Blogger: Rachel Kent
A story of an agent reaching out to an author.
I was shot down today in an email! Actually, I’m making it sound more dramatic than it was, but I needed a hook for my story.
I met an author at a couple of conferences a few years back. He was writing fiction at the time, and while I liked his ideas–I read a manuscript and two proposals–I didn’t think they were quite ready for the market. It’s so hard to place a debut novelist, and the genre he was writing in is especially competitive. I’ve been noticing his name all over the internet now, and it turns out that he’s writing nonfiction and has a book contract with a great publishing house. I’m thrilled for him! I decided to reach out to him via email to see if he has an agent. It turns out that he does; so my query was rejected. I’m sure some of you have a bit of experience with rejected queries, right? 🙂 Thankfully, he let me down nicely.
I’m not telling this story to guilt that author or anything–it’s obvious that God has a plan for his writing career, and his current agent is part of that. I just want to use it as an illustration for each of you. Know that even if years have passed, a good connection with a writer at a conference or via email is often remembered by the agent. Even though the projects this writer pitched to me at the time weren’t the right fit, I was still very interested in him and would have been happy to receive a note asking if I might be interested in his move to nonfiction.
If you felt that you connected with an agent on a personal level, even if your project wasn’t the right fit, know that that agent might be open to future ideas from you. Sending an email query for a new book idea is a good idea! If the agent chooses not to take a look at your new project, there’s still no harm done.
Also, keep in mind that an interested agent could be watching you online right now. Knowing that, is there anything you should be doing differently? Your blog posts, tweets, Facebook page, or website could all lead to an agent reaching out to you. Sometimes an author-agent relationship is formed through the agent contacting the author. It’s not always the other way around.
For those of you who have agents, who made the connection, you or your agent?
For the writers out there who are currently unagented, what do you see as your “best feature”? What is going to make an agent seek you out, and how can you highlight that attribute through your online presence?
Agents get rejected too! A story of an agent reaching out to an author. Via @rachellkent Click to tweet.
Literary Agent @rachellkent shows that agents might seek out authors. It’s not always the other way around. Click to tweet.
What’s your best feature? What will make lit. agents seek you out, and how can you highlight it online? @rachellkent Click to tweet.