This may just be our FASTEST SUCCESS STORY EVER! Within days of the auction, Rena Rossner let me know that she had offered representation to the author of the first full she'd read from her auction winnings. Shortly after that, the author accepted. I'm happy to share her story, in her own words:
So I have this little book, a lighthearted romantic mystery about a struggling
actress and above-average dog walker who has inherited a police dog with a
nose for crime. She's kind of ridiculous, and she has a major luck
problem—which is how I could describe myself. No surprise then that I felt
daunted at the prospect of looking for a literary agent.
Before I began my search, I belonged to a Facebook group of authors who were
in the midst of querying, and the tales of spreadsheets, rejections, R&Rs, or the
dreaded silence made the prospect seem bleak at best, muse-killing at worst. But
the fact is, there are a lot of manuscripts out there and a finite number of agents.
And each of those agents represents perhaps a few genres, and then, within
those genres, he or she has preferences, wish lists, and an existing stable of
authors with work that shouldn't be cannibalized by something similar. I'm sure
many agents dread their inboxes full of queries that miss the mark. As writers, it's
our responsibility to get to know as much about each agent we query as possible
to increase our chances of a good fit.
Luckily, the Internet and social media now offer some fun and efficient ways for
agents and writers to match up. At Miss Snark’s First Victim, the hardworking
Authoress provides a super-supportive critique forum and runs a number of very
successful competitions where writers and agents can meet. The one I took part
in was On the Block 2016, which was an agent auction. I entered it on a whim,
not having entered anything like it before, and then as the selection date
approached, I readied myself to hear nothing. But then I got an email! I was
number thirteen. Lucky number thirteen.
During the week that my excerpt was posted, I was bowled over by the generous
and encouraging comments and helpful feedback that I received from
Authoress’s writing community. I started to get my hopes up. My husband noticed
that I had started to vibrate (kidding!).
When my auction time arrived, I was touched to learn that my sister and my
friend Lynne were watching with me. Rena Rossner from The Deborah Harris
Agency and Danielle Burby from Hannigan Salky Getzler—both amazing agents
who I’d be lucky to have represent me—bid with so much enthusiasm that it was
all over in four minutes! I was in shock. I think I shrieked. Rena Rossner had won
a one-week exclusive with my full manuscript.
And then I waited. It was an exciting time. I lost a few pounds because my body
was whirring as if I had a hamster wheel inside me. My husband started to
speculate about whether I might explode if I was offered representation.
The final day of the exclusive, I woke up to an email from Rena saying she’d
finished my book in two sittings. She was offering me representation! Then my
husband had to inform me that I was slapping his arm and he was now awake
and I could stop.
Later that day, Rena and I talked on the phone for about an hour. I was
impressed with her experience and industry knowledge. And she was so friendly
and easy to speak to that I was immediately put at ease, which I feel is important
when you’re working with someone on a creative endeavor. We were already
batting around ideas for my character’s arc across my planned series. I could tell
we were a good fit. And I was very encouraged by her thoughts on the different
ways my book might fit in the marketplace. Rena also represents sectors and
genres I have an interest in writing in at a later date (middle grade and
speculative fiction), so in that respect, she was also a great fit for me.
I’m still pinching myself! I couldn’t be happier to be represented by Rena Rossner
and The Deborah Harris Agency. And I haven’t exploded—yet!
Thank you, Authoress, for all you do to help aspiring writers to improve, find
community, and match with agents. Your hard work is very much appreciated.