Introductions All Around
If you're reading this, it probably means you're at least somewhat interested in taking part in my March workshop, The Great Agent Search! Welcome! I hope you'll find the presentation useful, as well as entertaining.
I hope you'll introduce yourselves here. Tell me how long you've been writing and where you are as far as literary agents go (never looked, actively looking, have an agent, have had one in the past, etc). I like to have a sense of the 'audience'.
And let me introduce myself, as well! I'm Jenna Petersen. I write historical romance for Avon Books, as well as erotic historical romance for Avon's Red line. My releases have included:
Scandalous (October 2005)
From London With Love (August 2006)
Desire Never Dies (January 2007)
Seduction is Forever (Coming October 2007)
Parlor Games (Jess Michaels, June 2006)
Everything Forbidden (Jess Michaels, November 2007)
And there are more books coming from both my names in 2008. You can check out all the details on my books at http://www.jennapetersen.com
In addition, I created and have maintained a site for aspiring authors called The Passionate Pen since 1999. http://www.passionatepen.com
The site contains a comprehensive listing of publishers who take romance, agents who represent romance, articles for authors and my popular diary of my journey to and beyond publication. I hope you'll come check it out if you're an aspiring author.
Now introduce yourselves! :)
My name is Lori Derby Bingley, and though I've been writing for what feels like forever, I've been published for five years.
I have six books under my belt, five of which are romantic suspense (my favorite), and one that is more of a contemporary romance. I have often thought about getting an agent, but didn't know if it was the right thing to do. Anything would have to be better than sitting back and watching your books rust!
I'm a stay at home mother with five kids, plus I watch two more during the day. I don't get much writing (or any, really) done in the daytime because I refuse to take that time away from the kids. Plus, let's face it, trying to concentrate while three 2 year-olds are playing/fighting is NOT easy!
I would love to hear more about how to go about snatching an agent, and how to keep him/her happy. I have submitted to an agent before, but then retracted because I really hadn't done my homework first. You hear different things about whether this is the right track for an author, so it'll be refreshing to see what you have to say.
Again, thanks for being here, and I look forward to reading more about you!
Welcome Lori! You sound busy, but it's great you still make time for the writing. Hopefully I'll be able to answer most of your questions during the workshop and get you on the right road. Please don't be shy about asking them if I don't!
Anyone else lurking? Come on... I don't bite!
My name is Regina Paul, and I've been writing for years. I went the self-published POD route for my first 3 books and have just signed my first book contract recently after winning a contest for my romantic suspense novella Destiny's Choices.
I'm not presently considering getting an agent because I'm not sure yet if this is something I want to do. I've enjoyed learning what I have so far from the ground up so to speak (you do everything yourself when you self-publish, as you know! LOL) and I like having that control, and understanding the different facets of how everything works. So, for me it would depend I think on a number of factors as to whether or not I would use an agent. I know I need to learn more about the process so that if I do decide to use one later I have a good understanding of how this works. So, that being said I'm looking forward to this workshop. :-)
Hi Regina and welcome! I hope I can be helpful to you in deciding if you want to go for an agent or not. :)
Anybody else out there?
I've been writing "seriously" for about 16 years. I had two paranormal releases with Berkley/Jove in '99 and 2000. Family issues got in the way and I didn't write for quite some time. In 2005 I tried to make a bit of a comeback and since then have sold a number of solo romances to Cerridwen Press, LindenBay Romance and Vintage Romance.
Last year my friend Anne Cain and I sold our first co-written m/m erotic and we now have four books out, two each with Loose ID and Samhain and a couple more on the way.
Anne and I have bene trying to find representation for some urban fantasy work but apparently the combination of the m/m pairing and the fact that our main characters are Asian create a major drawback, according to agent/editor comments.
Welcome! You're in a tough position. I would keep at it, keep trying, but you've probably figured out that it's a tough road. Agents want to make their 15% and if they feel like there isn't a big market for something, they may be less willing to take it on. It's just a business decision for them. Also, they may not have contacts with editors who take on those kinds of stories, which limits their ability to advocate for you and is sometimes why they refuse something outside of their 'norm'.
However, if you can approach them with strong sales numbers, that may help you win someone over who likes the work, but is on the fence about the marketibility. Just something to keep in mind.
My name is Tanya Greene but my pen name is Liadan. I have several stories written but not published. I just entered my first ever writing contest about a week ago. I don't have an agent and don't know much about how that works.
I do have two books in the works at the moment and hopefully I'll be finishing one of them up very shortly and submitting to publishers.
Though my screen name says Jennzilla, I'm Jenna Leigh. I've been a published author for almost a year now. This year will see me having three full-length and two novellas out.
First of all, how does everyone get those neat pictures in their posts?
Seems like I've always wanted to be a writer, but got serious when I joined a Children's Writer's group about ten or so years ago. I quickly realized how much I didn't know so I listened and learned and after much labor...produced a complete book. I contacted my writing mentor's agent and she accepted me. Long story, short. After my rounds, the book was rejected by editors and came home with its tail between its legs.
I wrote a few more stories but it appears my motivation lagged when I didn't have a writer's group. I did write for my local freebie paper and loved doing human interest stories (people always have a story to tell).
I have about three unfinished books hiding somewhere.
I won a Romance Contest (1500 words max) about a middle aged wife coping with husband's beginning Altzeimer's.
So, I am now interested in writing romances and quite excited about it. I know I need an agent, but first I need a book.
Jenna, it will be up to me to get the book out of me (currently, I am facing white page disease), but I am very interested in how to approach an agent. More importantly perhaps, how to approach a good agent.
Can you help?