Happy Friday, everyone! Are you gearing up for the weekend?
Part Three of the Seymour Agency "THE CALL" blog hop hosted by the Seymour
Agency Promotions Manager, Tonya Kuper! Want to know what happened in the aftermath of "the call" from my wonderful agent Nicole Resciniti? Check
out my answer to the questions below.
TONYA: After "the call." What happened after
the day/night of the call? Did you have to give other agents a heads up?
How long before you signed papers? How long have you had your current
agent? Has your agent sold your work? If so, can you give any details
(Title, genre, release date)? Do you have words for aspiring writers or
readers of your category and genre?
KAIT: While on the phone with Nicole, I was so tempted to scream right then that I accepted her offer because of how excited I was (which probably would have been a relief to Nic so she didn't have to wait in suspense to find out my decision), but I knew from all the author advice and agent blogs I'd read that I should preview my options before I made a decision. It's important to find who is the best fit for you. I told Nic that several other agents had the full manuscript and that I would get back to her within the next few days once I'd heard from them.
After that, my night was normal. I went to work (this is when I was still dancing professionally at an Arabic restaurant near Orlando FL) and the whole time all I could think about was the fact that I'd received an offer of representation. And only two weeks after I'd just got engaged! My life felt like pure bliss. When I got home late that night, I emailed the other agents.
As Nic told me in our initial call, once you get an offer from one agent, it's like dropping a bucket of blood into a pool of sharks--they swarm and suddenly everyone is looking for a bite. She was exactly right. After hearing back from the other agents, I couldn't help but feel that their excitement about my manuscript was forced--as if they wanted it only because someone else did. I won't name names, but I even had one agent get mad because I asked her for a response within the next week. She angrily told me that she couldn't fulfill that request and if I wanted to work with her I could be patient, and she should receive fair and ample time to review my novel just like the other agent had. She complained because she'd only had my manuscript for a week when I told her about the offer and she'd been 'so excited for the project'. I informed her "the offering agent" (I wasn't going to drop Nic's name) had only had the manuscript one day before she offered, (much less time than the angry agent had) so there was no "fair time" about it. Needless to say, I respectfully told her I wasn't interested in working with her lol. The majority of the other agents were much more gracious.
But I digress...
With Nicole, I knew she genuinely wanted to represent my material since she was the first to offer. Ultimately, (aside from the fact that she is an amazing person and fabulous businesswoman) being the first to offer along with her enthusiasm about my work is what made me choose her above the others. I'm so glad that I did! Though several of the other agents had been in the business longer than Nicole (Nic was still a 'newer' agent at that point), I didn't care. I knew in my heart that Nic would do right by me and that she would champion my work, and she's done exactly that. Now, she's a Publisher's Marketplace top-dealmaker agent! Needless to say, I made the right decision. ;-)
I accepted Nic's offer several days after her initial call and it was about two weeks after that when I signed the agency contract. Nic has been my agent for slightly over a year now, though it seems like I've known her for much longer. She's an amazing person, a great friend, and a wonderful agent to boot. My manuscript went on submission in November of 2011 after several rounds of edits and Harlequin purchased it in May 2012 (they were the fourth publisher to offer, but offered the best deal by far--a three book contract to be exact!). That paranormal romance manuscript Nic signed me for is now titled TWILIGHT HUNTER. It's the first in my Execution Underground paranormal romance series and it releases with Harlequin's single-title HQN line in September of this year (2013). I also have a prequel to the series which Nicole later sold on proposal releasing in July. The prequel is called SHADOW HUNTER and will appear in an anthology called AFTER DARK alongside NYT and USA bestselling paranormal romance author, Gena Showalter.
As cliched as it sounds, my advice to other writers going through the submission process is to never give up! Twilight Hunter was my third manuscript. Though it was picked up within a month or so of me querying it, I'd queried two other manuscripts throughout the course of 3 years before that. I received hundreds of rejections. But you can't let those deter you and you can't give up. Keep striving to improve and some day, you'll get there. Learn from your slip ups and your mistakes and push forward. The difference between writers who will never be published and multi-published bestselling authors is determination and sheer stubbornness (don't take one rejection as the final answer). And pay attention to those rejections also! Once you start getting personalized non-form rejections, (that say you're writing is fabulous, strong, great, whatever [insert personalized compliment], but it's just not what they're looking for) know that you're getting very close! All it takes is one yes for the whole world of publishing to open up to you.
I hope you've enjoyed my "call" story! And thank you to Tonya for hosting this lovely blog hop! Have a great weekend!