Okay, time has passed and after an initial send out to half a dozen agents here is the score sheet.
Two agents have had the first 10k of the novel for about four weeks - no word as yet.
One has had the first 10k and knocked it back citing how busy he was with the London Book Fair as the reason he was not able to rep it. [which means he didn't really dig it that much]
One has had the full manuscript for three weeks - no word yet.
One has had the full manuscript for two weeks and knocked it back. Apparently he was looking for a more different take on a classic genre. I'm not going to panic about that. I write stories the way I write them and if that is more of a classic take on a classic genre then that is my taste. It is all very subjective.
One has had the full manuscript for a day - the bugger hasn't got back yet.
My initial plan was to target a few specific agents and if none bit then I might at least get some feedback that would improve its chances down the line.
Got to say the feedback so far has been less than illuminating, but I think I'll persevere for a while. It isn't the agent's job to give feedback to someone he or she has no intention of signing, but if they are honest enough to say exactly why they didn't go for the book then that can be helpful.
I'm not throwing this out as rock solid advice, just the way I'm going about things. The other plus with this method is that it gives you time to read and re-read the manuscript, honing as you go. You can always find something that could be done better and as there are still most of the big agents to try this can only help if or when they read the book.
On another note, I sent a spec script to World Productions last week. The company famous for This Life and perhaps not so famous for Rough Diamonds, Party Animals and Goldplated.
A guy's gotta eat, and the producer I sent it to is a fan and also a very nice person.
She emailed me yesterday to say that it was her last day in the office as everyone was being made redundant.
World Productions, one of the former powerhouses of Indie production going to the wall? Times are tough indeed.
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3 years ago