Publish or Die! Part 1

January 7, 2009

Publish or Die! is dedicated to tracking my novel, Brown Girls, through the publishing process. These particular entries will record my dealings — good, bad and ugly — with literary agents/agencies.

Am I granting these people/companies exclusivity? Oh, hell, no! OK, let me rephrase that. If sample chapters or the entire manuscript are requested, then yes. If only  a query letter is requested, then . . . oh, hell, no!

Think about it — in what other situation in your life would you let your entire future rest in the hands of a complete stranger for up to 12 weeks while you sit and twiddle your thumbs? You don’t visit just one car dealer when you’re buying a vehicle. You shop around for the best deal when you’re looking for a new computer.

So why wouldn’t you be on a constant, unrelenting hunt for a literary agent? Look, the cruel, unvarnished truth is this: 99.9 per cent of every query you send out is going to be rejected, probably without being read. To waste 12 weeks of your time — while some agent spends five seconds of theirs — waiting to be told “No” is total and utter madness. Plus it’s just plain silly. And unproductive.

Somewhere along the line — in a classic example of the tail wagging the dog — the power shifted from those who actually sweat their guts out to produce the product to those who merely flog it between martinis and soy lattes. If no one wrote another word, all those agents and editors and publishers would have to get real jobs. Just like yours.

You want my book? Step up, baby. Crap or get off the pot. You snooze, you lose.

And if this sounds like I’m biting a hand I’m hoping (and praying) will feed me, then I’m going to enjoy every bloody mouthful in the process.

So let’s get on with it  . . .


Agency: BookEnds LLC


Date queried: Jan. 7, 2009

Particular agent: Kim Lionetti

Material sent: E-mailed query letter only, as per instructions on website.

Why this agency?: I first saw it mentioned in a WordPress blog and then read a few good comments about it on the Web.

I’ll let you know the results from this query, and all others, in future installments of Publish or Die!


One Response to “Publish or Die! Part 1”

  1. Megan said

    Brown Girls was a great book. Fascinating, funny and very hard to put down. I am really looking forward to Brown Girls 2.

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