BLOGGER: WENDY LAWTON
WORKAROUNDS: FINDING AN AGENT
Too often we hear writers mourning the “fact” that one can’t get published without an agent (which is not true) and that it’s near impossible to find an agent in this seemingly shrinking market.
Anytime the front door to a problem seems blocked, I like to find a workaround. Let’s look at the problem and see if we can figure out the workaround.
Problem: Catching the attention of an agent and getting him to ask for a proposal or manuscript.
Traditional Solution: Write a smashing query letter, send it to multiple agents and hold your breath.
Workaround: Meet the agent or publishing professional in person. Sounds complicated, but it’s not. And we’re not talking about the fabled literary dinner parties and salons of Maxwell Perkins, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway.
A century ago, people didn’t travel like we do today. Writers, agents & editors gather together in person more than ever before. Forget the dinner party, you can now spend an entire week with your favorite publishing professionals, practice the craft and learn about the business of writing. Agents and editors are committed to making ourselves available at writer’s conferences. It’s my favorite way to meet writers who are willing to invest time, energy and fiscal resources in their careers. I’m preparing for the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference in three months. It’s still one of my favorite weeks of the whole year.
Simple fact: Agents attend writers conferences to meet new writers. The good conferences give us plenty of time to connect with writers. Mount Hermon is one of my favorites. In addition to the appointments we schedule, we share seven or eight meals with writers. Those relationships forged around a table of eight are the basis for many a professional relationship.
It may take a number of different face-to-face meetings until your target agent decides he can’t live without you, but there is something about that real-time connecting that overshadows the traditional methods. It’s the perfect workaround.
Come meet Wendy Lawton at the Mount Hermon, March 18-22, 2016, where she’ll participate in a couple of workshops, review pre-conference manuscripts, and meet with writers!
Are you looking for the agent who is right for you? Eight agents plan to join us at Mount Hermon in the spring. I hope you’ll consider doing so, too.