Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Ummm…where was I? Oh, yes. Now I remember. Before we were so rudely interrupted by my little ghostly hallucinations (which turned out to be my husband falling asleep with his finger on the TV remote), I was telling you about my publishing adventure…

After finishing my first story and editing the tar out of it, I began the QUEST FOR THE ELUSIVE AGENT. My first move was to buy a used copy of Wr!ter’s M@rket from H@lf Pr!ce Books. It lists publishers, literary agencies and agents, and gives advice on how to get published. It also had a free trial for the online version of the book. I spent hours gleaning a list of agents who took my genre, and small publishers who accepted non-agented submissions. Once I had my list complete (or thought I did), I read up on how to write a query letter. I thought I had this thing whipped. I tried to cram as much information possible onto one page. Big mistake. You know the acronym KISS? (keep it simple, stupid?) This goes for querying, too. I found out the hard way.

When the first request for my manuscript from a small publisher rolled in about three weeks into querying, I thought I hit the motherload!  It took everything in me to keep from doing cartwheels down the middle school hallway. I felt like Sally Field getting her first Oscar. They like me! They really, really like me! Well, my Oscar moment lasted about two days. It took me that long to realize I’d been treated to a genu-ine P.T Barnum snozwangle. (Don’t bother looking it up—there is no definition). In other words, I’d been duped. Sucker-punched. After some investigating (remember, I really, REALLY like to stalk, er, I mean research things on the internet), I realized that I was dealing with a vanity  publisher. A vanity publisher will publish just about anything, and in most cases, requires the author to buy dozens of copies. After speaking to several published authors, I finally got it through my head that money should always flow TO the author. (Thank you, YOG!)  I also found out from the YOG-ites that the way to be considered by big publishing houses is by getting an agent. Most won’t accept unagented authors. So, after getting burned a couple of times, I took their Yoggy advice.

I reworked my query even more, shortened it a bit, and sent it out to a new batch of agents. Then I waited. And prayed. And sacrificed small farm animals . . . Just as I eyed my husband’s parakeet (Would he notice that Bird was missing? How bad do burnt feathers smell? I could tell him that the dog ate another one . . .)  the requests started trickling in. From legitimate agents. Who repped best-selling authors. They like me!!!  Long story short, they eventually passed, but invited me to submit future work. The responses definitely pumped my ego, but I’d been querying for almost five months, had a few dozen rejections under my belt, plus, it was the Christmas season, and I was exhausted. So, I took a break and joined the real world. Temporarily.

Five months later, I sat down at my laptop and discovered the map that would lead me to THE ELUSIVE AGENT . . .


  1. I can't wait for the next installment!

  2. I had the same thing. I probably sent out about 30 queries to agents. I had three request full manuscripts. Two rejected me, but said they would love to represent me if I ever wanted to go into "Christian fiction". One called me outright and offered me representation the next day (Denise!) and the other requested my manuscript. I never heard back, still waiting. But, I'm agented and I'm happy about that. Also, happy to have a friend in the same boat!

  3. Maybe we should start a PREACHER'S WIVES CLUB! That could be quite eye-opening for a lot of readers...