I wrote to Nathan Bransford just to get it out of the way. I had my rejection in hand in five minutes. As I mentioned, I expected one from him, and one from Ellenberg, if I get a reply from Ellenberg in two weeks at all. BTW, manzabar
, I forgot to mention that Ellenberg is John Scalzi's agent. I know how you feel about him!
I don't necessarily expect a rejection from my next query, Kathleen Bransford, who is both a fantasy and a young adult agent. I feel my chances are more on an even keel there. Those who have corresponded with her have good things to say.
You know, what is interesting about using a tool like Query Tracker is that you really can research agents thoroughly, and since I'm not approaching this from a desperation angle (I'm determined to find an agent with a good fit) I've easily ruled out agents that have been rude to others often, weird, philosophically unaligned (can you see Substance
being represented by a fundamentalist Christian?), or who aren't shopping for my genre.
I would like an agent, but not at any cost. It's like considering a hire from this angle as well. If I get a bad vibe, or a place doesn't feel suitable, I'm not hooking up.
The slush pile is hardly a reality yet. I've searched and found 216 agents. Thirty of them do not accept unreferred writers. That gives me 186, of which I've discarded 5 and queried 9. Two are still out there. Seven are nos. That gives me a whole 172 agents left to query. That could keep me busy for a bit.
So, the plan is first AAR/email agents. Then AAR/snail mail. Why? Ease, pretty much. I'd also like an ecologically friendly work place if I can get it. Then nonAAR/email. Then nonAAR/snail mail. Pretty straightforward.
Will I do the slush pile if all this comes to naught? Realistically, all could come to naught. I probably will. I could sit on the manuscript, or I could try for the longshot. I'll have the rest of my life to sit on the manuscript, and if I have a book deal in hand, it might leverage an agent.
All right. Enough of this for today. Back to the students, the emails, and the planning.
(to quote Donkey from Shrek
: Pick me! Pick me!)