Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Going Multiple Rounds With The Literati

Well, I started querying for a memoir back in February 2011.  It has been an uphill battle ever since.  And I'm a former English teacher for crying out loud!  I'm used to picky behavior and perfectionism, but attempting to get my memoir published has me going multiple rounds in the ring with the literati, let me tell you.  My first query was sent to a top-notch agent who passed on my manuscript via email in all of two minutes!  How does that happen? I can't evaluate a student's one page essay in two minutes?  Needless to say, I just think maybe she didn't want to be bothered or maybe the subject matter was too unusual for her.  Next came the literary agent who I queried via snail mail with a self-addressed stamped envelope.  She sent back a business card in my envelope letting me know she was passing on my manuscript.  Really?!  I showed it to my husband and he said I quote "That's just insensitive, unprofessional, and tacky".  I've gotten many passes on my manuscript from literary agents who are not taking on new clients because their selective, my work doesn't suit their list, or worse, the literary economy is in the tank.  At this point I can walk into a Barnes & Noble, go the memoir section, and look at memoir titles and tell you who represented the author and what agency sold the book.  This is an insane process.  I probably would be better off just working with an editor who truly loves memoir,
forgetting about finding a literary agent, and having my lawyer look over my contract. 

I've taken all the right steps.  I finished the manuscript, wrote the proposal, wrote the query letter, and researched agent after agent.  I read books on querying, writing book proposals, writing a one to two page synopsis, and I am still at a dead stop.  It's like traffic on I-85 in Georgia the Wednesday before Thanksgiving:  just sit and wait and wait and wait.  The news isn't all bad.  I had one agent look at a partial of my manuscript, tell me she disliked the journal format and that I had no platform; however, if I changed both of those she would be willing to take another look.  So I joined Linked In and of course I started this blog.  I refuse to join Facebook because I think it's juvenile; so fifth grade all over again.  Please, I don't have time.  I still have a partial of my manuscript out with one agent and the full manuscript out with another, but nothing to write home and cheer about thus far in the battle.  Excuse me while I vent folks.  I'll write more later.  Presently, I've got to take off the gloves and get back in the ring for another round.with the literati.  Crank up the AD/DC "Back In Black".