There is a lot of information on the web telling new writers how to get an agent, how to write a query, how to hone their submissions. You can find plenty of writing competitions to get exposure as a new writer and plenty of writers willing to critique your work, cheerlead you on and help you through those submission doldrums. However, what happens next? What happens when you finally receive The Call and get the agent of your dreams?
Yes, I do believe that this is my agent! She is NINJA awesome!
Stepping from one arena into the next is a big step and for the newly agented writer it’s easy to feel a little lost on what you are supposed to do and how you are supposed to feel. This is where I’d like to stress that it is SO vital that you don’t just sign with an agent because they are the only one who called. You need to pick an agent who is a complimentary match to you.
If you’re a no nonsense, straight shooter then you might not want a bubbly, super friendly agent who checks in just to see if you’re doing okay. On the other hand, if you’re a talkative, energetic writer then you might not match up well with an agent who only wants to contact you if and when they have some news for you.
That’s why picking the right agent is SO important. While it can be hard to resist taking an offer because “OMG I NEED AN AGENT” it is very important that you pick the right person. Remember, this is a person you are hopefully going to work with for years to come. It’s best if you pick the right person.
So what happens when you do have that agent? Well, it can depend on the type of person you have representing you. I have a very fun, bubbly friendly agent who communicates regularly and is open to my many newbie questions. She calls to reassure me, she emails to update me and she touches base with me on twitter and facebook often. She also promotes me wherever she can.
But what’s my end in this deal?
Well, to work through my edits in a professional and timely manner. To discuss where the book is going and what the best way to move forward is. To make sure I build up my platform. To network on social media hubs such as twitter and facebook. To run a good blog or website where I can pay forward what I know.
And that’s the key – be proactive and pay forward what you learn. Reach out and meet the network of writers and readers out there. Give all you can. You are your brand. You have to be someone people want to connect to.
And be prepared. I need to do my homework and not expect my agent to do everything for me. I need to go out there and learn what I can about the business. It’s important in this day and age that writers don’t just write, they have to learn how to promote and market themselves as well.
But after all that is said…WRITE. Write and learn and improve your craft. Keep creating books that your agent can sell. Learn from your edits on your first book and make sure your second book doesn’t make the same mistakes. Absorb all of the knowledge you can.
So, when you do finally get that call, remember this is actually where the work begins. Hats off to all my querying writer friends out there. Keep at it. But when you do finally get The Call make sure you’re ready to put your nose to the grindstone and start building your career.