Thursday’s Children: 04.04.2013

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So, I don’t think any of you will be surprised when I say this is going to be my “How I got my agent” post. Because my agent inspires me.

For those of you who don’t know, I’m officially represented by Eric Ruben, Esq. YAY!!!!!!!

Well, I’m in love with him. Seriously. He and I have the EXACT same vision for my ms. Plus, our personalities mesh and we have the same mindset and yes. Good things.

So. Eric and I started talking on Twitter. (Follow him. Trust me. @RubenAgency) Some of you pointed this out when I signed with him. You were not surprised. We talked a LOT, and about total random BS, not even stuff related to publishing or my novel or literary-ness. But we got along SO well, eventually he asked me when he was going to get to read some of my work. To which I responded, “Whenever you like, Mr. Ruben. :D”

So he requested some pages. Then he requested the full the next day. Then he asked me if I wanted to talk about revisions. And I was like, “YES I WANT TO TALK ABOUT REVISIONS AHHHH!!!!!” So he called me and like I said, our visions match perfectly. Also, he LOVES my voice as a writer, and that’s extremely important to me. Best of all, he gave me ideas of which I didn’t even think, ideas that will enhance my story and showcase my talents and make my manuscript brilliant.

So we’re talking and he goes, “Would you feel more motivated to do these revisions if you knew you were getting this ready to go on submission? How would you feel about being one of my clients?” And literally, the first words out of my mouth are,

“Are you fucking kidding me?”

Well, luckily, he knows me pretty well by this point so he just laughs and tells me he’s serious. We talk about a contract and other businessy things, but that, my darlings, is not the point.

The point is to remember that agents are people. Now, I’m definitely not an expert on agents or publishing. But I want to share my experience and try to make this process a little less terrifying for everyone, and I wouldn’t have signed with my fabulous agent at all if I hadn’t accidentally figured this out. You want to know a secret? Eric actually rejected me. Yes, yes he did. I queried him several months back and received a form letter. And yes, for the same manuscript.

However. Agents represent people, not projects. My project needs a lot of work. It’s not even close to ready. (Like, really.) But myย personality is something my agent said he’d hate to see someone else represent. I know it sucks to be on the other side of this like, “Thanks, Jessie, what does that mean to me?” But here’s what I’m telling you: agents aren’t scary gatekeepers of some mythical land where book deals are signed and dreams come true. They’re people. Granted, people with skills and connections you want and need, who can certainly help you make your dreams come true. But people nonetheless.ย And like any person with whom you want to have a relationship, they have to get to know you. You have to get to know them. I know it’s intimidating, especially when the advice out there is like, “Don’t say one wrong thing or you will be killed by agent firing squad.” But it’s not like that. It’s really not. I promise. You trust me, right? Many agents are really approachable on Twitter and as long as you aren’t creepy or stalkerish or annoying, it’s a great way to connect. And hey, even if you don’t get an offer of rep out of it, you’ll meet some fantastic people who you’d be afraid to talk to otherwise.

Alright. I’m getting off my soapbox. I love you guys. I’m really happy with Eric and I’m extremely excited about the future, and I know you will continue to be with me every step of the way. ๐Ÿ˜€ โค Thursday’s Children FTW.

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19 comments

  1. LOL, what a great agent story. And I totally agree how inspiring it is to have people who love our work, whether, an editor, agent, CP, or future readers. Nice post!

  2. Again, congrats! I wrote a post on my old blog about “agents are real people too” back when I was still in the talking and stalking stage. It’s easy to lose sight of that when you’re floundering in the query trenches and they seem to be looking down at you through the ether from lofty marble pedestals.

  3. Massive congratulations on a bagging an agent. ๐Ÿ™‚ Your post made me laugh and it’s true, connecting with people, whether agents or fellow writers is the best way to build relationships – which is where the wonderful worlds of Twitter and blogs come in.

  4. Huge congratulations! Actually your post made me a little weepy and I’m not that kind of girl. It reminded me so much of how it felt when I first talked on the phone with my agent. I couldn’t believe how relaxed and wonderful it felt–and how much she loved my writing. The thing is, this happened just after I had a scary in person pitch to a top tier agent. We totally didn’t mesh–and I’m pretty easy going.

    When it’s right, it’s right. I’m glad you found your match. Loved your first words too.

  5. YAY!!!!! I’m so, so excited for you!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ that is totally awesome and I bet you are really pumped ๐Ÿ™‚ CONGRATS!!! And excellent advice too ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Congrats again, Jessie!!! Sooo excited for you!!! And, OMG, I loved this post! Seriously, hilarious AND informative! You’re so right about agents being the gatekeepers ๐Ÿ™‚ teehee They totally are people, and sometimes we (as writers) just have to keep reminding ourselves of that. I’ve been following Eric for about a month and already I totally dig him! He’s so funny and his tweets about Whole Foods kill me! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thanks for sharing this and good luck with revisions! Can’t wait for your MS to be pubbed!!

  7. Wow โ€” congrats!

    I love that you were able to connect with him outside of the “process”. And the fact that he’d already passed on the same MS during the “process”. Really shows that the goal is to connect you and your work with someone who gets it. Not just to find someone to help sell it.

    Good luck!!

  8. I’m so happy for you!! I think you are one of the coolest people on twitter. I’m glad Eric saw it too! I hope you’re having fun with the revisions. That’s one thing I really look forward to, having an awesome agent of editor give me editing notes to make my work better.

  9. Congratulations, Jessie. Such a great story. Also, it’s helpful to hear that the whole “Donโ€™t say one wrong thing or you will be killed by agent firing squad” isn’t always true! Right now two agents have had my full ms for a few weeks each, so I am sort of freaking out (not in a bad way). Stories like yours give me hope. I am cheering for you and your book!

  10. Great story & very encouraging. I believe that there has to be a connection between agent & writer. Just like your friends & family would root for you, you want them to root for you too. I have a full out, and even if it doesn’t work out, I spoke back and forth with the agent on twitter & she made me feel comfortable before I handed my literary soul over to her via email. You’re living the dream, enjoy it girl! From our short twitter interactions i can tell that you are an amazing person (I mean you love masks… hello!!! AMAZING!! lol) and I am very happy for you!

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