Posts Tagged ‘speed dating’

Pitching to a Literary Agent doesn’t have to be like Speed Dating

I’m not much of a speed dating type of girl. I get my romance tips from comic books and film noir and believe in the date ’em one at a time approach.

A couple of weeks ago I pitched to agents and there were some that were reserved and others that just clicked with me. While I’m happy for the opportunity for meeting multiple agents I’d prefer their submission to be special. Meaning, I’m not into multiple submissions. I know with many writers it’s a shotgun approach to submission with the thought that a writer may miss their window of opportunity.

I can’t live like that because when I send you a manuscript I want you to know that I sent it to you and only you. I picked you out of the sea of agents to show you my work in hopes that you believe I have the chops to write well and in hopes that we can work as a team. It’s a two way street. We can be of value to one another and make a good team.

I know the term EXCLUSIVITY towards an agent is frowned by writers but I see it as something special.

Really sit with it, meditate on it.

An agent is believing in your work so much they want to be first to see it. The good point is if you both gel then this could make for one awesome business partnership. The negative means you don’t get to “date others” for about two weeks to a month while the first agent is looking at your work.

If rules/boundaries are established with the first agent that they will only have a certain amount of time to look at your work then what is the problem?

You give your word or a handshake or both and send out a manuscript to one agent at a time and while you’re waiting you write, you edit, you enter contest, you hope you’re both the right fit. After a month has passed you either get rejection, acception or silence. If it’s silence then speak up and tell them that you are asking for a response so that you can proceed further since this is a career choice for you. Let them know that you respect their time just as you KNOW they respect yours as a professional writer.

No matter what you do sending out submissions is a waiting game and for that it’s stressful and it’s a hard lesson on being patient. Personally I’d rather get feedback one agent at a time than from multiple agents all at once and try to decipher too much feedback.

Do not ever make your decisions based on fear or anxiety. Be wise about your choices and if you decided to shotgun submit then good luck to you and for those that prefer one at a time then good luck too.