Wednesday, 22 July 2009

BREAKING NEWS - maggie's search for a literary agent is over !!!

Don't you just hate it when you're watching the news and suddenly, in bold captions, taking up a quarter of the screen, is BREAKING NEWS and you automatically stop listening and start reading the caption!

Only, the caption is not exactly breaking news standard, which, in my books, is something really awful or absolutely wonderful. It's usually something tedious/boring and by this time you've lost track of the item you were listening to.

I only noticed this practice during T.V. coverage of the invasion of Iraq and so it was pretty important but now stations do it all the time for no apparent reason, it seems to me.

Anyway, I decided to use this technique for myself to announce my status viz-a-viz finding a literary agent. Only it's not what you expect because the fact is that I've made the momentus decision to actually stop looking for an agent.

If one phones me up, begging to take me on, then I might reconsider but until then, I've had enough.

And the reason is very simple.

I read, on a regular basis, two writing magazines: Mslexia and Writing Magazine and they both include interviews with agents and publishing editors and the message is loud and clear from both sources.

What they want in an author is someone who writes in a similiar way or on similiar themes to other writers so they can 'pidgeon-hole' the writing. They also want the writer to churn out a book a year, preferably as part of a series, and that meeting dead-lines is essential.

Sadly to say, I just can't do that. These days I have to pace myself not push myself. So, there's really no point in spending time and money sending off manuscripts to agents when I know that there's no way I can be the performing puppet that they're really looking for.

What I shall do, though, is research the smaller publishing houses, where costs are far less and where I'm hoping that there's less need to sign a two/three/more than three book deal. And if I find anywhere suitable, then I'll send off Cyprus Blues.

Things may be different when I've finished Winchester Blues, which I would class as a modern Agatha Christie who-dunnit, because I do intend to extend that into a series.

So, fingers crossed for a small publishing house...Watch this space...

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