Friday, 11 March 2011

How I Found my Agent

One question I would always want to ask an agented author is ‘how did you find your agent?’ The routes taken are not always conventional.

So although I’m sure you could find the answer by trawling through this blog, I thought I would tell you about how I found mine.

Early in 2010 I noticed a discussion on the Strictly Writing blog about networking. Someone was complaining about not having any networking opportunities because they lived out in the sticks, and a number of people had chipped in that there are other ways of networking – you don’t have to live in London!

Now since I live out in the sticks I found this discussion very interesting. Especially when someone mentioned that agents often offer 1-2-1 sessions at Literary Festivals and one such festival was the Frome Festival – a mere 1 ½ hours from where I live! In fact Rachel Ward, author of the very successful Numbers series, was picked up by Chicken House at one of these 1-2-1 sessions at the Frome Festival a couple of years ago.

I checked out their website and when I saw that one of the agents was Julia Churchill from Greenhouse Literary I made sure I booked myself a slot and duly sent off my first chapter and synopsis.

Then I had to sit down and make sure I had the thing finished in time! A good job I did because when I turned up for my slot she asked for the full. I sent it off the moment I got home and the rest, as they say, is history.

14 comments:

  1. It's always interesting to hear how others achieve their writing milestones, and congratulations again, Kate!

    Agents are a poignant subject for me right now -- the agent who first signed me up died this morning.

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  2. Hi Thomas,

    I heard about that poor agent from someone I know on Litopia who was also a client of theirs.

    I'm so sorry to hear such sad news. ((hugs to all of you))

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  3. I'm sorry to ask such a dumb question. But I'm very new to this; What is a 1-2-1 session?

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  4. It's not a dumb question at all. I should have explained - you book a slot with and agent or editor for a consultation. In my cast the slot was 20 mins and I had to send her my first chapter and synopsis a month beforehand. The idea is to get feedback on your work from an industry professional.

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  5. Thanks for sharing this! I love reading stories about people found their agents. Hearty congratulations!

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  6. Thanks, Kate for this very useful post. I have a question about the agency/author fit. How did you determine that this agency might have an interest in your genre? Was it just good luck, or did you have an idea of their track record and represented authors going in?

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  7. How interesting, Kate! It just shows there are opportunities out there - it's just a question of finding them. :)

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  8. Thatnk you guys, I'm glad you find this interesting. If you pop back over the next few weeks I'm going to me welcoming some guest bloggers who will tell us their own agent stories.

    And Richard. It's quite simple. Most agents have a website and will usially specifiy the genres they are interested. If not then check out their clients. What sorts of books do they publish? If the agent doesn't have a website google them and you should find the author websites of some clients. And if all those draw a blank it's time to ask if that is really an agent worth including on your list.

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  9. It's always a lot of work and a little bit of luck, isn't it? Congratulations on finding your agents! Greenhouse is a terrific agency!

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  10. I can just imagine how exciting that must have been! I love to hear success stories, keep us posted on the rest of the publishing process please :)

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  11. Thanks for sharing! I've heard of so many ways that people meet their agents, it seems like luck and timing and a whole lotta work! Congrats on finding yours!! :)

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  12. Just read this and some of your guest authors and Finding Agents. I met Julia Churchill at West Sussex Writers Club evening back in early March where she gave an excellent and informative talk. She seemed a really nice lady. I was well excited at the time because she had requested to see full manuscript of my children's novel that I had pitched to her. But as I read in one your guest author tales I too had made the rookie mistake of submitting an incomplete manuscript - unfinished and unpolished. Rejection was hard! But I've now just finished the first draft - and the comments I received early in the process were tremendous help. Now I need to edit and polish and edit again before trying again with other agents!

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