• Alwia

How to snare a literary agent in 6 months- AH Review


Since writing this post I was forced to abandon my search for a literary agent after realizing that...well, my manuscript sucked. But worry not! I'm currently polishing a completely revised draft which I'm very happy with. It won't be long now till I enter the query trenches again. On that note, let's have a laugh at my previous self writing this post:

8 January 2017

When you’re a proud owner of a sadly unpublished novel, the most soul sucking experience is receiving one of these little ego crushers:

Now finally, after 5 months of polite emailing, and several more little ego crushing emails, I’m proud to announce…you’ve guessed it- still ‘agent-less’. And like a deranged ex-girlfriend who just can’t seem to get the guy, I too have become desperate.

In other words: I’m beginning to throw money at the problem.

This desperation  has manifested itself in the shape of a fancy-pantsy and ahem, expensive, manuscript assessment and contemplating paying more money for a subscription to an online website called Agent Hunter. Thankfully, bloggers willing to review their services are given a 6 month free trial (woop, woop!).  This  is excellent news because, let’s face it, it's not like I’m getting any richer anytime soon.

The goal? Snag an agent

The time? 6 months (because I ain’t paying a penny after the trial ends).

So let’s get the show on the road!


Now if I was 'hunting' for an agent in the animal kingdom, it would sort of be something like this:

But alas, the process isn’t nearly that simple. What I’ve learned so far is that getting an agent is more like a complex form of seduction.

Let me clarify:

Imagine you like a guy and you’re keen on attracting him. What do you do? You stalk him (come on, we’ve all done it). You stalk his online profile to figure out the inner workings of his personality, his hobbies, likes and dislikes. Armed with this information, you can finally set up a detailed plan for your attack. Agent Hunter is basically online dating for unpublished writers. You navigate through their lists of agents, sift through profiles, filter your results based on compatibility. They even give you some very detailed personal information through posted interviews with the agents. This is perfect, because you can tailor your cover letter just… right.

Looking for a book that’ll make you cry? Baby I’ll make you cry.  Interested in distorted reality fiction? Is an apartheid society that segregates its citizens based on hair type distorted  enough for you?  Yeah I thought so too.

Then my day started to get a bit dark…I opened my excel spreadsheet and began putting together my hit list; noting down the emails and names of my future agent victims. Keen on expanding your small list eh? Agency relatively new you say? Mawhahaa I will eat you two alive (scoffs and types their details with a cigar in her mouth).

Well anyway, that’s how things went in my head.    I have now the beginnings of a promising list that I’ll be expanding within the next few weeks. Thoughts on the first day of the trial? Not half bad.   But we’ll see how things go in the coming weeks.


Many weeks later....

ME: I need to re-write my novel from scratch.

It was a sad time indeed... But I'm determined to not repeat my previous mistakes and keen on giving this whole process another shot. I'll keep you all posted once I start querying again which should be in the coming 2-3 months.

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