Thursday, February 25, 2010

Why I Don't Have An Agent

I've actually had several agents over the years. The first one helped me a lot with the book I was writing at the time (which finally got published by a New York publisher submitted over the transom). I actually met him, my sis and I went to his home office several times and he'd go over a chapter or two and give me some suggestions. Frankly, I thought he had a crush on my sister because he always gave her a big hug when we arrived and left. He never sold anything for me but he did go and speak with the writer's group I belonged to at the time.

The next agent was someone who was striving to be an agent and lived nearby. Actually she taught me a lot, but she never sold anything.

I had a couple of other agents who tried, but didn't manage to sell anything--and I was turned down by a few others.

At a wonderful writers' conference I had a one-on-one with a rather successful agent who took on my Deputy Tempe Crabtree mysteries. I kept on writing them and sending them to her thinking she was actively submitting them to publishing houses. Finally, after far too long a time, I asked to see my rejection slips. She sent me three after four years and four books. That was the end of my dependence on agents.

While all this was going on, I'd sold a book to a publishing company who went out of business after printing only 50 copies of my book--which I sold at one book signing. I met a small publisher at a writer's group who was interested in republishing that book--and she did. I approached her about my Deputy Tempe Crabtree series and she contracted all four books I'd written by then. She put them out as mass market paperback. We became good friends, and sadly, she died of a stroke.

While at a another writers' conference I approached a publisher (Mundania Press) who I admired and inquired if he might be interested in picking up the next of that series. Since that time he's published four more of those mysteries as e-books and trade paperbacks.

My Rocky Bluff P.D. series has had four publishers. An e-publisher back before there was anyway to really read an e-book, one I won't mention, a great publisher who decided to go out of business after publishing two books in the series and now Oak Tree Press. I met this publisher at the Public Safety Writers Conference and we became friends before I asked if she'd be interested in continuing the series. She published No Sanctuary and An Axe to Grind will be out soon as a trade paperback.

One of the big reasons I never continued on my quest for an agent is because I kept on writing and at the same time I was getting older--and older, and I really wanted to see my books published before I died. Okay, that sounds morbid, but when you're a great-grandmother there's a reality to the statement.

And that's a shortened version of what began in the mid 1970s.

Marilyn
http://fictionforyou.com

1 comments:

Cheryl said...

I think that as publishing has evolved, agents aren't as necessary as they used to be. While I certainly wouldn't mind having one at some point, I'm not going to spend all my time querying them either.

If I can get published without one, great.

Cheryl