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Getting a Literary Agent: My Success Story

February 15 2024


Welcome to my overdue but thrilling post chronicling my journey to securing a literary agent.

For as far back as memory serves, the idea of writing a book and seeing it published has been more than a fascination for me—it's been a consuming passion. And I know I'm not alone in this; many of us aspiring authors have dared to dream of that moment when we receive a multiple book deal from a renowned publisher, envisioning ourselves typing away in a serene log cabin by the lake, coffee in hand.

But let's get to the heart of the matter: how did I actually land my agent?

Let's be real; the path to securing representation isn't always a straightforward one. I want to be transparent about my journey because I know the pressure and envy that can accompany reading those seemingly effortless success stories. My tale isn't one of instant gratification; it's a narrative of perseverance and resilience.

Over the past four years, I've queried five different projects, with the fifth one finally leading me to my dream agent, Nina Leon at Perez Literary & Entertainment. Interestingly, I had previously queried Nina with two other projects, both of which she passed on. This underscores a crucial point: agents aren't rejecting you as a writer but assessing the fit of your story for the current market.

My breakthrough came with the book I started writing in mid-2023. While querying another project, which I had high hopes for, I found myself drawn to this new story. By October 2023, I began revising, and by November, I had a polished manuscript ready to brave the query trenches.

My querying journey

Navigating the query process was both daunting and exhilarating. Starting with a small list of agents, I gradually expanded it as responses trickled in. Patience was key as I waited for replies, and a holiday break over Christmas provided a much-needed respite from constant email refreshing.

The month of December was unexpectedly quiet, leaving me a tad disheartened. But then again, agents deserve a break too, right? I figured most were likely enjoying some well-deserved time off until January rolled around. Still, the quiet was a bit frustrating, especially considering I had recently left my job in December and was gearing up to start a new one in January. The looming uncertainty about both my career transition and the fate of my book added an extra layer of stress.

The new year brought a flurry of rejections but also promising requests for full manuscripts. Before long, I received my first offer of representation—and before you ask, yes, I did dance around the room. I also reached out to agents still on my radar, even those who hadn't initially requested my manuscript, to give them a heads up. In the end, I sent out a total of 40 queries, with 12 rejections, 7 full requests, and 2 offers. And finally, one offer was accepted—a surreal moment that validated years of dedication and hard work.

As I embark on this next chapter of my journey, working closely with my agent, Nina, on revisions and anticipating going on sub, I'm filled with gratitude and excitement. This is just the beginning, and I look forward to sharing more updates along the way. Whether you're in the querying trenches, contemplating your next steps, or celebrating your own successes, I wish you the best of luck and perseverance.

Keep dreaming, keep writing, and never underestimate the power of your story. Thank you for joining me on this adventure!