Sunday, April 19, 2009

How much is too little?

I decided it was time to get back in there and try and hook an agent for Evil Outfitters, Ltd. That's a book I wrote in, hmm, 2006? Gosh, it may have been late 2005. It still remains one of my favorite novels that I've ever written, and I think it's probably my strongest. That was the same one that the editor from Wizards of the Coast Discoveries said (informally, after the imprint was shut down) that she had planned to make an offer on. (I still *headdesk* whenever I think of that, so I don't think of it often.) Anyway, I'd sent it out to an agent last summer who asked for a full but who never responded (so I guess that's a no either way--No, she doesn't want to represent me, and no, I don't want her to represent me).

So I sat down with my old list to see which agents I'd sent the manuscript out to before I'd tried to sell it directly, and here's the result:
2006 four agents
2007 one agent
*wrote new query and synopsis in 2008*
2008 one agent (who requested that full)
2009 two agents

Add to that: 2006 one publisher, 2007 two publishers (one of which never responded), plus WOTC Discoveries, and you see that although I've been thinking of the manuscript as sadly All Used Up, it's hardly been out to anyone.

I'm bad about doing this, though. I'll send a story or book out three or four times and give up, because unless I actually sit down and count the rejections, I think I've sent it out to way more places than I have.

Off to make a new list of agents for Evil Outfitters, Ltd.


Aaron Polson said...

I feel the impatience, too, just not with books. I queried everybody but my grandmother with my first book (suckage, of course). I'm just getting started with book 2, which is actually book 3 (don't mind the time travel). I've done this with short stories though, and kicked myself when I realized I'd "given" one away after only two rejections from pro markets.

Stupid impatience.

Good luck with this one. Evil Outfitters, Ltd. sounds like a good read.

Jamie Eyberg said...

I will sell you a beginners guide in Patience. It is a 52 week course.

It sounds to me you just haven't found the right agent yet. I think it will happen, and if you want a beta reader, send it my way.

(15 feet long, really? I would have thought the snakes in your area would be at least 20.)

K.C. Shaw said...

I'm getting worse about sending stuff out to pro markets. I don't even try them now (my last query to a pro market was last August). I think it's mostly me assuming they won't want my newest story since they didn't want any of my earlier ones, and partly me thinking all my stories suck. And when it comes to agents, once I get three or four form rejects, I assume the book is unpublishable.

K.C. Shaw said...

Jamie--Thanks, hopefully I'll find an agent soon. I get so frustrated with the endless process that I always give up too soon and start subbing directly to publishers, and agents don't typically want to see a book that's been shopped already. Never mind that most big publishers won't look at unagented stuff.

Yeah, the snakes around here are about 50 feet long. Gotta be careful when you go barefoot. :)

Cate Gardner said...

You already know how much I love that title and I'm so glad you're subbing it to agents. My early books all went out a handful of times (to form rejections) and I gave up and moved onto the next one - I'm much more persistent now (sort of). :)

K.C. Shaw said...

I need to be more persistent, but honestly, is there anything more depressing than looking through agent websites? Bleah.

Carrie Harris said...

I'm glad to hear you're getting that baby out there again! Seriously, he's barely been around the block. (Or is it she? I dunno... do manuscripts have a gender?)

K.C. Shaw said...

Maybe manuscripts take their genders from the main characters? In which case, EO is a 'they,' since it has two main characters.