Tuesday, January 3, 2012

How I Got My Agent

Happy 2012!! I hope everyone had a wonderful, fun and relaxing holiday. We were fortunate enough to have a white Christmas here near Denver, complete with ice-skating, sledding, and snowman building. The only downside to the last two weeks was eating my weight in cookies and chocolate fudge, but I've got a whole year to lose the weight before the holidays return!

While I'm not a big fan of New Year's resolutions, I do love setting new goals for the year. In reviewing my writing goals for 2011 (see last year's post), I had a variety of objectives I wanted to achieve. One of those goals was written exactly like this: SIGN WITH THE PERFECT AGENT FOR ME. (Apparently, the key to goal attainment is stating them in bold, all-cap lettering.) I'm going to try that with my 2012 goal of: HAVING THE PERFECT PUBLISHER BUY MY BOOK.

I signed with my awesome agent in mid-December, and she had her entire edit letter to me THE NEXT MORNING. Seriously. You can't get more perfect for me than that. I've also spent several weeks trying to say "my agent" without breaking into a ridiculous grin, but have failed so far. I feel so fortunate, lucky, and thrilled to say that I am officially represented by Jessica Regel from the Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency. This is Jessica:


This is me with my signed agency agreement:




As far as details go, I was pulled straight from the slushpile. I knew immediately after speaking with Jessica that she was a great fit, but I had other fulls out there and felt I should notify those agents out of professional courtesy. Jessica was very understanding, and when I received another offer of representation the next day, she said she wasn't surprised because my "book rocks." I'll admit that hearing that from an agent was one of the coolest writing highlights of my year. I loved Jessica's enthusiasm, confidence, and game plan for my book. Speaking with one of Jessica's current clients validated everything my gut told me--they raved about her dedication, competence, determination, and overall awesomeness.

One huge reason I'm convinced I obtained representation when I did is because of something I did not do from my goal list in the link above. I had originally planned to attend a writing conference that I'd gone to in the past, but then had my arm twisted to go to a week-long writing retreat instead. I said at the time that it was the best writing-related thing I'd done in in my life, and it's true. The feedback from editors was priceless, and I am forever indebted to one editor in particular for the confidence they gave me. After coming back from that retreat in October, I had renewed determination and tore my book apart (again), put it back together in November, and decided I would send it out into the world until somebody said 'yes.' I also started working on a new ms in order to preserve my sanity during the wait. 
     
I have a bunch of query posts planned about the whole process, but I also want to pay it forward and give back to the wonderful community of writers and readers out there. I'll be doing a query critique day for writers, a book giveaway for readers, and my awesomesauce agent, Jessica, will be doing a Q & A on the blog.

What are your goals for 2012? Feel free to use bold, all-caps like I did--it can't hurt!

43 comments:

  1. So happy for you!! Jessica is fab! Here's to many more success for you during 2012.

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  2. CONGRATS again, Kristi! *cheers* to selling our books in 2012!

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  3. Thank you!

    @Lacey--it would be so awesome to have our books sell in the same year!

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  4. CONGRATULATIONS!!! What an awesome way to kick off a new year. Best of luck!

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  5. Congrats! And best of luck with getting the perfect publisher.

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  6. I love this story and am so happy for you, Kristi! What a great way to head into 2012.

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  7. YAY!!! Awesome story! Congrats, Kristi!! Good luck selling your book this year - I love your all caps goal. :D

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  8. Congrats, Kristi!

    My goals are pretty much the same, although I'm feeling a lot closer lately.

    Happy New Year!

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  9. Congrats! And Good Luck with your 2012 goals!

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  10. Awww--thanks for all the congrats!

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  11. Congratulations, Kristi--what a great start to the year. I wish you all the best in your 2012 goal to be published by the perfect publisher for you.

    My goal is to finish the first draft of the novel I've been writing all year. And to revise it.

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  12. Super awesome and well-deserved! What a great way to start the new year!
    Let's see, i would obviously love to have an agent by this time next year, but my goals are usually just what i can control, which is getting my two WIPs ready to query in 2012 and then keep writing and working.

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  13. Congrats! I love hearing wonderful success stories like yours--It does, and can happen. Here's to 2012 being the year of your BOOK DEAL!!!

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  14. Kristi, Rock and roll, girlfriend! My agent and I amicably parted ways earlier this year, and I'm about to query a new book I've just finished. Thanks for the inspiration, and best of luck when you go on submission!

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  15. Congratulations, Kristi! I'm so excited for you! You have given out so much information and opportunities on your blog to so many writers. It's wonderful to hear that you now have an agent...I am sure it won't be long until we hear you have a book deal too.

    HAPPY 2012!

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  16. Thanks for all the love!

    @Michael--good luck w/ your draft and revisions. You can do it!

    @Matthew--you seem very close. Good luck!

    @Sarah--that's the best thing you can do to get an agent. Revise and polish, and repeat. Good luck!

    @Heather--Thanks, I sure hope so.

    @Debra--thank you, my dear. Good luck with the querying and finding your perfect fit!

    @Sharon--that's so sweet. We just know how much we've been helped by other writers, and want to give back. Happy 2012 to you too!

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  17. Kristi, I'm so happy for you! This rocks, congrats! I will be putting things in bold and all caps from now on! ;)

    Crossing my fingers for you with the perfect publisher goal. I have faith in you! :D

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  18. Thanks, Nicole!

    Dorothy--bold and all caps is the way to go-lol! Thanks for the faith in me...I remember when you hosted me on your blog way back when. :)

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  19. Mary Louise SanchezJanuary 3, 2012 at 11:28 PM

    I'm very excited for you! Can't wait to see your name on the spine of your new book(s).

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  20. Thanks, Mary Louise. You helped whip into shape and endured about 20 versions of my first chapter! :)

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  21. Congrats, Kristi, on your awesome news!!!!

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  22. Congrats again, Kristi! I love your take-no-prisoners approach to revising the book over and over until it was where it needed to be. And I really love that you got to working on a new ms while waiting to hear back from agents. Great examples for all aspiring writers to follow. Best of luck with the next part of your journey!

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  23. YAY! Every aspiring writer's success just makes me all the more hopeful. Best of luck with selling that novel to the very best publisher in 2012!

    As to my goal, I have a novel out in slushpiles, including partials and fulls, so I'm hopeful I'll find my very best agent this year. :)

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  24. Still SO EXCITED about this! This is the year of the sisters getting published. I know it!

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  25. Woohoo!! Your hard work has paid off--it's so exciting!! So happy to hear this. What a way to start out 2012!

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  26. SO happy for you! All caps for me from here on when dealing with future dreams: GET AN AGENT IN 2012!

    I'm looking forward to hearing more about your success story and you've also made me think about attending a writers retreat. Which one did you go to?

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  27. @Stina--thank you!

    @Jeanne--you were my role model, lady. I'm so excited for your book release. :)

    @Susan--best of luck with querying. It sounds like you're off to a great start!

    @Shelli--thank you so much. Congrats to you too!

    @Valerie--I hope so! You and Lacey are a little ahead on the publishing part, but I'm trying to catch up. ;)

    @Carol--you are too sweet. Thanks for the tweets too! :)

    @Rachel--you go, girl, with the all caps! I went to the Writing Away Retreat in Breckenridge. I'm pretty sure the website is writingawayretreats.com, but I think the next one is this Spring. SO WORTH IT! :)

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  28. Congratulations and what an inspiring tale. Guess we can all learn something from it. Stretch and try something new. Then beat the book up ruthlessly! :)

    Karen Lin

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  29. Congratulations, Kristi. Definitely a good way to start the year. Here's hoping for more good outcomes from the retreat.

    Chris

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  30. Congratulations! You & Lacey will sell your books in the same year, 3 months apart. We'll meet in the autumn, but I don't know what year. ;) My goals: have a book published & another ready for editing.

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  31. @Karen--yeah, my book took a lot of beating from me!

    @Chris--hi there! Yes, I hope everyone from the retreat has amazing things happen this year!

    @Simon--you didn't mention which year-lol! I can't wait to meet you someday, and know you'll get your book published. Good luck! :)

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  32. SIMON! You can't not give us a year! Lol! I hope you're right, though! :D

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  33. LOVE your story!!! Congrats again!! <33

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  34. Kristi & Lacey, this is what happened. I read your comment & heard 3 months apart. I also heard 6 - 8 weeks, so I believe that one of you will have writing news in 7 weeks. I think it's Lacey. An editor is moving (not changing jobs), this is the one one of you need. Potentially both agents have homes for your books in 2012! The good news is, I'm usually right, the bad news, I'm sometimes wrong ;) Also someone's husband or male friend is going to loose control of a vehicle on ice/snow. No one will be hurt. Wounded pride. I've had to cancel my trip to the US in Feb :( but I'll be back.

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  35. Awesome, Simon! I hope you're right. Except about the accident. Please be wrong about that.

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  36. Congratulations Kristi! So very cool. :)

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