A New Adventure

IMGP6507By S. J. Brown

I am always up for exploring new territory.  I eagerly wander wooded areas, fields and streams in search of wild critters to photograph.  I’m not picky any wild critter will do, big or small it doesn’t matter.



Recently I embarked on a totally new type of adventure.  Authors and photographers are always looking for just the right home for our work.  It might be a magazine, an on line journal, a blog or as part of an anthology, or maybe a publisher.



About 2 years ago my sister and I began work on a memoir.  We carefully crafted our memories into a work we are both proud of and now it needs a home. Finding it a proper home requires someone who knows the publishing industry better and we do, an agent.

Finding an agent can be a full time job.   Our search began on the internet on the Agent Query website.  There I found a wealth of information on hundreds and hundreds of agents.  This first phase of the search yielded 961 names.



By eliminating any agents not currently taking submissions, anyone that doesn’t specifically mention they accept memoirs, and anyone not with an agency, the list was reduced to 200 names.



This was an adventure like I had never experienced before.  My sister and I chatted, discussed and then went a step further. It was time to go back to the internet and look up our candidates on websites like Absolutewrite and WritersCafé.  We wanted to see what other authors had to say about these agents.  Then it was time to look a little closer at each agent and the agencies they worked for.  The Predators and Editors website helped out here.  While we are eliminating potential candidates we took any agents not in the USA off our list.


This brought they list down to 70 agents that worked for 48 agencies.  It was time to check out the agencies they worked for, and each agents track history and what they could do for us.  That took our list to just 21 agents.

The next step was to see what these agents wanted us to submit.  They each have their own criteria and we need to send them just what they want.  Once we had sifted through what we needed to send to whom we took a deep breath and did one last read through of the manuscript.



Just last week our first submission headed for Massachusetts over the internet.  This week another submission will go out via snail mail.  This time 25 printed pages will be mailed to New York City.   The plan is to send out one submission a week for the next several weeks while we wait.   It can take weeks or even months to hear back from an agent. The patients I have developed in the field will really come in handy now.



Betty and I will be patiently waiting

So have you had any new adventures this summer?  Are you forcing yourself to be patient while you wait for something?


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19 thoughts on “A New Adventure

  1. I have been forcing myself to be patient over something very important I had to accomplish for a family member. The accomplishment depended on an outcome controlled by someone else. It had to be timely. Not easy to be patient under this circumstance. I hope your patience is rewarded by a contract to publish! You have given important steps for research into finding an agent.


    1. Being patient is always hard when other people are involved. I think many people think finding an agent is easy , you just pick one. There are so many to choose from and this is something I want to get right.


  2. I admire your dedication and perseverance. You will find the right home, I’m sure. Patience is a virtue, but not easy. Life is a journey and it’s the roads that are the fun part, at least that’s what I keep telling myself. *Smile* Good luck to you and Betty. Doris

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve realized that my work, other than some of my poems, is not agent or publisher material so I’ve pretty much given up on that route of publishing. Since Finishing Line Press agreed to publish one of my poetry collections, I might send another to other publishers before I put time and money into self-publishing. Good luck in your publishing adventures.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I wasn’t too thrilled with Finishing Line Press. They took FOREVER to publish my book, and when I couldn’t generate enough pre-orders, I ended up paying the difference. Everything had to be submitted both in hard copy and electronically. With My Ideal Partner, it was so much easier to publish through CreateSpace, Amazon, and Smashwords, especially since I was able to hire someone to copyedit and format the book for me. I’m sure there are other traditional publishers who don’t require as much leg work, but I suppose I could try Finishing Line Press again. Will see.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Back about 209-10 period I did the agent thing, but ended going with a small epress. I don’t have to pay anything to get published. The only shortcoming? I have to do my own marketing. But they have strong contract artists. Just look at my covers for my fantasy trilogy and you’ll see the professionalism.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great post, Sue — always enjoy hearing the publishing adventures of other authors/writers. How wonderful to collaborate with your sister! Wishing you both well in your search and future writing endeavors!


  6. Good luck, Sue! I hope to write a memoir someday too (my mom’s actually so I guess that’s more of a biography or at least I’ll be a co-writer) so I will probably be embarking on the same journey as you (one of these days!).


    1. Sarah, make time to work on it now. My Mom never finished her book. After she passed my sisters asked me to get it ready to be printed ( it was handwritten ). I would have loved to have worked on it with her.


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