The Agent Search Is Over!

After 18 days, 11 query letters, 4 temper tantrums, and 1 teensy-weensy little binge-n-purge incident at the Highland’s Ranch Coldstone Creamery, I can finally and most happily report that…

I’ve officially accepted representation with Ted Malawer!

There aren’t enough exclamation points or smiley emoticons to express my utter joy, but let’s try:

🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Nope, not even close. You’re just gonna have to trust me. YAY!

Finding an agent was a lot like finding a man. Or, what I imagine finding a man would be like, since Alex and I accidentally fell in love long long ago in a galaxy far far away (also known as 1999, New York City) and I’m no longer in touch with my man-finding spider sense. You single girls out there will have to evaluate my approximation. Here goes:

How to Find a Literary Agent in 20 Easy Steps

  1. Spend months obsessing over query letter. Ask everyone you know for opinions and then promptly disregard them, even if the letter does make you look fat.
  2. Send letters to targeted agents that match your genre, personality, etc. It’s early now – no need to get desperate. Yet.
  3. Become overly confident by first-round positive responses, including real live requests for partial or full manuscript.
  4. Begin to think this agent search business isn’t as hard as everyone says. Maybe I won’t be 40 and alone with my manuscripts and cats after all!
  5. Check email and voicemail every 3 to 4 minutes. Call ISP and cell phone company to confirm there are no outages.
  6. Check spam folder and briefly consider opening the email about “enlargements” because maybe it’s the agent referring to your book sales. Or something.
  7. Watch in horror as the second-round rejections trickle in. He’s just not that into you! “Thank you for the opportunity to review your work. Your writing is great, but I just didn’t fall in love with the story.” Or, “Your writing is poignant, but a little too heavy for this market.” And, “Ours is a subjective business. What doesn’t work for me might work for another agent. It’s not you, it’s me. Don’t give up!” But secretly you want to give up.
  8. Don’t give up.
  9. Throw up. Then wonder if you’ll have to slum around in the male escort world of literary agents – those who charge reading fees for the privilege of considering your work!
  10. Google “self-publishing for rejected writers” just in case. Close results page quickly and clear it from your cache. You must resist. Someone will love you, dammit!
  11. Consider having your mother call their mothers to find out what’s wrong with you.
  12. Send another query on Friday and get the same-day request for the full manuscript. Yay!
  13. Send it, but really, who are you kidding? You’ll never be a writer. Besides, this agency has a great reputation, is already on your top target list, and was subsequently recommended to you by 2 other reputable agents who thought this one might be a good fit. So why would they be interested in your work?
  14. Remember, you’re writing is fat, co-dependent, and won’t put out until the 5th date. No one wants it. Cry.
  15. Get an email from Friday’s agent on Sunday, telling you how much he loves the first half of your novel and wants to talk by phone the following week. Try not to freak out. This is a good thing.
  16. Send him your availability the following day. Then check email obsessively every two minutes, setting your alarm to check in the middle of the night, just in case.
  17. When a full day passes without response, convince yourself that he hated the second half of your book and is thinking of how to let you down easy. Resist the urge to call him to make sure he got your email.
  18. Call in sick to work. You’re too distraught and dejected to shower, eat, or drive. You need a chick flick and a pint of Ben & Jerry’s New York Superfudge Chunk. Which will A) Remind you of agents in NY who rejected you and B) Make your butt even fatter.
  19. On second thought, you should probably just…
  20. Wait… what’s this? A response? He’s going to call in 2 hours?!!!

And the rest, well…. hint: read today’s title!

You know, Alex told me it would be like this. He told me I’d get an agent and that I’d look back and laugh at my ridiculous self-doubting and selfish little temper tantrums. Only he said it much nicer, of course. But you know how when you’re right in the middle of it and you can’t see the forest for the…

Wait, I’d better not use any cliches. I’m practically almost close to eventually one day becoming a real writer.

🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

10 thoughts on “The Agent Search Is Over!

  1. Oh how appropriate…after all you were “Firestarter” one halloween!!!!!! Congratulations…You will go all the way to the TOP!!!!! I love and support you all the way!!!

  2. Hoofuckinrah!!!!!! I am soo very excited for you!!!! Congrats to you for all the hard work, and Mr. Bims for dealin with all your tantrums! Much Love!

  3. Congrats, from someone who is well on her way to being “40 and all alone with her manuscripts and cats”

  4. Congrats, Shirl! Of course I never doubted you for a second!! The anticipation is what almost kills you, but that relief has got to feel so sweet. Enjoy every second of it!

  5. I think what you’re trying to say here is that *my* ass looks fat.

    Congrats on your ass of steel!! I’m bringing the champagne. I’ll expect to have my 1st edition copy signed and personalized.

  6. Sarah! Jay shared your great news with the Get it Sold! critique group. I wanted to pass on to you how thrilled we are. Jealousy and the sensation of being thrilled can coexist, right? I’m being silly, we are all quite happy for you and wish you absolutely smooth sailing right to the top!

    Looking forward to attending a signing,


  7. congradufuckinlations sarah,
    This is all so damn sweet…I can’t wait for a signing either, however, im going to need you to go ahead and “get” me there.. hehe.. seriously.

    keep up the good ice cream benders!


  8. That is excellent news (I’m a bit behind). Congratulations you literary creature, you. You deserve it!

  9. Pingback: Happy Birthday, Twenty Boy Summer! « sarah ockler :: author of TWENTY BOY SUMMER

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