So, the next agency on my list is from the other end, not because they don’t look good but more the opposite, they are clearly high powered and I… well, I’m not. I can’t imagine them wanting to look at my stuff but it would be pretty wet not to have a go.
Very different to the last one, which had no mention of who it represented merely its ethos and submission guidelines. This one lists all its authors in meticulous detail, no submission guidelines, just a simple query letter. I’ve written what I want to say – now to let it rest until Monday before printing and sending it.
The website is huge, they have six agents with two associate agents – all have huge long lists of authors although the site gives excellent information. Being a Mum and all, progress on these things, while steady, is usually slow. There are glaciers which move faster I suspect. I was a bit daunted so I rang them and asked who I should approach for Children’s Fantasy fiction.
The reply I got was basically. “We’re not telling you! Look on our website and find out for yourself.” I was a little taken aback and as I resigned myself to another couple of weeks slow progress Mr McGuire stepped in and saved the day – thank you thank you – by whisking junior off for japes in the garden for an hour. I was able to do my research and naturally the one who seems to have the most writers of children’s fantasy fiction on his list – including a couple of very famous ones – was the last one I looked at.
That’s a little bit cocky – I’ve had a career in marketing and I’ve never encountered this kind of attitude towards the “bread and butter” before. Even so, it turns out to be a bit of a hidden blessing. There are probably about 20 or 30 book blurbs for the kind of stuff I write on there for pukka best selling authors. So I will gain a great deal by reading and absorbing how they sell their work. Not a synopsis but a great starting point for writing a treatment… for a query letter for example. Handy stuff turns up in all sorts of places.
So… if you want to read up on some book blurbs for pretty much any genre you care to mention go here and click on the authors section and read away.
As for my submission, they contact you if they like your letter, if they don’t you don’t hear – definitely the please-don’t-write-in-unless-you-absolutely-have-to school this one – so I’ve told them I’ll give them three weeks to reply and then carry on with my search for an agent elsewhere.
It’s like trying to get an interview for the only job in the country… I read somewhere that JK Rowling ended up with 20 rejections before anyone took up Harry Potter. I can imagine how.