Last night I spent about six hours researching literary agents. Armed with a notebook, the internet, and a copy of Writers and Artists Yearbook 2013, I powered through the listing selecting the agencies that accepted the type of novel I have written.
At his point, I would like to bring up the lack of love for Sci-Fi. It’s sad. It really is. Half the time I got really excited about an agency, there was a big ‘No Sci-Fi’ sign slapped on. Unhappy days. Especially when it’s not even full on gadget gizmo Sci-Fi.
Anyway, ignoring my ‘poor, depressed, unpopular Sci-Fi’ moment, I managed to get this list (of which there is somewhere between twenty and thirty pages) down to a list of 22 Agencies I wanted to look at.
That part took about two and a half hours, including having dinner while flipping pages.
Next came the really fun part. Now, to understand why this is fun, you have to understand that my internet can be compared to a toddler. When it’s happy, everything is great. However, you do get those moments about ten times a day when it stamps its’ foot with nothing more than the phrase ‘Won’t!’
Apparently, my internet was throwing a tantrum last night, as it took me three and a half hours to load twenty-two agency websites, which, apart from a couple that were so snazzy that THEY should have been in a Sci-Fi novel, most were relatively normal ‘not a heavy download’ type websites.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, but Chele, you got 22 agencies to submit to. Well, I didn’t. I ended up with eight, because about ten of the agencies that hadn’t stated that they don’t accept Sci-Fi in the W&A yearbook did state it on their website. Lose another two because they’re not currently accepting submissions, and another two because I got so confused navigating the website that after ten minutes I gave up.
I would like to take this opportunity to tip my hat to those agencies that don’t list their agents on their site. As a writer attending ‘How to Hook and Agent’ conferences, I have been told that you should absolutely write to a specific person. Dear Sir just will not cut it. In fact, I have been told that should you address a cover letter as ‘Dear Sir’ you will most likely be tossed, because they know you haven’t done your research.
Well, to those agencies who don’t list their agents – I appreciate the fact that you have further culled the field for me. It took me half an hour of LinkedIn and reading articles by your agents, but I found them!
So, once again, you’re probably all wondering why I’m laughing so hard to stop myself from crying. Well, it’s because out of the eight submissions I sent today, a whole wopping TWO were done without a mistake.
But Chele, you spent so much time researching, surely you knew their submission requirements?
I did. I do! There was absolutely nothing wrong with the chapters or synopsis that I sent to each agency. Instead, I made the following mistakes:
4 Agencies received submissions dated the 5th of March 2012. I’m submitting a Sci-Fi manuscript, why not throw in a little time travel as well.
1 Agency received a submission dated 5th March 20123, because once I noted my time travel of a year, I figured why not try going further in time.
And 1 agency received two emails, the second because I forgot to attach the attachments to the email. You’d think, writing Sci-Fi and creating technology that I’d be able to send a simple email. Apparently not.
So, Agencies… if you have received a submission from me without one of these mistakes, then I apologise, by that point I had run out of petrol for the time machine, and I… learned how to send an email properly.
If you received a submission with a mistake and are not checking me out to see how much of an idiot I really am… I hope my humour at the situation makes up for my over-excited mistakes.