If you follow me on twitter, you'll know that I've recently landed my dream literary agent; Suzie Townsend of New Leaf Literary. If you don't follow me on Twitter... you should ;) because you know, many exciting things are coming. Now, I know a lot of you are aspiring writers, like I am, so I know a lot of you want to get published, and an agent is the best person to take you through the traditional publishing journey. I am by no means a pro, but listed below are a few things I've learned while querying.
Never give up
Fun fact, Suzie actually rejected me the first time I queried her. About 8 months/a year ago, I think. She was the person I wanted from the very beginning, so it broke my heart when she said no that first time. It broke my heart each time I got that rejection letter, actually. But what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Learn from your mistakes. If it doesn't work out that first time, it doesn't mean it won't work on your second and third time.
Fun Fact: This was my third round of querying. I sent out 15 queries two years ago. Another 30 last year. And around 10 this year.
Reads and followers don't matter. The only thing that matters is the quality of your book.
A lot of you have messaged me telling me that you wish you can get published, but you don't have enough reads or followers. I'll tell you what I told every single one of them; that is the most stupid thing I've ever heard. There are some insane and amazing stories on here that only have a couple of hundred reads. I didn't land my agent because of my reads, or followers.
The first time I queried I had 90K followers and 70 million reads. Last year when I queried I had 170K followers and 90 million reads. Agents and publishers don't care about how many reads you have. They care about you; whether you are a good writer. And they care about your story; whether it's a good story.
I have a friend who had about 20 followers and 1K reads when she landed her agent and went on to get published by one of the big six.
I have a friend who had 90K reads and 8K followers when she landed an agent and went on to sell her book to one of the big six.
I have a friend who had around 200K reads and had 5K followers and went on to sell her book for a major six-figure deal in an extremely heated bidding war. And I have friends who have more reads than I have, more followers than I have, and haven't landed an agent, or a gotten a publishing deal
So if your book isn't getting millions of reads, don't let that discourage you from pursuing publishing. Because in all honesty? It doesn't matter. I still got rejections on this round of querying. And this time I had 200,000K followers and 100M reads.
Fun Fact: I actually found I got more replies and requests on the queries where I didn't mention my Wattpad profile at all.
But, of course, there are people who have found success off Wattpad through their extortionate number of reads, but that's one in a billion. Literally. A billion. But not everybody can get a billion reads. That's pretty much impossible. One in a billion can probably get a billion reads *does tha thing with the drum when you make a good pun lol*
Find a good fit
It's so important to query only the agents who represent what you want to write. Don't query a non-fiction agent with a YA book. Or a YA agent with an erotica book.
When I was querying I used QueryTracker to look for agents. Also, I always visited the agent's profile before I queried them, to check they represent the genre of the books I was querying.
FOLLOW THE SUBMISSION GUIDELINES
GOD THIS ONE THIS ONE THIS ONE THIS ONE!!!
Most agencies have a submission guideline of how you should send your query, and please follow it. This is so important.
An agent doesn't charge fees. So if anyone asks you to pay them to read your manuscript/represent you, run the other way.
An agent earns off their client's earnings. Usually around 15%; sometimes higher and sometimes lower.
Please don't get scammed :(
So this is about it. I hope this helps, and you've enjoyed it.
Remember, if you want something bad enough, and you are willing to put in the hard work, you will succeed.
Who would have thought a girl who didn't learn English until she was 12 could land her dream literary agent? Hard work pays off, kids.
PS THANK YOU FOR ALL THE KIND MESSAGES! IT MAKES ME SO HAPPY THAT YOU GUYS ARE HAPPY FOR ME <3
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