Monday, January 27, 2014

In Which I HAVE AN AGENT!!!

Guys. GUYS!!!!

SERIOUSLY!

Okay. Wait. Let me calm down and back up a little. I'm just so excited because since I started this blog, alllll the way back in 2010, I've seriously dreamed about writing this post, guys. THE POST.

The I GOT AN AGENT POST!!

Because I did.

And this is how I feel:




I honestly wish I could dance this well

 
Okay, so let's tell a tale, a tale of queries and revisions and offers. But first, we must go back to a conference. (prepare yourself for a long ass post)

Wait. One more dance:



 


In NaNoWriMo 2011 I wrote the first 50k of ALL THAT REMAINS. Then I put it aside for a year because it was fighting me and I was working on something else. For NaNo 2012 I finished the last 50k of ATR and I loved it and decided I would take my time revising this one. And I would take a class to workshop it. And I would not rush.

In October (2013) I attended the MN SCBWI conference, which was fun and awesome. I had signed up for a MS crit from either an editor or an agent and I was assigned to the editor. But instead of giving me a crit, she mostly just said that she loved my first five pages and that she wanted to see the full of ALL THAT REMAINS.

Which was amazing and great. I told her that I planned on querying because I wanted an agent and she agreed that an agent would be the best way to go. And then she did something awesome--she told me if I wanted to, I could use her name in my query. So I did.

I began querying on Halloween. I sent 2 out, got 2 fulls, and then sent out a full batch of 10. My goal was to query through November, take a break in December, and then start up again when I was done with my MFA residency in mid January. Also, I had a new strategy with this MS: I was going to start off by targeting agents who had read previous manuscripts of mine.

I had a very large request rate. A lot of requests is normal for me, but this was different. This was also no rejections. Even with a lot of requests on the other manuscripts, I still pulled in the Rs. But not this time. For awhile I had an almost 100% acceptance rate on my queries. I even broke my rule and queried a few agents who had only rejected me in the past, and even they requested. For a brief moment, I thought about pulling out of the Baker's Dozen contest, but my family convinced me otherwise.

I got a partial request in mid Nov. Then that agent bumped it up to a full. And she tweeted about me, guys. That . . . that was a crazy moment. That she was so excited to read the full that she had to tweet it.







In early December, the same agent sent me an email that she wanted to call and talk revisions. She raved about ATR. She comped it to an amazing book that I lurved (*cough* LIES OF LOCKE LAMORA *cough*). And she wanted to give me her revision notes asap because she was pretty sure I would get an offer from another agent soon. And her revision notes were great, so I dove in.

And then I got 3 more R&Rs within the same week. Now, I'd had R&Rs before, but these were different. They were exuberant. There were phone calls and excitement and more agents telling me that I would most likely get an offer from another agent soon.

One agent only wanted to see revisions on the first few chapters. A kind of "feeling me out" sort of deal, to see if I could actually pull the revisions off. And that I wasn't crazy.

So I dove into those first, because they'd be faster. I sent them back to her a week before my MFA, but this agent was still out of the office because of the holidays.

Then, the day before my residency, when I'd be in lectures and workshops and readings for 11 days straight, all day, this agent said she wanted to call.

I thought it would be an offer. So I managed to skip some of the non-required readings, and took the call in a classroom.


And she offered.





And my new MFA friends freaked out in enthusiasm and excitement and congratulations and that night we went to a Korean restaurant/bar and performed some major karaoke.

That night I nudged everyone who had the MS, including the 3 remaining R&R agents and the few queries I still had out.

I had another offer a few days later. I actually had dinner with this agent because she happened to be in town, visiting in-laws. The dinner was lovely and I had a great time.

Then I had another offer. And another. And by this time the residency was over and I had just a few days to reach out to agent clients and do some final research before I had to make a decision. But during this time the offers still came in.



 

But, when it was all said and done, there was one agent that just struck a chord with me. When I was finished speaking with her on the phone, I felt excited to get to work. It was my gut telling me she was the one.

I am happy to announce that I am now officially repped by: MOLLIE GLICK! Of Foundry Literary + Media





I'm so excited to get to work on revisions with her.



Me, signing the agent agreement

 

Twin baked me a cake!


It was butter pecan. And it. was. delicious!!

So. The Numbers, since I know some people love the numbers (I know this because I am a numbers person. I love reading the "I got an agent" posts and I love seeing the stats)


Queries sent: 25
Query rejections (before the offer): 3
Partial Requests: 3 (2 bumped up to fulls)
Full requests: 14 (including the bumps)
R&Rs: 4 (3 stepped aside after the offer)
Number of Offers: 7


But, I think it's important to remind people that, yes, even though those stats are pretty awesome, this is after 2 other queried manuscripts. I've been querying almost steadily since 2011.

So here are some quick stats on those, because I want to remind people that sometimes it takes a lot of work and patience to reach this point. And there's no shame in it. I loved every step of the journey, both the ups and the downs, because it meant I was putting myself out there, that I was working hard and trying and I knew trying was the only way I'd reach my goals.


GLIMPSE OF ANOTHER SHORE
Queried for 8 months in 2011 and 4 months in 2012
Queries Sent: 96
Partial Requests: 1
Full Requests: 17


BREAK FREE
Queried for 6 months in 2012 and 7 months in 2013
Queries sent: 106
Partial Requests: 5 (three bumped to fulls)
Full Requests: 11 (not including the bumps)
R&Rs: 3


So. There you have it. over 200 queries in 3 years. 48 manuscript requests. 7 offers. 1 agent.

Thanks for reading and for being awesome. Because you are.
 

59 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That is awesome!! What a process. And she compared your book to Lynch's? Even better.

stu said...

Congratulations. It's a big moment.

Matthew MacNish said...

I'm so happy for you, Sarah! This is the most awesome thing ever.

Maria Zannini said...

Didn't I tell you!! And you got one of the BEST agents in the industry.

Congrats, sweetie.

Sarah Foster said...

Congrats, that's awesome!

Christine Danek said...

Congrats! I'm so excited for you! Rock it!

Kristin Rae said...

What an amazing story!! And a dream come true! I'm SO EXCITED!!!

And so sweet of twin to make you that adorable and yummy looking cake!!

Lola Sharp said...

Congrats!!

kiperoo said...

YAY! Huge congrats! I love a quick success story after a long road full of hard work. :-) Best of luck out on sub!

Tara said...

Said it on the T, but AWESOMENESS. I am thrilled for you. This is so deserved.

Crystal Collier said...

I'm so excited for you! Mollie is a dream agent if you ask me. I've seen her enthusiasm first hand and she seems professional, down to earth, and yet such a go-getter. Way to go!

Heather Clark said...

Congratulations to you, Sarah!

Austin 'Teebore' Gorton said...

Congrats again(for the blog record)!

Excellent gif work in this post as well. :)

that night we went to a Korean restaurant/bar and performed some major karaoke.

The one right by Hamline? I remain jealous that wasn't there when I was in school. Instead, it was some kind of bakery that was curiously lit up late at night even though it was closed, and we suspected it was a front for a drug operation.

Jennifer Kirkeby said...

So crazy excited for you! Oh, and WHO said this would be your year? ;-)

Colleen Muske said...

Couldn't happen to a nicer person! Thanks for showing all your hard work, but you did skip over all the time it took to WRITE all those amazing novels :) Your dedication is inspiring!

Nate Wilson said...

Congratulations, Sarah! That's fantastic! And after so many agent offers, I can only hope it means there'll be a bidding war for ATR in the near future...

(By the way, in an interesting coincidence, last night I started reading a little book called "The Lies of Locke Lamora." True story.)

Elana Johnson said...

Mollie is a great agent, and I'm very excited to watch your journey! Congratulations, congratulations!!!

Summer Frey said...

For the blog record: YAYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And excellent use of GIFs, might I say.

Annalisa Crawford said...

What a fantastic and uplifting story - a choice of agents!!! Wow.

Huge congratulations :-)

Bryan Russell said...

HUZZAH!

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

You deserve this. Seriously. The lengths and lengths you've gone too have finally been rewarded. Now see if you can help out Matthew MacNish. Jesus that poor guy has got so much talent and everyone in the industry just takes a dump on him.

Michael McDonagh said...

Well, you already know how I feel about this :)

Still had to say congratulations again, though.

Rena said...

OH! What a great "I got an agent" post! I totally loved it!

And, you know, Congratulations and stuff! ;-)

Stacy McKitrick said...

Congratulations! Happy dancing all around! :)

cynthiastacey.com said...

Wow that is really fantastic! congratulations. Thanks for posting. It is always nice to see a success. There is hope for us yet!

Shelley Sly said...

Congratulations!!! :) :) I'm excited to read your book!

Jessie Humphries said...

Very cool indeed! Congrats :)

L. R. Wright said...

Awesome post! Congrats!!!!! I've been following your success on QT and I'm so excited for you!

mshatch said...

yeeha! Congrats and you deserve it - I remember reading something of yours I loved so can't wait to buy :)

Renee Collins said...

Huge congrats! We have a lot in common, it seems. I'm a twin also, and a fellow client of Mollie's! :) She's completely fantastic (as I'm sure you know, since you picked her!)

May you get a quick and awesome sale!

Chelsea Pitcher said...

CONGRATS this is soooo exciting!!! :D

Janet Johnson said...

Congratulations! I knew you'd get there . . . I was right there with you in querytracker. So excited for you!

Slamdunk said...

Very happy for you Sarah--you deserve to relish in this.

Leandra Wallace said...

So I'm teary-eyed! This is such AMAZING news, Sarah, and you worked your butt off to to get here. I cannot wait to get to buy your book someday!!! Now me and the kidlet are going to go eat to your success over pizza and dt vanilla coke(well, water for him). CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

Hart Johnson said...

So excited for you!!! Huge congratulstions!!!!

KayC said...

This is fantastic news and well deserved. The first time I saw ATR around the traps I loved it.

I am in absolute awe that you received SEVEN offers and I hope that translates into a bidding war in the near future. I will be waiting patiently for the news so I know when I can get my hands on a copy!

Bethany Myers said...

Oh my goodness! I just saw this. Sarah, I'm so happy, thrilled, excited for you. You always work hard at your craft and cheer everyone else on. This is totally well deserved. Congratulations!!!!!

Kimberly said...

Congratulations! I love these stories so much! Yours is awesome and I'm so happy for you. :)

CourtneyC said...

Hooray x 3! You deserve it x1,000,000!!!! So excited for you!

Ninja Girl said...

I already said it on QT, but seriously: I'M SO HAPPY FOR YOU!!!!!! This is an amazing journey/story. So happy you found your agent, can't wait to read your book(s)! Love seeing good things happen to good people :-)
Congrats,
Ninja Girl

Adam Heine said...

Sweet! I never get tired of reading "I got an agent" posts, but it's always special when it's someone who's journey I've been watching. Congratulations, Sarah! I'll save a seat for you on the submission train :-)

beth5501 said...

Mollie Glick!!!!!! That's so amazing. I'm so very happy and excited for you. How sweet that your hard work has paid off. You're an inspiration!

jenny said...

Congratulations! What an encouraging story! Thanks for sharing all those lovely numbers.

Josh said...

This is such a helpful post. Especially the end, where you talk about the numbers. It sounds like the best way to go about this is to just keep plugging away at it. You won't get there if you don't try!

Jocelyn Rish said...

Whew! What a wild ride! Congrats on so many offers - I bet your face hurts from smiling so much! Thanks for sharing your story.

Jamie Gibbs said...

AMAZING! Super duper congrats to you, Sarah! That's excellent news!

Anne Gallagher said...

I am so happy for you, and so proud of you. Congratulations, Sarah, this is awesomely awesome news. ((huggs))

JeffO said...

Congratulations!

Jennie Bailey said...

I can't say it enough - SO EXCITED FOR YOU!!! Congratulations! And that picture of you signing your contract is ADORABLE!! What a sweet picture. So nice of the twin to make you that yummy cake! Can't wait to read the post about the battle between the houses for ALL THAT REMAINS. :-) It's SO going to happen!

Trisha F said...

Wahoooo, awesome news!!! Congratulations! :D

It's pretty clear you had a total winner with this book - EVERYBODY wanted it! :)

Liz Blocker said...

I made my way over here from Alex's site because I love success stories - and I loved this! Congratulations!!!!!!!!!

Cathrina Constantine said...

So AWESOME!!! Congratulations Sarah!

Justine Dell said...

This is so SO awesome! It's been so wonderful to see all the writers I've followed over the years land agents. CONGRATS!!

~JD

Misha Gericke said...

Awesome! Congrats! :-D

Chris Bailey said...

Congratulations--can't wait to read the final-final work--and thank you for the numbers!

Rebecca Thomas said...

Love these stories of guts and determination. Thank you for sharing!

Lexa Cain said...

CONGRATS!!! That was a great story, and very kind that you put your stats at the end so other writers can stay determined and be hopeful. (I queried 3 novels over 200 time before I got my agent, too.)

Kathleen said...

Great story! Congrats!

Mónica Bustamante Wagner said...

WOOOHOOO!!! I just saw the great news. Congrats, hun!! XOXO

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