Over the years I have had several agents:
HM was my very first agent for a single YA romance that only sold to Germany. I was so new and scared of everything in the business that when she took me on I was so grateful that I didn’t even research her or attempt to get with any other agents or anything. (Of course this was pre-Internet times too.) It was enough to get me started taking my writing seriously though and that was a good thing.
LC was my agent for an adult ghostwriting project. LC came with the project. I was hired by someone for a ghostwriting project and she and LC had a huge plan for how to make the client a new life via writing. She scared the heck out of me. She is now a big name agent for some big name clients and I am sure she doesn’t remember my name. I am fine with that.
R&J are the agents who sold Can I Pray With My Eyes Open for me. They were full of energy at the start of their business, wooed me over the fairly new Internet and bulletin boards and then went out of business after a few years. It was a learning experience for me and that is always a good thing.
KH sold Oliver’s Must-do List for me and was a tireless promoter of my work. Although she is no longer agenting I am proud to call her friend.
JR is my current extraordinary agent. When she took me on I felt like I had “made it” to an extent because I finally had a fabulous agent at a very big name agency. She had clout and negotiating skills that amazed me. She sold Hugging the Rock for me. Although I’ve given her a historical picture book a year or so ago, since then I’ve sent her nothing (because I had nothing in any shape to send her.) Granted, there was the wind-down time after HTR came out and then the great move and until this weekend, I thought that was okay.
All these years I thought a big part of the great writing quest was to get an agent, to get a great agent that you loved and felt understood you and would go to bat for you and get you wonderful contracts. And when you finally got said fabulous agent, life was good. I figured they would sometimes pester you for your new book but mostly wait patiently (taking care of other clients, of course) until I would send them something else to sell.
Sometimes I am so dense.
After a couple of conversations with other writers this week it dawned on if writers can dump agents then agents can dump writers. And one of the top reasons agents dump writers is that they aren’t giving them anything to sell. They aren’t working hard enough or producing enough to be worthwhile.
I already felt overwhelmed with life and the day job and not enough time to write but now I feel like if I don’t get my agent something soon, I could find myself walking the plank.
That scares me. A lot.
Hopefully enough to push the writing into high gear.