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Linguistic Debris . . .

Hunting for An Agent. . .

Ah, welcome back!

So I blogged in October and November but somehow realized that I was a slacker in December and didn't post anything. Actually, I wasn't really slacking. Of course, I could use the "holiday" excuse but in reality I was busy soliciting agents.

I was busy doing what?

Well, I wrote a book called Parachute Moon. Proofread the crap out of it. Had tons of people read it and review it. Made changes to it. Edited it. Re-worded stuff. Cut stuff. Cut more stuff. Streamlined stuff. Tried to perfect the thing. Took freakin' years.

Then I completely re-did this website. Total revamp.

In the meantime, I wrote, recorded, and released my song (thanks again to Rod Feltman!) called "Parachute Moon." It's the same song that Carl Jenkins, the protagonist in my novel, sings to his soulmate.

I also have this blog thingy going, plus a Twitter account, Facebook Fan Page, and an Instagram account.

I know, I know. . . so what do I want? A medal or something?? A pat on the back for all this shameless promoting I've been doing?

Nope. I want an agent.

See, an agent works as quality control for publishers. I can try to hawk (or is it hock?) my book directly to a publisher, but there would be no quality control. They'll never take a look. So I have to get an agent.

Publishers like agents, because publishers know that agents won't waste their time pushing crap or something that won't sell. So. . . if I get an agent, my chances of becoming published increase exponentially.

The problem is . . . it's really hard to get an agent. Like really, really, really hard. Super duper hard. You hear about all of these daunting stats: basically if you're an unknown quantity (which I am) then the odds of securing an agent are around 1%.

Gulp. That kinda sucks. No, actually, that totally sucks.

So what's a person to do? Well, a few things:

1. Write a really good query letter to an agent that gets them interested in your book (check)

2. Submit all necessary materials to said agent (synopsis, sample chapters, bio, etc.) (check)

3. Make sure the book you have written is revised, edited, and hopefully really good and commercial (check)

4. Have a good social media platform -- Facebook fan page, blog, website, Instagram, Twitter, etc. (check)

5. Do something a little different for promotion. . . something that will hopefully "set me apart." Something like writing, recording, and releasing a song on iTunes, Pandora, Google Play, etc. etc. that is featured in the book? Yep. (check)

6. Have something unique to say about my book. Something like the fact that it was inspired by a real-life story. A real-life story about a couple who dated over 50 years ago, fell in love, became separated but then reunited over 5 decades later to become married? (check)

7. Provide "proof" of this real-life story by videotaping this couple telling their story to my class, seeking permission from the family to post this video online, and then posting it on this here website and on YouTube? (check)

8. Hope and pray and nervously await an answer back from the agent (s) I've solicited. (check)

9. Work on the second and third books in the series while I wait to see if I can get representation for the first one? (check)

10. Did I mention hope and pray and nervously await an answer back from the agent(s) I've pitched to?

There you have it. I think I've done my part. I don't mind failing. We learn from failing. However, I refuse to look back with any regrets. No "I should've recorded and released that song," no "I should've done more with social media," no "I should've proofread it better, no "I should've done this or that." Nope. I think I've done everything possible (and then some) to inch that 1% chance that I have to maybe, say, optimistically, a 10% chance.

And that's all I can hope for. I'll keep you posted on how things go.

Thanks for reading my ramble. 'Til next time.

Happy Trails,

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