Monday, May 11, 2009

The latest

Eleanor has reminded me that it is some time since my last post. In the intervening weeks life has treated me like an excited puppy, in that it has smacked me on the nose then rubbed it in my own wee. Nothing to do with writing but a reminder that if you don't take care of things they have a habit of biting you on the ass.

Anyhoo, back to the book. After an initial surge of requests from agents everything went dead, in that I heard practically nothing, nada, zilch for several weeks except for a couple of rejections from agents citing that they didn't really handle that type of material, which made me wonder why they had requested it in the first place? Oh and one from an agent whom I thought would lap it up but said he was too busy with existing clients. That was a disappointment, mainly because I think it was really just a brush off - but it's a numbers game so I ploughed onwards.

One particular very big agency asked for an exclusive read of the first 10 chapters, stating that they were very quick and on that basis I agreed, but after a month I decided that either they weren't that quick or weren't interested so sent it out to a few more.

Again, things went quiet for a couple of weeks but then in the space of a few days a week or so ago I got what I think are some good notes back from one agent who said he'd be happy to take another look if I felt like re-writing to his notes, and another top agent sent me an email to say she hadn't finished the book yet but was very much enjoying it and to please call her before signing with any other agent.

Then a couple of days after that, the 'exclusive read' agency, about 7 weeks after I first contacted them, finally got back to say they loved the first 10 chapters and please send the rest, again on an exclusive read basis.

I decided that honesty was the best policy and told them what I had done and why. They took it pretty well, apologising for the delay caused mainly by the London Book Fair taking up their attention and still wanted the read. But they did ask for first refusal on the manuscript.

This is a top agency and one I'd love to sign for, so on the basis that they said they'd get back to me hopefully this week I agreed. Well I didn't quite agree. I said I wouldn't sign with anyone else until I heard from them, which isn't quite the same thing as first refusal but I think is fair enough.

So that's where I'm at. Three good agencies are showing a bit of interest, but I've been in this game long enough, albeit the TV side, to know that doesn't count for a bucket of warm spit until the deal is done. And then of course, even if I'm signed there is no guarantee the book will sell. Though at least the agents involved have more than enough juice to get it read by the top people over a weekend kind of thing, which I'm told counts for a lot in this business.

So it's fingers crossed that at least one of the three will come good. Time wise I guess I'm about six to eight weeks behind where I hoped I'd be, but having no experience at this I don't know whether I was being unreleastic or not.

I should know in the next week or two whether I have a shot with an agent and then the real white knuckle ride starts with re-writes and going to publishers. I'll keep you posted!

17 comments:

Eleanor said...

Hoorah! An update. :)

Eleanor said...

Sorry, that was meant to be a slightly longer replay - saying "Good luck!" "break a leg!" etc ... but I'm at work and got distracted by day job.

Blech.

I want to be at home writing.

Eleanor said...

replay? reply.

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