Monday, January 9, 2012

Déjà Vu or a Dream Coming True

About this time last year, I was getting over my heartbreak about not getting what I wanted for Christmas-- an offer of representation from a literary agent. I was able to get over the disappointment quickly when an offer came at the start of the New Year. There was just one caveat. Isn’t there always?

The agent was new. At the time, she had made just a few sales and still wasn’t making a great deal of money at her job. When she made the offer, I was mulling over whether or not I wanted to accept it. Having a literary agent doesn’t do much good if that agent doesn’t have the contacts in the publishing industry to make sales on your behalf. That being said, I wanted to give the agent the benefit of the doubt. Much like I was a new author trying to break into the business and wanted someone to give me a chance, I opted to give her a chance.

It wasn’t long after signing with her that I began to regret the decision. As a prior editor, the agent wanted to make changes to my novel that went beyond copy editing changes. I took exception to that. If she didn’t like the novel as it was written, why did she agree to represent it? After several lengthy emails between the two of us, we agreed to exercise the mutual opt out clause of our contract and went our separate ways. Rather than seek out a new agent after that disaster, I took my work to the web and have since gained a steady and constantly growing following.

As you know from my post last week, I was reflecting on my writing career, both where it’s been and where I want it to go. Being that I just completed a new manuscript that has yet to see the light of day and I’m rather proud of if I do say so myself, I’ve decided to go for it. Yes, I’m trying to find a new agent. Of course, I did rethink that decision a bit when I got three rejection emails before nine this morning!

While I’ve gotten the expected stream of rejection, I’ve also had a couple of bites. The first of those bites came last week.  After the agent asked to see my first three chapters, I took to the web to see if I could find out her track record. Is she a legitimate agent or a scammer? Is she making money for clients or asking for money? I found nothing. As it turns out, she’s new to the business. She’s a writer turned literary agent.

Although it’s jumping the gun a bit to assume she’ll offer to represent me, I’m still overcome with the sense of déjà vu. It seems to me I’ve been through the whole new agent thing before. That’s not to say it will turn out the same way, but it leaves me a bit leery.  If she does make me an offer, I’ll have to think long and hard about it provided I’m happy with the terms of the contract. Who knows? Maybe it won’t matter anyway. Maybe the other agent who responded to me this morning, the agent with a proven track record of success with some well known publishers, will like my work and offer to represent me. Maybe it will become a moot point and I won’t be stuck wondering.

Is this déjà vu or my dream finally coming true?

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