Monday, February 15, 2010

Submitting to Agents and Dating

I've heard the analogy, that finding an agent is like dating. After all you're looking for a long term relationship with someone who will love you (or at least your work), and who is communicative, enthusiastic, professional, etc.

Except its not like dating at all. Unless you're dating on the Bachelor.

Because let's face it, when you send out that query letter, you've already vetted the agent and presumably assumed that they have what it takes to market your work. The agent is the awesome guy that everyone is vying for. Now how to make yourself stand out from the pack?

With the query, it's not so much a date as an audition. Is my manuscript pretty enough, funny enough, engaging enough, to make it past the producers? Will my manuscript ever even get to meet the Bachelor, er agent?

And when you do make it past the query stage, and the agent requests sample pages, it is a bit like a first date. But it's a first date with 30 other pretty, funny, engaging manuscripts hanging around in the background, waiting for their shot with the agent.

Maybe you get a rose or two, and the field gets narrowed. Things feel like they're really clicking. And you make it all the way to meet the parents and the agent reads your full manuscript. Great news, right?

So your manuscript was selected from the 100s, possibly thousands who auditioned. You made it through some rose ceremonies. All the way to the finale. At this point, half the country (or at least your family and friends) is routing for you. And you just might get picked. Or you might get kicked in the teeth on national television.

I don't know about you, but when I was dating, my husband didn't already have an established girlfriend that was his top priority or a throng of women competing for his attention. (Okay, there were one or two, but that's another story).

I know that a beautiful story is all it takes. And if it's really good, the tables can be turned. So maybe my manuscript will go on to be the Bachelorette.

It worked for Trista.

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