In which Deb Kristina says finding an agent is (not much) like dating

liarscoverthumbnailThe surprisingly short list of how searching for a literary agent is NOT like dating

You can’t put make-up on your query letter. Well, you could, but it would smear. Also, hard to tell if your query looks better in a “summer” or “winter” palette.

Bad breath not so much of a dealbreaker.

Obsessive Googling directed more toward Publishers Marketplace and agent blogs as opposed to say,

You never have to meet in person (although this is not so different than dating in the Internet age…)

The only love required is mutual love for the manuscript.

When you finally connect with the right one, you don’t have to register a china pattern.

Safe querying means always using a SASE.

You don’t have to pay your dates 15 percent.

Rejection doesn’t hurt as…. (Ah, who am I kidding? The rejection part is just like dating.)

To those weathering the storm in the hunt for an agent I say: keep your chin up, there are other fish in the sea, the sun will come up tomorrow, and all those other platitudes that our mothers used to give us when we were sobbing into our tissues after being dumped by our Love of the Moment in high school.

Mom was right, you know. The right one is out there, somewhere. (Maybe more than one, in fact…)

Deb Kristina

13 Replies to “In which Deb Kristina says finding an agent is (not much) like dating”

  1. What a terrific post. Next you should talk about the “honeymoon” period with your agent. May it last forever, of course. I think going out on submission is terrifying – don’t you? My agent is the perfect blend of tough as nails with me and completely supportive. He doesn’t mince words when he thinks I’m off track and I love that. I have a mother to tell me I’m the bees knees. I want my agent to help me get him a book he can sell!


  2. I agree with Kim. Your agent should be supportive but also brutally honest. My agent is a great blend of both.

  3. Katie, good one! And from what I understand, people try it, anyway.

    Kim, you better believe it’s terrifying, though in my case it was mercifully short.

    And Tiffany and Kim, good call on the honesty. Sometimes I want my husband to lie to me (he should always say, “You look terrific, honey”) but my agent should straight-up tell me if my butt looks fat in that manuscript. And she does.

  4. Very funny post, Kris! I think so many people take a “romantic” angle in their search for an agent (there’s going to be chemistry!), when they should be taking a “business” point of view. It wasn’t important to me that my agent was my best friend–but I needed an agent who was trustworthy, classy, and honest. But just like people are misled in their search for a life partner, a lot of people have to try for a second time for the right agent…

  5. And then, when you get an agent, it’s hard not to be completely terrified of him or her – after having looked at them as all powerful and the Holy Grail of writing. Then you get to know him/her – read agent blogs – and start to realize they are people. So then you move on to being terrified by editors…. Do you ever move past that point? Please say yes!

  6. Meredith, so true!

    HAR, Becky!

    Kim, I’m not terrified of my editor at all! Also, I went to a local RWA conference which had a live band dance party at the end, and you know what? It’s hard to be intimidated after you’ve boogied with editors while wearing Mardi Gras masks.

  7. Kris –

    VERY funny post!!! But I disagree with you. I do think finding an agent IS like dating. I’ll write more about that on Friday.

    But your post was hysterical. And I needed a laugh this morning. So thanks!

  8. You had me at “You can’t put make-up on your query letter.” and I 🙂 -‘d through the rest of your post. A great way to begin the week, Kristina, thank you!

  9. I needed this badly today! Just when I was going to take a day off from queries, and sink into my carpet dreading what the agents with my partials must be thinking…And when the hell did you speak to my mother? My God, it’s exactly what she said to me yesterday and I told her to bugger off. It’s like she called you to remind you to put her quote in your blog….

  10. Kim, no kidding. I also discovered my agent is a much better dancer than I am.

    Looking forward to your post, Eve!

    Glad you enjoyed it, Larramie.

    Kathy, I’m glad my post was so timely! You’re allowed to take a day off of querying if you need it (though sometimes I found the cure for query anxiety was to send more… more hooks for those fish, you know.) Oh, and your mother sends her best. We talk all the time, you know… 😉

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