My brainwaves are tsunamis. My heart is fluttering and my legs are jelly. Though there is a lot of hurt and confusion and heartbreak going on in the world these days (shootings, deaths, countries leaving nations), I’m trying to look towards hope and silver linings and good news and balance: taking in the bad, but soaking in the good, too.
Amongst the sadness in the world this June, my little world of Lindsay saw a silver lining:
I was offered representation from literary agent Renee Nyen of KT Literary. (Check out the official announcement over at the KT Literary website here: http://ktliterary.com/2016/06/welcome-lindsay-henry/ )
Whew. Okay. So...
I am officially represented by a literary agent. And I must emphasize that Renee is not just any literary agent, but an awesome agent who is passionate about her work and enthusiastic about my book. An agent who’s not just poised and professional in her career, but a kind and thoughtful and caring person in general. Even if Renee wasn’t my agent, I’d still be a fan. She was one of the tops on my list when I sent out queries to pitch my manuscript to literary agents. I could not be more thrilled to be represented by Renee and be a part of the KT Literary family.
I recorded the video above right after I hung up with Renee to verbally accept her offer of representation.
Yeah, I’m trying to play it cool, but clearly I can't play it cool for more than 30 seconds.
If you’re thinking, “Um, okay, cool? But what does a literary agent exactly do? What does this mean?” check out a blog post I wrote a few months ago about literary agents and the process to getting published here.
Basically, this process is sort of similar to, say, a football player signing with a sports agent. The agent then (in many cases) helps the football player negotiate a deal for the player to play professionally in the NFL, for example. With manuscripts and literary agents and authors, the literary agent’s main task (amongst many other things) is to sell the writer’s work to a publishing house, who will then publish the book and sell it to the masses.
When I told my mom that I was going to sign with a literary agent, she said to me, “It all is going so fast!”
And it does feel a bit fast now, but in the best way possible, like when the water breaks and a baby is on the way. Only this time, it’s a book baby (not sure if that’s a weird metaphor or not, but I’m going with it). After years of writing and editing, months and months of querying and waiting, suddenly an email and a few phone calls and a signed retainer agreement have changed everything.
Here’s the timeline of Lindsay’s Journey to Getting Published (So Far):
- 2014: Started writing manuscript
- Memorial Day Weekend 2015: Finished the first draft, a 300something-page manuscript (way too long at the time).
- [*Insert Wedding Planning/Getting Married/Moving Break Here*]
- Mid-November 2015: Became laser-focused on trying to Make This Book Dream Happen (lots of editing and polishing and reading out loud and doubting and eating Dove dark chocolates). Several helpful individuals (called beta readers) read manuscript/suggested edits and feedback; I made the changes.
- [Insert 5 or 6 drafts and re-writes here]
- December-February 2016: Researched potential literary agents for months, making notes of their preferences/submission process guidelines
- February 2016: Wrote query letter. Re-wrote query letter. Re-wrote query letter. Re-wrote query letter.
- March 2016-May 2016: *Said prayers and inhaled and exhaled* Sent out query emails to agents, got requests and rejections
- June 2016: Talked to Renee on the phone, did some thinking and praying and talking…Accepted with Renee….Agency sent me a retainer agreement…Signed retainer papers
- June 27, 2016: OFFICIALLY OFFICIAL
From finishing the first draft to now, it’s been about 13 months.
It wasn’t always a pretty picture of me skipping on rainbows towards the magical world of publishing and books and writing. There were rejection emails. There was hopes dashed after an agent requested pages and then ultimately said no thanks.
But I am proud of the timeline. The blood, sweat and tears...it's like I earned my stripes a bit. And I’m thankful. I’m thankful for every single person—friends, family, co-workers, agents who liked my book, agents who passed on my book—who were all crucial to this point. I’m thankful to be in this place, and I’m looking forward to seeing what's next.
*Insert awkward excited happy dance here*