By K.L. Brady
Well, landing a literary agent wasn’t easy for me. Not even close. As a matter of fact, if there’s a more circuitous route to getting an agent, I don’t know what that would be.
I wrote my first novel in the summer of 2008, entered it into a contest in January 2009 and was disqualified early on. Very early on. The next question in my mind was—now what? I had no experience in the publishing industry. I really didn’t know what a literary agent was until I started networking more frequently with author-friends. Everyone kept saying that they were querying agents to get their books into publishing houses. When I visited the sites of major publishing houses, nearly every single one said submit your work through a literary agent. So the first thing I did was begin to Google literary agents. I wanted to find out who they were and what they did.
Over at Beyond the Books, I found an interesting blog about U.S. author, K.L. Brady, and her experience in getting a literary agent. Not only does she have one now, but a 2-book deal with Simon and Schuster. You may or may not know the blog site ‘Beyond the Books’ or the Guest Blogger, K.L. Brady, but the journey is the same for any of us who have tried to land an agent.
I was particularly interested in K.L.’s experience because it reminded me of my own.
1: Getting a script ready to send out to agents
2: Waiting for months to be told it is not what they’re looking for
3: Revising the story and sending out to new agents.
4: Pulling out chunks of hair because you’re relying on little to no feedback to figure out how to fix the problem.
A friend of mine recently asked if I had an agent in a you-must-have-one-by-now kind of way. I told her that I hadn’t; its not that easy people! I guarantee you that if I had an agent, I would be throwing a mini party in my honour (agent is only the first step, publishing deal is the second). While there are different ways to get a book published, an agent can guide you through the minefield that is traditional publishing. When an agent identifies your work as something they would like to represent, they are giving you the thumbs up. That must be a good feeling.
Those who have never been through the tireless search for an agent, shouldn’t undermine the effort that potential authors put themselves through. They don’t understand. It is a gruelling, thankless, harsh and ego-deflating process.
Any of us out there who have been down the route of searching for a literary agent will find K. L. Brady’s experience encouraging – sometimes it works out, other times it doesn’t but it won’t ever happen without a lot of hard graft from the author.