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What Makes an Agent Finally Say, “I’m Offering.”

With some spare time in my day I threw it out to Twitter for blog ideas. One reader came back with this gem,

Replying to @BookEndsJessica
When reading queries, how does an agent decide the ms is worth taking on even if it needs editing or possibly revision? #amwriting

There is no easy answer to this and of course what finally pushes an agent to want to offer is going to be different for every agent, which is why the same manuscript could have 365 rejections before finally receiving three offers (and eventually selling to a publisher).

For me it’s like the feeling of falling in love. I know that sounds overly dramatic, but it really is true. I get an excited flutter in my chest and almost feel short of breath. This usually happens way before I finish the book, often before I even hit the middle of the book. I get the feeling you have when you know you absolutely have to have something. I can’t put down the book, it’s all I want to talk about it and when I’ve finished I have to fight to not pick up the phone to call the author immediately (I like to force myself to sit on it for a day or so).

Choosing submissions and authors is completely subjective and it really comes down to how my gut feels about something and how badly I have to have it.

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2 comments

  1. I guess it’s the same reason some people love chocolate and others not so much (something I don’t understand but that’s a whole ‘nother story) – there’s just something about it that makes you really want it.

    And now I’m thinking about chocolate, lol.

  2. I agree with this. Submitting a transcript and hoping to get it published is like writing your thesis or dissertation. You know you’ve given your all and done it so well, but its success (aka whether you pass or fail) would depend on your academic jury. Although researches have a higher percentage of passing that having your manuscript be offered for publishing, but it sure does feel the same. Sometimes it pleases, sometimes it’s not enough. Even those well-written books has been rejected a lot of times before publishing.

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