09 September, 2011

No Excuses Now

Novel finished. Novel proof-read for dodgy punctuation by mother. Synopsis written. Cover letter written. Sample chapters formatted as required by first agent on list. Submission guidelines checked obsessively multiple times. Ego prepared for repeated battering.

Suppose I've got to actually send it off now, don't I?

I spent some time considering whether to go for a bigger agency to start with or a smaller, more personal one. I can see the advantages of both. In the end though, I've picked my first agency just based on the fact that I really like the sound of them. They are biggish but not too big and everything on their website is friendly. Most agencies talk about being "willing" to read work and then everything else they write makes it sound like they're anything but! I've found a few though that are more amiable and this one talks about being "excited" to read work from unpublished authors. They've even provided a little essay from their reader to help you know what they are looking for. They are honest about their statistics - about 6 books a year taken on from about 2400 submissions - but hey, we all know that that's how it is anyway, don't we? A 0.25% chance of success definitely raises expectations from none to slim.

Right, better go and get the printer warmed-up...


  1. Chloe, CONGRATULATIONS on getting to this point, when so many other writers have already lost their way. Yes, your chances of finding success may be small statistically, but you only want the one chance! What is your genre and are you drawing up a list of agents / publishers?

  2. Don't forget JKRowling was turned down so you keep plugging away.Tom is so excited and wants to know how many pages it has.typical 12 year old boy thinks size is everything.oozing with pride from me,love Rachel and gang.xx

  3. Having read it I'm such a proud relative. Go Chloe ~ many times if necessary. Someone will take the trouble to find out what an excellent story it is! Ceve

  4. Thanks everyone.

    Derek, it is a children's fantasy novel and yes I have a list of appropriate agents.

    Rachel,Tom would be a great age for the book! And Sophie in fact. 8 -12 is target market. When it gets published I'll send you a family copy :) It's pretty long - I don't know how many pages it would be in an actual book but its 90 000 words which is long for a children's novel. Sort of the same length as The Prisoner of Azkaban on the Harry Potter scale, if that helps?!

    Just about to head to the post office now...

  5. I'm so ready to push your book when I'm back home in Waterstones. Front and centre my friend! Front and centre!

  6. Yes Claire! Just got to get a publisher first...

  7. Congratulations on getting to this point, Chloe - that in itself is a great achievement :) Good luck, and let us know how it goes. And if at first you don;t succeed....
    Try again, of course.

    Nari X

  8. Fingers crossed for you, Chloe. Nari's right - it's a great achievement getting to this point. You seem to have the right attitude and a lot of belief in your work, so that should help tremendously.

    I wish you the very best of luck with it!

  9. Thanks Nari and Dan - it's nice knowing some writers who know what it's all about!

  10. Most importantly, I'm very pleased for you to have got the job done. You deserve the success that comes with all the effort.
    I've been through all your entries of September and you've really been going for it. Paul will be so proud of you too I'm sure because he'll have seen first hand how much time and energy has been spent on the task.

    Following that, I can't believe I haven't been over here for weeks! Thank you for checking out my blog recently.
    I really have allowed 'life' to take over and affect my writing time and it's difficult to get back up and running, but I will.

    Keep up the good work Chloe, though perhaps you should take a rest first!


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