Posted by: nancyisanders | November 20, 2012

Steps to Find an Agent: Parts 7 and 8

Step 7
7. I selected what I felt was my best picture book of all and sent it out on its first round of simultaneous submissions to the big agencies that were pretty famous in the industry. I never heard back from most of them, but some of them responded personally. I just submitted it to every agent I wrote down on my first chart.

Step 8
8. Now, here’s where I really started pumping out the writing. Remember how I said how some agents and publishers need new material fast? Once I started hearing personally from agents, I really dug in and studied these particular agents. Meaning I went to their websites. I looked at their list of clients they represent. I looked at their list of titles they were currently landing contracts for. And then I tried to write brand new manuscripts that would fit into this.

Soon I was narrowed down to one big agency who was seriously looking at my stuff. The main response from this agency was that they liked my writing but that they hadn’t fallen in love with one of my manuscripts yet.

The bottom line of every agent I contacted was that they needed a manuscript they loved. No matter how many books I’d already written or how many awards my books have won. They each wanted a manuscript they loved. And this was a very personal thing for each of them. What one agent loved another one didn’t and what one agent didn’t care for another agent loved.

So for about 4 months, I studied this one agent’s list of clients and list of books she repped and I really worked to write new picture book manuscripts for her. She would ask me for revisions and I revised per her suggestions and resubmitted.

But finally, she said she just didn’t think we were a match.

So, that was my last agent on my first list. I had submitted to all the really big agencies or agencies that had a lot of agents working for them, and had gotten rejections all around. Now I was ready to work with my second list.

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