What Happens After The Agent?

What happens after an agent has offered you representation?
Complete bliss, of course.

I'm kidding.
Sort of . . .

You see, one thing I haven't read a whole lot about is the process one goes through after an agent has offered them representation.

For forever, it feels like, I've been so caught up in just getting an agent. So when I was offered representation, I didn't know what to do.

I smiled, sure, but what were the protocols?

Here's what I learned:

Step One (this is actually version two of step one because the first obvious step is to celebrate):

After an agent has offered you representation, it is courtesy to give other agents you have queried time to consider you. I received awesome advice from a friend who had recently been picked up from an agent as well. She found this link, and it was helpful for me as I dug through my sent emails to let other agents know what was going on. Giving agents one/two weeks to respond is average.

I also used this format from the website above:

"Subject: OFFER OF REPRESENTATION (Title) (Category) (Genre)

Dear (Agent’s name),

I am writing to let you know that I have received an offer of representation for my (Category), (Title), which I submitted to you in (month). I am reattaching the full manuscript for your convenience below. Do this, it’s easier on everyone

I am looking to close out all pending submissions by the end of business on (date). If you are interested in the manuscript, please let me know before then. I’d be thrilled to discuss it with you. If you need more time, please do let me know.

I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you again for your consideration."

Step Two:

In this step, for me, I asked a lot of questions. It's so important to know who you're working with and what you should expect in this journey.

Definitely take time to write down questions that are important to you. Even if you forget, hopefully your agent is the kind of person that takes questions year round.

Step Three: 

At this point, I did more contemplating. I did more research on agents, and I gave other agents time to respond. I asked more experienced writers what I should expect, moving forward. I took time to get my head together.

I felt good about my choice of agent.
I also felt confident in the mission Rossano had planned out for me.

Step Four:

After receiving the contract, I read it over a few times. It became one of my best friends. I also had my grandmother look over it for her wisdom, and I handed it over to my boyfriend to look at since he's a paralegal and deals with many more contracts than I do.

And when I felt confident, I signed it.
Then, along with other members of the TZLA family, I was added to the author's list.

And the list continues . . .

Step Five (the step that constantly repeats itself): 


This is probably my favorite part of the agent process. It's great and all to receive feedback on your book from your friends and beta readers, but receiving feedback from an agent is all the more insightful! You get the good and the gritty. You get to know why the agent was compelled to choose your MS, and you get to learn what you need to work on to make your MS all the more appealing to publishers.

To wrap it up, I hope my experience has helped all of you as you journey to find agents, choose agents, and begin the editing process.

This is my personal experience, and of course, everyone has a different story. Heck, my story isn't even finished yet. :)

However, I do love hearing from all of you.
Feel free to share your agent stories below!

Till next time!

Representation . . . What?!

Ahhhh, Writing friends!

It has happened.

One month later, and here were are. A literary agent wants to represent me.

How crazy-exciting is that?

I've waited years for this moment, and all I can do is smile and dance and try not to yell too loudly.

I have soo many questions--most of them starting and stopping with the word, "how".
I am thrilled and so full of awe.
It's an amazing feeling to know that someone who has been working in the industry for so long finds potential in my work.

I'm in a small state of "wowza-land" . . . . (I'm pretty sure I just made that up.)
But in all seriousness, I am at a loss for words.

In other news, another agent liked my #DVpit tweet!

It was by luck, honestly. I had accidentally used the #DVpit hashtag a month too early while I was participating in #PitMad. Then, as carried away as I get, I forgot to participate in #DVpit and was super bummed about it. Literally. I probably stared at other pitches for about twenty minutes, sulking in what "could" have been. I left twitter alone for a while after that, and when I checked my notifications yesterday, I saw that an agent wanted me to send over my query and the first ten pages of my MS. This was the SAME DAY that I was offered representation.

Imagine all the freaking out.

Of course I sent over my query and pages, as well as let her know about the offer. The next step for me is to contact all the agents I've recently queried, letting them know that there is a deadline ahead.

I'm nervous and will be using help from here to send out the right email formats.

Let the query wars begin.

 . . . also, still freaking out over here.

#PitMad What?!?!

So, it appears I've started looking for agents again . . . 

This time, I had luck!

Friends, did you just hear that?! Seven years of queries and finally . . . FINALLY.

Okay--so here's the story: It's no surprise I've been sitting on a completed manuscript for a little over a year now. After the first round of queries and rejections, one could say I lost my confidence. I mean, this is my THIRD book, numerous rejections, and all I can think is, "I need a break."

After months of my boyfriend persuading me to get back out there, I began querying again--small publishing houses and agencies this time. I conveniently hop back on Twitter five days before #PitMad, and . . .

This is where the freaking out begins.

It's been years since I've participated in #PitMad. Thankfully, a lot of the writers I follow on twitter, kept mentioning #DVpit and #PreDv (go to this link here to learn more about it), and #PreDv gave me the chance to practice my one-liner before #PitMad. I acquired some pretty great help from @JenniferZeynab@KatCho and @JL_DuganThen, the next day, just a couple of hours before my West Coast Swing class, I get a like from an Agent.

*Insert internal screams here*

After a few more moments of freaking out, I put on my focus goggles and start researching this guy like crazy.

I like what I find, so I send over my query, and I'm so nervous that I forget to mention word count and genre.

The next day at work, I accidentally open my email and find this:

More freaking out:

At some point I decide to get my crap together and send over the requested MS.
And now, here I am, waiting.

I'm so, so nervous. I'm nervous and excited. I've got all my fingers and toes crossed and God is probably tired of hearing my prayers.

Even if he decides to eventually pass, I'm just happy I've gotten this far.

So here I am, writing friends, I've entered another realm of waiting.

Wish me luck.

The Year of Beauty and Chaos

 Somewhere between beauty and chaos there is existence. 

The seasons change rapidly, the sun runs to meet the moon, and the stars chase the hills as the earth rotates.

In the midst of that, there's me
Little ol' me.
The rambunctious me, the sad me, the overly-excited me, the constantly changing me.

There's the me that wants to write until the flowers crumble and the snow comes, and then there's that side of me that can't do anything but watch a Netflix series I've seen three times.

There's the me that wants to write this blog, and then there's the me that wants to be the best dancer in the world.

There's the me that sings in the bathroom with an acoustic to my chest, and there's the me that wants to crawl into my bed and sleep all day.

There are so many sides to me, so many different talents, so many dreams--and somehow all of that has lead me back here, to the start of my writing phenomenon, to the beginning of my beginning, to my writing daze.

Here, I welcome you all back into my life as I try, again, to enter the writing world.
I will warn you, writing friends, it is tough.
I've sent more queries out, I've tackled a synopsis, and I've even checked out more writing venues.
I have failed and failed and failed in hopes to help writers--like us--who won't give up.

I hope that you all follow me on this new journey.

If any of you are interested in my recent novel (I'll post a query soon), I've posted a few chapters on Wattpad.
If any of you are interested in being a beta/critique reader contact me through email or in a comment below.

To all of you going through seasons of writing, I'm pouring my luck out to you.

Until next time, writing friends.

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