Pre-Agent Hunt Blogging

If there’s one consistent piece of advice agents give about finding an agent it’s “don’t blog about it; it weirds us out.” And being a superstitious motherfucker, I will not blog about finding an agent once the search begins.

But I spent all last night finalizing my list of places to pitch my project and I have less than ten, which makes me feel like I’ve gone about my search all wrong, so, that’s not a good feeling. If it rains later today, I’ll have to re-approach my list.

I also feel like I wrote this book because it is the kind of book I enjoy reading and because I’ve never read a book about ministers’ kids that didn’t end in “rah rah, yea God!” So, that some of them ask for comps kind of freaks me out. Lots of folks write about the devil. Joe Hill’s new book is about the devil. Chuck Paluniak’s (that doesn’t look right, but I’m too lazy to look it up right now. Fight Club  dude) upcoming book is about the devil. It’s a veritable Satan-o-copia out there.

And even Valente’s book has people who turn into birds.

But who write fantastical stories about ministers’ kids?

I guess it probably doesn’t matter.

But I like to fret. I’m very nervous about this next part. I feel like I’m doing all I know how to do, so, if it doesn’t work, I’m going to have to regroup and come up with a new plan.

I just keep thinking of that feeling I had at Southern Festival of Books, when I went to pick up A City of Ghosts from the sales tables and there were only four left. It was awesome and I knew I had fucked myself right in the eye. People who saw that book picked it up. People who picked it up flipped through it. And people who had not been to my reading, who had never even heard of me or the book, bought it.

It hurt that book that there’s no way for people to just discover it on their own. They’re never going to come across it in a bookstore. They won’t find it on their library’s shelves.

That book deserves better than that.

I can’t say this book is better than A City of Ghosts, but I poured everything I had into that one and I’ve poured everything I had into this one. And I just don’t want to feel like this one missed readers who would have liked it because I got chickenshit about rejection.

But damn, this next part is going to suck. And I can’t quite get the part of me who’s all “oh, the first agent you send it to will love it and ask for it and it will sell immediately and it will be awesome! Maybe you can use the money from your advance, after setting aside taxes and traveling money for a book tour, to fix your yard!” to shut the fuck up and hear what the pragmatic part of me knows–that we’re going to have to go and fail hard for the next little bit.

The goal is to persevere.

3 thoughts on “Pre-Agent Hunt Blogging

  1. If it helps a little, I just checked WorldCat. “City of Ghosts” is in two libraries. That’s something, I guess.

  2. I just watched “Julie and Julia,” and it might help you gird your loins, as it were.

    It has a lot about what Julia Child went through getting her first cookbook published.

    Plus the side bit with the great Frances Sternhagen as Irma Rombauer is hilarious. Every publisher in the world screwed that woman, but “The Joy of Cooking” is still a classic.

    Plus, food porn.

  3. You wont be failing any more than that critter in the children’s book “Are You My Mother?” failed when the various critters turned out to not be its mother.

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