Update: How not to get a literary agent

For those who followed my novel saga on the previous post. The agent got back to me. She said…  

Dear Juliet,

You are quite possibly unhinged, but version 2 (based on the measly pitch you sent me) does sound stronger. Do send the opening three chapters and synopsis. 

Yours expectantly, 

Ms Literary agent

OK, well maybe she didn’t word it exactly like that, but she did want to see version 2. This is great news. I have a goal to aim for, which is always useful when you are 40,00 words in and wondering why you started the flippin’ thing in the first place.

9 thoughts on “Update: How not to get a literary agent”

  1. Hi Juliet
    Thanks for your kind comment on YWO. Thought I’d see what you were up to and this led me to your blog.

    I really felt your pain over your agency tribulations. It was a combination of luck and pride which stopped me sending out novel no.1 to any high-profile agents. After 9 rejections from small agencies/publishers, I figured ‘Eve Nation’ wasn’t good enough and started novel no.2. Having finished that and had a request for the full M/S, I’m now re-writing ‘Eve Nation’. And like yours, I’m pretty sure the second version will be a much better novel.

    But I think you’re being a bit harsh on yourself. It’s not insanity which makes us send to agents. It’s hope and belief in our story. And those are 2 very necessary components if we are to keep going.

    So good luck with the rewrite.
    P.S. Interested to see you post on Authonomy, as well as YWO. I didn’t get on with Authonomy at all, because it seemed like too much of a social club, where if I wasn”t prepared to spend time networking/currying favour, I wouldn’t get reviews. Finding that YWO worked completely differently was therefore a huge relief to me.

  2. Hi Laurinder, Thank you so much for coming over here. Eve Nation really stuck with me. I really hope the agent takes you and it on. I am about to send my opening chapters and synopsis off to the agent – but procrastinating like crazy.

    I like Authonomy and YWO for different reasons. I have made a number of good relationships through Atuhonomy – other writers I can contact to ask to read my work and help me with synopses etc (this takes place through email). I am also a member of the Womens fiction group – we have a group thread running and all critique the same book (a new one every two weeks) – I find that group wonderfully supportive and the critiquing very useful. YWO is good for unbiased feedback and gut reactions, but difficult to build relationships. All these sites can be terrible distractors from actually writing, but I feel I have got the balance about right. I have no interest in reaching the desk on Authonomy (you have to be on there 24 hours a day to get noticed), but I like getting into the YWO top ten, even if the professional feedback is quite gentle and not very specific.

    As for insanity – believing I write well enough for others to want to read it, is I guess a little bit mad 🙂

  3. Fantastic update, very pleased for you.

    Interesting to see the discussion above about YWO and Autho. I tried YWO first, and am still a member, but found the forum awful. It seemed everyone was laying into each other and at that time there were more spite threads than thank you threads. I tried again with the first new writers comp and then the boards were full of messages complaining about the new members and how terrible YWO were for encouraging them to join. I found Autho and stuck with it.

    I do think Autho is a school playground and I’ve no interest in joining in the love-ins and scrapping that goes on it. I do however, find the crit groups very useful and prefer to get an upfront choice on what I read, rather than having a book to review, automatically picked out for me.

    If the two could be amalgamated maybe we’d have the perfect peer review site!

  4. Thanks for coming over here, Lesa, I don’t mind being allocated reads on YWO, and you can reject 5 choices in 24 hours, so I usually find something. Autho is great for the women’s fiction group and the few writer buddies I have collected there, but as for the rest, supreme time wasting and I’d rather be writing.

  5. I loved the ‘unhinged’ comment! For sure, more than one person has decided that about me. Glad to have company. Pat McA

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