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Urban Legend?

I was channel surfing last night and came across what I consider one of the dumbest shows on television—Finding Bigfoot.  These guys never give up.  They follow every possible lead and trample through forests and streams in search of a creature that might not even exist.

Then it dawned on me—that show is about me.  The difference is the creature I keep looking for is just as elusive and possibly just as mythical.  When I think about it, I personally have no hard evidence that they exist either.  Plus, there have been fewer eyewitness sightings.  No, I’m not talking about ghosts, UFOs, or the Lucky Charms leprechaun; I’m talking about that transcendental alchemist know as the Literary Agent.

Sure, I’ve seen pictures on the internet and have even read many a blog supposedly written by literary agents, but I’ve also seen pictures of little green men from outer space and have read blogs dedicated to the belief that Elvis is still alive.

Yet I keep following every possible lead and sending out those queries.  I have finally moved beyond the form-letter-rejection phase, although I still get my share of those.  But in the last few months, I’ve had six agents request a full manuscript, either on my latest or for Reternity, my award-winning novel.  I’ve even had an agent request a six-week exclusive and suggest minor revisions before finally rejecting it.

But at least they rejected it in style.  “I think you have a great piece here – it’s really, truly, amazing! I love it! Honestly! But I think I was held back because I’m not sure I have the editor contacts for this project.”

Gee, you had me at “really, truly, amazing.”

Right now I have an international agent interested in Reternity.  She has several international best-sellers under her belt, but I still would prefer to find an American agency that could represent my books in this country and abroad.

Also, recently, a pretty big author has read a couple of my books and recommended me to his own agent.  I was even given a personal email.  I sent the query and first chapter as requested and the agent asked for the entire manuscript, so I at least have made it this far.  This just happened a few days ago and my fingers are still crossed.

So I’ll keep plugging along.  I’ll stomp through woods and wade through streams (metaphorically of course) until I find that secret hiding place of the world’s most mystifying apparitions and can finally utter those two magic words—“My agent.”


Neal Wooten, Publisher/Indie Author/Illustrator/Cartoonist

Managing Editor; Mirror Publishing, Milwaukee, WI, www.pagesofwonder.com
Author of Reternity, www.nealwooten.com

 

 

Posted by on August 15, 2012. Filed under Books,Business,Neal Wooten,This Indie Life. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

19 Responses to Urban Legend?

  1. Katherine B

    August 16, 2012 at 9:14 am

    Yes, the “agent dance” is a peculiar one. But I’ve found a way around the madness: I have an agent who represents my manuscripts/proposals targeting the Big Six publishing houses. However, for my smaller projects (which the agent isn’t interested in) it’s far easier to pitch those myself.

  2. Sarah Mamika

    August 16, 2012 at 9:16 am

    Neal, you definitely have a way with words that makes reading fun! I certainly wish you success in finding that very illusive agent. Your talent, dedication and “really, truly, amazing” work certainly deserve it.

  3. Gina Maria Sanfilippo

    August 16, 2012 at 9:16 am

    Good article Neal. So true. Finding an agent is so difficult. Finding the right agent is almost impossible. But I said almost as I still do believe it is doable. Stay the course, I do believe it will happen some day!

  4. Great article! I hope you make it! Then, we can all live vicariously through you.

  5. corey colombin

    August 16, 2012 at 9:37 am

    I can commisserate with you, Neal. Going through this agent-seeking process myself right now. I find it interesting that they all claim to follow an “industry standard” yet they all want something different in a submission. I have many, many versions of synopses, blurbs, and everything inbetween to accomodate the requests. I call this the “jumping through hoops” phase, and for my part, I’m behaving like a well trained circus poodle. :) To tack onto your big foot theme, I think searching for a permanent agent for current and future work is like not only catching a glimpse of big foot through the trees, but actually being invited into his carefully hidden home for tea. And yet, I can’t help but to hope that there’s a tea time with Big Foot in the future for all of us.

    Corey Colombin
    Author of Confessions of Coffee Slinger
    Author & Illustrator of Eli Ate a Fly, and Poor Me

  6. Sandra White

    August 16, 2012 at 9:55 am

    Great article–and one I can readily relate to. I see “finding the right agent” equivalent to a young person right out of college finding that “perfect job” these days. Employers want to hire people with experience, but how do you get that experience if no one will hire you! In the “literary agent debacle,” most want previously published acclaimed writers, but how do you reach that coveted level of being “an acclaimed writer” if no one is willing to give you the opportunity to be “acclaimed!” No wonder so many of us writers are on the cusp of insanity. It’s enough to drive anyone nuts!!

  7. Barbara

    August 16, 2012 at 10:56 am

    Very clever Neal. I’m not sure it’s worth the grief honestly. With or without an agent you have to do all the work yourself anymore so why give someone a percentage? I’d rather pay a marketing firm, after the fact, to promote my book.
    b

  8. Irma Jacobs Tirro Author of The Lonely Snowflake and It's Almost Friday

    August 16, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    Neil, with your dedication, perseverance, and personality, I know you will find your Bigfoot. I am just as sure that your footprint in writing will be bigger than his in the sand.

  9. Sandra Fishel Brandon

    August 16, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    I guess I just think in this area a lot is up to “luck”. Wasn’t it probably just good fortune that J.K Rowling found someone to publish her “Harry Potter” books and then good fortune that they became so popular? Certainly her books are good and interesting but your book “Reternity” is just as good! Hang in there. Hopefully success will come your way soon.

  10. Bolivar Lopez

    August 16, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    That’s terrific. You are moving forward. That is a great comparison. All the hard work is paying off. The hardest part at times is continuing. The times your mind goes blank and all the other obsticles that come to you. All at the wrong time. You deserve to be successful.

  11. Marilyn Bishop

    August 16, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    I always enjoy your articles. Once again, you’ve written with your usual wit. And it sounds like this last agent may be more than just a “sighting”. This could bring your Big Foot (aka Agent) into reality!

  12. Concetta M Payne

    August 16, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    Without a doubt Neal you will get an agent. One right here in the USA. Your talent IS “really, truly, amazing”. Keeping my fingers crossed that your books get the recognition they truly deserve. Anyway you look at it, it’s a stressful endless task. Please keep us posted. Wishing you all the best.

  13. Rebecca Fronzaglio

    August 16, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    I truly wish you the best. There’s no reason “Reternity” won’t make it BIG time. In my opinion…it has it all. I couldn’t put it down. You remember, I asked to play the role of Max’s Mother when it’s made into a movie. I’m a pretty good actress (just ask my husband). As far as Big Foot. He’s real. I seen him with Elvis just the other day. They were eating beef jerky with a Sasquatch picture on it. Is that supposed to be appetizing or something? (Hope there isn’t hair in it). Anyways, after that, they stopped at a gas station and had a Dr. Pepper with Forest Gump. I would show you the photo I took, but Big Foot accidently stepped on it. Proves again..You never know who you’ll run into… so always bring your book along. Maybe, yes maybe…you’ll run into a literary agent. All kidding aside…Best of Luck Neal. Us Indies are cheering you on.

  14. Sharon Farmer

    August 16, 2012 at 11:30 pm

    If anyone ever deserves to find “Big Foot” and be rewarded for it, it is you Neal! Keep chasing your dream; I have a feeling it just might come true! Also, thanks again for bringing your humor and story into your authors’ lives. It makes me feel good and positive that I have a mentor like you. Hope the interested agents can read some of our comments. Again, your book ETERNITY is really, really good! And my friends and neighbors keep agreeing.

  15. Jodi Fiore, author of Lia-Ria Adventure stories

    August 17, 2012 at 4:07 am

    Congratulations Neal! Believe, believe, believe!

    • Jodi Fiore, author of Lia-Ria Adventure stories

      August 17, 2012 at 4:11 am

      Neal you have shown all of us that being realistic, positive, persistent and having some faith and a sense of humor truly does pay off!!!! Thank you and keep us posted!

  16. Dianna Skidmore, author of "Can You Be Like Me?"

    August 17, 2012 at 5:30 am

    Okay Neal, let’s set the record straight. There is NO BIG FOOT and Elvis is in Vegas, I saw him myself. I still can’t believe I can say, “my editor”! (That’s you Neal!) If YOU are having problems landing an agent, this just proves that they are an illusion. So, join the screen writers guild and send it out to movie producers, actors, etc. I’m just saying…

  17. Lonnie McKelvey

    August 17, 2012 at 6:46 am

    Good luck Neal. Excellent article! I still believe in Bigfoot. Remember the Fyffe UFO’s?

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