a fresh merry go round
Alas, I need to find a new agent. Alas, one of the things about being an artist is needing to accept a high level of rejection of your product. I got a surprisingly positive letter back from my prospective agent, complete with suggestions on who else I might contact to try and secure a new agent, but utlimately the message was my manuscript wasn't right for him to shop around. Agents have to be 100% committed to the product (perhaps even more than the writer) to successfully pitch a novel idea to conservative publishers. Without that commitment, everyone's time is wasted. Most publishers will not accept unsolicited manuscripts without an agent. Alas, agents play an almost indespensible middle man role if traditional publishing is what you seek.
I sometimes think that matching agents to writers is a little bit like trying to match two people in a speed dating process. The writer is the prospective suitor. The agent is the person choosing among thousands of wannabes, most with decent credentials, but only takes a few minutes to decide if there is enough in common explore a new relationship. Spoiled for choice. Not enough agents, too many writers. So little chance of finding a true lasting relationship given the absence of time dedicated to discover and nurture connections beyond the superficial.
Aside: I tried actual speed dating once and found it all so completely underwhelming that once was enough - too hard to choose - so was not surprised when I read this article today that suggested that too much choice leads to indecision:
I have plenty of other leads to follow. A few contacts to try locally is a start. I will also attend a speculative fiction convention mid-year as some of the smaller publishers have a presence there so it may offer some prospect of building new contacts. I will also send my work to agents in the UK and US - bigger reader market so always worth a try.
In anticipation of stepping again on the merry go round, I spent last night editing my synopsis and will have another look through my first three chapters as these will be the samples that will be shopped around.
Also have an idea for a new poem brewing around inside my head, inspired by a "dream job" comment from a friend of mine. The words are there ready to spill out so it will be a busy weekend of writing ahead of me. Viva le hermit.