Now that I’ve had my civil war novel, The Long Defeat, professionally edited and polished I have been shopping around with various literary agents for the past several months. Needless to say, it’s a long process, but there have been a few lights at the end of the tunnel so far. I’ve had the privilege to get my manuscript submitted to several interested agents, some of whom liked it enough that they requested the entire book and read it, which may not seem like much at first, but considering how many hundred submissions an agent gets a day it’s a big deal if they take the time out to read your entire manuscript.
Unfortunately, even in these instances I have gotten close, but still no cigar. Some agents have cited that they are too busy with other clients and a few have said they liked my book, but felt it was too short. The reason for this being that in the historical fiction genre, apparently longer length novels sell better. So some agents have actually suggested they might be interested again if I extended my book another by 20,000 or 30,000 words. That’s almost 50% more than I have written in the story right now, so it’s a tall order and one that will take some time to match.
In addition, I’ve already started writing a new book, which I’ll blog about later next week. I guess I’ve got my work cut out for me, but so long as I can keep a few agents interested hope remains. Another agent even liked The Long Defeat at its current length, but requested that I make some additions that emphasize female characters, which is also a big selling point with publishers as women buy far more books than men. I know it may all seem like pure business and no creative heart, but it’s something worth contemplating for those who really want to take their written work the whole way. I’ll keep you posted and in the meantime as I’ll pretty much be doing things as usual, lots of writing and even more rewriting.