This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Regular readers of my column will know that one of my writing resolutions for this year was to get an agent, and I’m delighted to announce that I’ve just signed with Hannah Ferguson at the Marsh Agency.
When Hannah first told me on the phone that she wanted to represent me I was flabbergasted. It’s taken a few weeks for the news to properly sink in and I still can’t quite believe it.
It all started one barmy week last month, when an editor contacted me about Don’t Tell the Groom, and in the same week an Italian company asked about the rights. It was at that moment where I suddenly felt out of my depth. Did I want a traditional publishing deal? How much was a book worth? To be honest, instead of being excited about the emails I broke out in a cold sweat as I had no idea what to do.
So I did what any person would do when they’re having a bit of a breakdown, I tweeted for help. I tweeted that I thought I needed an agent because I’d been contacted by a UK publisher and an Italian company. Along with lots of lovely tweets of encouragement, I was contacted by two agents, and I received two valuable bits of advice.
The first bit of advice was from an editor, who told me to ‘choose an agent as carefully as I’d choose a publisher’ and the second bit of advice was from an author who told me to ‘look closely at an agent’s list and see if I would be a good fit.’
From these two little nuggets of advice, I knew that I had to send a submission to Hannah at the Marsh Agency. Not only does she represent women’s fiction authors whose books I’ve enjoyed: Miranda Dickinson, Ali McNamara, Kirsty Greenwood and Laura Ziepe, to name a few, but more importantly, of her clients that I’ve met or spoken to via email, all of them have lovely things to say about her.
So then the scary part happened. I had to submit Hannah my work. It’s one thing to be asked to submit a piece of work, but I knew that she’d have to love my book to take me on as a client. Of course, once I’d sent over the submission I entered that nervy phase of self-doubt and constant email checking. A few days after submitting the manuscript Hannah contacted me to arrange a meeting, and a week later, I had a phone meeting (as I’m currently writing in France).
Apart from the bit where I attempted to pitch my sequel to Don’t Tell the Groom, which I waffled my way through with nerves and ended up tacking bits on the end to try and make it sound more exciting, the phone call went well. Hannah offered to represent me, and I immediately said yes.
So there we are, readers. I now have an agent. I’m over the moon. Whilst I’ve really enjoyed self-publishing and have been so pleased with where it’s taken me, I’m looking forward to trying to become a traditionally published author. I’ll keep you updated on what it’s like to have an agent and what it’s like when your book goes on submission to publishers – eek!