Wednesday 19 September 2012

The first tentative steps

My manuscript had now been safely sent off to the competition for new authors and I had three month’s to kill so I decided, while I was just-hanging-around, to take the first tentative steps into the publishing world.

I typed in “author’s agents” into Google search and up came the Association of Authors Agents.

I printed off two pages of agents names. I began by picking one agent starting with the A’s then one starting with B’s then through to C’s and so on until I had at least fifteen randomly picked names.

Starting with the first name I typed it into Google search, and up came its page link which I clicked on. I read what type of author they represented. Most agents like to specialise into a particular sector of the market so it only seemed logical to contact people who would be open to my type of story and to drop the names that didn’t.

After a couple of hour’s research I had five Agents with their contact addresses and the rules you needed to follow before they would even look at you. They all seemed to have similar specifications. No email submissions would be accepted, a one page synopsis only, the first three chapters only printed in 12 point on A4 paper, and a one page history of your education, university and any previous writing history or success.

I had been through the University of Life, but as the rejections came in I wondered to myself, maybe, just maybe if I had had the honour of an Oxford or Cambridge Universality education I would have made it over their first hurdle.

I was reminded of a story about someone who carried out some research into job applications.  They had basically applied to various companies using the same letter, but with half of them was attached a picture of a white person, and the other half a picture of a black person. The white person was either called into an interview or given a reply while the other never got called in or just heard nothing.

In the end over the next three weeks I repeated this procedure again, and again, then sent out all the required paper work to a dozern or so agents.
I waited to see what happened.

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