address of the person.
And if you’re rejected, consider it redirection. Do your best to find out why the agent declined representation and make changes before submitting again.
Keep perfecting your craft.
Never stop learning.
Never give up on yourself.
Where do you find an agent? Listings are in The Writer’s Market Guide or The Christian Writer’s Market Guide. There you find their submission guidelines and what they are looking for. Stick to them. Sometimes a recommendation from another writer is helpful. But the best way to meet a potential agent is face-to-face. Attending conferences and workshops where agents are present puts you in the spotlight. Polish your pitch, practice, and present it to a perspective agent. It doesn’t end with a single meeting.
|Where do I sign up for the T-shirt?|
1.The right agent is highly recommended by writers and publishers.
2. The right agent is well respected in the industry.
3. The right agent represents your genre.
4. The right agent conducts career counseling and makes recommendations, sometimes tough ones.
5. The right agent reads every word of your manuscript.
6. The right agent is an amazing editor.
7. The right agent must love, not like, your manuscript.
8. The right agent attends major writing conferences and often leads workshops.
9. The right agent submits timely reports on the status of your manuscripts.
10. The right agent is a partner in your writing career, a prayer warrior, an asset to your life.
Now what’s stopping you?
DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She currently has more than sixty books published. Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and Carol award contests.
DiAnn is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers; the 2014 president of the Romance Writers of America’s Faith, Hope, & Love chapter; and a member of Inspirational Writers Alive, Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, and International Thriller Writers. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country. DiAnn is also a craftsman mentor for the Jerry B. Jenkins
Christian Writers Guild. She and her husband live in sunny Houston, Texas. Visit her website at www.diannmills.com
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