Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Last year, about this same time, I attended the American Christian Fiction Writers Conference and had the pleasure of gaining the interest of a very well known agent. As you can imagine, I was thrilled. My manuscript was complete and in the hands of a professional editor. Her job was to provide a comprehensive edit of the book. After a final rewrite, based on the editor’s feedback, I was ready for print. But the agent was no longer ready to represent me. What a let down.

With a finished manuscript, my next stop was the Writer’s Edge Manuscript Service. A resource used by many publishing houses today for screening purposes. The Writer’s Edge reviews your proposal, author profile, an outline of the book, and some of your manuscript. If they determine the book qualifies, the Writer’s Edge features your book to the publishing houses. Mine was selected as one of those to feature resulting in two inquiries. After a few weeks of “chatting” with both houses, one gave me the best rejection letter I have ever seen. The other offered a contract with a financial obligation that I rejected.

Okay, it is time to get back to finding an agent. Clearly, an agent can assist me in successfully maneuvering in this confusing world of publication. So let’s get started.

ü Locate the current publication of Sally E. Stuart’s Christian Writers Market Guide

ü Review the entries listed in the guide to identify agents who are willing to accept unpublished authors.

ü Verify the requirements for submission by going to the agent’s website

ü Capture in specific detail the submission requirements

ü Research the web to ensure that none of the agents on the list have bad press with previous users

ü Finalize the list; do you have any contacts that may know this agent? If so, be sure to mention that in the cover page

As of today, I’ve e-mailed queries to five, and I work the list daily, qualifying others. We will look at the results in thirty days. Wish me luck.

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