Overnight Success Can Take Years

Today started the next phase of my “get rich quick” scheme of becoming a world-famous mystery writer. Hey, so far so good – I received a free cup of coffee this morning at my remote office, aka Starbucks. I can’t complain. Today’s goal: set up my Query Tracker (QT) search parameters and start building a list of potential literary agents who may be open to representing me and The Apple Pie Alibi.

After successfully querying the database, I diligently started working through the 149 agents who matched my search requirements. I decided to check the QT profile first, then if it looked promising, visit the agent’s website. After a cursory view, if I still had an optimistic feeling (okay, maybe naive?) I would add said agent to my preferred list. The idea being once I had made it through all 149, I would have a much more specific list to send out the query/synopsis/first [insert number] pages of the novel, along with any available bribe money.

The first agent on the list? Mysteries were, in her words, not primary, not secondary, but “something we accept, but are not actively seeking…”

Moving on.

The next two agents? They only accepted queries by snail-mail. Also, no email address. No website. My dad is 88 and he has an email address. And he spends many hours a day researching from his computer.

Moving on.

The next agent has promise. In fact, I will spend more time this weekend performing a more thorough view of the agency profile, but what piqued my interest so far is the agent’s blog. And no, the aforementioned agents did not have blogs, either.

For a good, and very realistic account of what authors and agents go through as they walk, run, trip, stumble, and/or mosey down the road to publication, check out literary agent Sarah LaPolla’s story here. It will show how becoming an overnight success can easily take years, and often has nothing to do with the writer, or the novel itself.

Meanwhile, the query search continues…




3 thoughts on “Overnight Success Can Take Years

  1. Best of luck, D.J.! It’s all about finding the right agent at the right time, which basically translates into “Keep trying until it hits the mark.” I want to read this, so get it done. 😛

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