The Elusive Agent

Two more rejections down for Civil Dusk! With one more agent on my list to query, and the ever-persistent form letter quasi-reassurance of “This doesn’t fit what I’m looking for, but keep trying, you never know!” haunting my short term memory, I’ve got to stop and wonder: am I doing enough?

And is it worth it?

Why am I seeking external representation for Civil Dusk? Well, to be perfectly blunt about it, it’s because I feel that I don’t have enough time or know-how to properly market my own books. Dave Lee and the rest at HCS Publishing do a fantastic job with what they have, but we’re just a small publishing house. All of us have full time day jobs, and some of them have kids, which counts as a whole other job. We do what we can with conventions, and with distribution as allowed by the Createspace/Amazon/KDP platform, but I can’t shake this fear that there is a much bigger world out there that we just don’t have the ability to access.

And that’s why I want an agent: someone who spends their days and probably lives in that bigger world. I want to break that horizon, but I don’t have a goddamn ship. Or a compass.

How do I find representation? For me, the hunt starts and ends with Writers Digest and Publishing Market. But is that enough? Are the people on those sites too exposed, too busy, too swamped by slush piles?

So I’ve started reaching out to the agents of authors whose work I admire and emulate. But somehow, this story I’ve written that mirrors aspects of those authors’ works in my own style and way; SOMEHOW this “doesn’t fit what I’m looking for.” I need more than that. WHY doesn’t it fit? Where does it fall away? Does my query letter just suck that badly that you didn’t read the obligatory 15-page insert following it? IT’S WORTH IT.

Friends and followers, help! Where do you look to find agents that you can query? Please comment!

What happens if I don’t find representation? Well, lucky for me, HCS Publishing is circling this novella like a whole friggin FLEET of sharks. It WILL be published, and proudly so with that brilliant emblazon in the front cover. And I have two shops locally that expressed interest in having a look and potentially stocking the title. So we’re not down and out by any means. But what that WILL mean is that I need to learn more about book marketing.

SO, friends and followers, what are your strategies? How do you get the word out? Where’s the rabbit hole that I keep tripping over but can’t seem to find? Please comment!



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