Monday, May 10, 2010

An Almost ‘Yes’

In addition to the professional editing my manuscript of The Long Defeat is currently undergoing, I have partials (short sample versions) of the book out with several literary agents right now. Many of the agents I met at the San Francisco Writer’s Conference back in February have still kept in touch and maintain various degrees of interest in the condition of my novel as it continues to progress through the final stages of reediting. I recently just got another response back from an agent who I’ve met and really liked. What I received from her I would term as an “almost yes.”

     Now you many inwardly wonder why I should even differentiate the not-so-subtle options of ‘yes’ and ‘no’ responses I could receive from an agent. Allow me to briefly explain. Most times manuscripts get rejected right off the bat, in fact you usually don’t hear back directly from an agent but instead get a form letter that can be pretty impersonal. Sometimes you simply hear nothing back at all. However, there are many progressive stages towards getting closer to that final ‘yes.’

     This most recent agent explained that she had to reluctantly pass on my book, not because of any faults with my novel, but because she already has so many client obligations. She told me that my novel was strong, the writing good, and the story compelling enough that I should continue to pursue seeking representation for it. In addition, she added that if for any reason I don’t find a literary agent for my book by the end of the year I should re-contact her again because she doesn’t like having to pass up an opportunity to represent a good book when it comes her way. In addition, she provided some great feedback and a personalized response that was really encouraging.

     Getting personalized replies from agents that work for reputable literary agencies usually means that you’re on the right track. My main goal is to keep as many possibilities open as I can. Generating interest in my work and finding agents who want to know how my efforts in getting my material published are progressing are all things that I take as a good sign. Other agents have also read partials of my manuscript and have requested to see more once I have the entire story finished with the professional reediting process. In the meantime, I continue working hard to complete all the edits on my book and reach that day when I will hear a definite ‘yes.’ With this latest encouragement I will definitely keep on trying and remain perpetually and diligently optimistic.