Many moons ago, when I was a bright-eyed young writer, I accepted an offer of representation with an incredible agent. It's an exciting thing, signing with an agent. It comes with a sense of extreme momentum and imminent victory. Together, you and your agent shall crush the publishing world one contract at a time and soon you'll be joining one of those fancy debut groups to share the highs and lows of the journey of a debut author. Probably tomorrow.
But things don't always go so smoothly. Signing with an agent is never a guarantee that your book will sell. It's not a guarantee of anything, really. But it is wildly different from what has come before. In many ways it's your introduction to the World of Publishing.
While there's a lot of really good information about there about how to go about winning that agent, there's not so much out there about what can happen between that moment and next. We don't have to look far to find networks for aspiring authors and debut authors, but there's a notable gap for the author who, while still aspiring, has taken a significant step and signed with an agent.
Not long after signing with mine, I realized I had a mighty need to connect with others who were also new to their agent relationships. Though I had a number of friends who were already published, the support they could offer was different. It was a "learn from my successes and failures" kind of support and it was and is valuable. But I needed peers. People I could learn with instead of from. I paid attention to Twitter and the once-great LiveJournal communities and started collecting names of people celebrating their offers. Soon, I had 10 names and I emailed all of them to say, "I'm starting a support network. You are in it."
That was the end of 2011. Three years later, the 11 of us are all in very different places in our careers (6 of us have published; 6 of us have left those initial agents; 1 of us is an agent), and we email each other just as much today as we did back then.
Needless to say, if you are a recently agented author, I encourage you to find other recently agented authors to support you as you go through this process.To that end, here is my offer. If you have recently signed with a literary agent, complete the form linked below with following information:
- Your name. The one you use when filling out forms and contracts.
- Your email address.
- Your audience and genre(s).
- The name of your agent and their agency.
- When you signed and where you are in relation to event known as "submission."
As entries come in, I'll coordinate groups by audience (adult, YA/MG, etc) of no more than 10 people and email you with their contact info. After that, I will bow out of the equation and how you chose to use your group is up to you!
Alright, that's it. Please feel free to share this as widely as you like.