Literary Agents, Postage Stamps and the Queen’s Jubilee…

So, for the last couple of days I have been busily engaged in packaging up and sending off my precious first ever novel manuscript to a selection of literary agents, mostly in the London area. This has been a task/milestone that I have been looking forward to for months, but now that it is here it has been done with a certain amount of trepidation and fear.
The first problem came with the mild shock of the sheer cost of postage these days. Didn’t it used to be a fairly cheap privilege to lick the back of the Queen’s head and gum her face to an envelope? Maybe the high price is paying for all those unnecessarily ridiculous Jubilee celebrations. If they were going to bring back the Sex Pistols playing on a boat down the Thames I wouldn’t mind paying, but as it stands we will have hours and hours of sycophantic TV and ‘celebrations’ full of fake joy – all telling us how marvellous and hard working the Queen is. All when we didn’t even vote for her. But maybe I should save my republican ideals until another post before I rant too much? (that isn’t like ‘Republican’ in America by the way) – I will quote Thomas Paine before I swiftly move on, this pretty much sums up my feelings about the monarchy:
“A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right…”
But enough of digression…
The second fear came when I finally handed over my carefully packaged envelopes in the post office and when I clicked the ‘send’ button on my (strangely cheaper) email submissions. Had I really checked and proof-read every word? Every punctuation? What about all those typos I probably missed when I read through it eighty seven times? Will I be rejected because they don’t like my handwriting on the envelopes? Maybe I should have typed labels or something? I bet there is some glaring mistake in all those I sent off! Such a precious package! Hope I got it right…
Then, once I had sent them, I got to thinking. Imagining my packages landing on the desks of jaded agents and tired agency ‘readers’. How could I have possibly thought they would be remotely interested? How foolish of me…I know I will be rejected, like all the thousands of others they reject. I could have saved all those pounds on postage!
In the end my mind conjured my biggest fear. What if, by some miracle of miracles, one of them actually likes my manuscript? And, God forbid, thinks I have talent and potential? The problem then would be – what if I don’t like them?? Should I hang out for a better agent or jump for the first one? Oh to be given such a choice…
Now the waiting begins…

UPDATE: So I have had TWO (count them – 2) email rejections within 24 hours of sending it out. Which obviously begs the question – did they actually read anything I sent? Well probably not, but then this was something I was expecting from some agencies…ho hum…chin up it’s a sunny day! (23rd May 2012)

What do you think?

All those precious words…

Thomas Paine: Norfolk’s favourite hero (yes I know most people think its Nelson…)

Β© 2012 Simon Poore

12 thoughts on “Literary Agents, Postage Stamps and the Queen’s Jubilee…

  1. The advice I’ve seen is categorise agents as A (first preference), B (second preference) etc., then query all the A agents at once, so if you get an offer, you aren’t worried about who else might accept because all the agents you are currently querying are equally acceptable. If all the A agents say no, then on to the B agents and so forth.

  2. I think…I cannot wait to feel those very same fears. I hope you’re work is picked up. Good luck, sir!

  3. Good for you! I think we all go through several moments of trepidation when sending our work out. I guess it’s part of the job. πŸ™‚ Good luck!

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