Scary right? Nah, here check it out:
Considering My Author Goals
My short-term goals as a writer are pretty straightforward and common: obtain representation through an agent, finish my novel, get a publishing contract, and start another work. Long-term goals are a little different.
What I’d really like to do besides open a bookstore is help other writers tell their own best stories.
I think a great way to do that is to become a teacher or professor, which is why I’m on the teaching track for the MFA program. I can always accomplish this goal by editing, proofing, and beta-reading for other authors. Who doesn’t love someone who’s willing to workshop, right? But all that will come along side and slightly later than the short-term steps, so let’s stick to them.
Being Truthful and Realistic
When it comes to the agency I’d like to work with, I think a smaller, more personal one would be a better fit for me.
While it would be neat to say that I’m represented by some big, hot shot house, it’s not neat enough for me to give up the touch I’m going to need to make it through this journey.
I’m going to need someone who’s a great editor, a patient person, and a real cheerleader who is enthusiastic about my work. It seems like all those qualities, as well as person with the time to invest in me, would be easier to find someplace a little smaller.
Where to Look
It may be a benefit for me to look into Science Fiction centered agencies since they have lots of connections within the genre. But, I’ll also have to battle a boatload of other great SF stories coming across their desks.
While I think my story is the best thing out there, it may not be, and there’s going to be plenty of work for comparison.
At a more open agency, they won’t be as connected to specifically Science Fiction, but I could find myself next to some really great stories without as much genre competition. It’s sort of an either or scenario, a tie, that would probably be broken by the right agent.
Who Might Be the Best Fit
The right agent will have to be a heck of an editor, willing to communicate, and have some strong feelings about my work… or at least fake it really well. They’ll have to be willing to invest time into my story as well as time into me when I have mini-break downs over a rejection or need a little lifting.
I know it’s not their job to coddle me and I do have other cheerleaders, but getting a few rah-rah’s from the agent will definitely help. Besides, it’ll help me to feel like they really believe in the story and will do their best at presenting it.
In that light, I’d prefer to communicate fairly often as far as author-agent communication goes. Once or twice in a two week period works with emails. I’d like a phone call at least once a month and of course, whenever there’s an update. I’d prefer that they call me that way I can’t misunderstand their intentions or tone, which can be an issue sometimes via email or text message.
How to Move Forward
If the mythic awesome agent is open to hybrid publication paths, well then all the better. That’s just more exposure and the possibility for more readers to enjoy what I’m doing.
The idea is to make as many people aware of the story as possible, right?
That way it can find those who would most enjoy it and might open pathways that where not available before. If other authors are enjoying my work and feeling comfortable with me, maybe they’ll reach out and allow me to help them become their own best storytellers. Also, reaching as much of an audience as possible just might pay off in popularity, maybe making it a little easier to enter a teaching career and lending me a bit of legitimacy as an expert or just ring me up as a best-seller… that works, too.
Oh and Mr. Galen, if you’re reading, I’m looking at you pal!