I haven't posted often lately because I've been so busy. I'm thankful for it . . . but it does mean that sometimes I cannot get around to doing all the things I'd like to.
So far in 2010, I've published one novel, one novella, two stand-alone short stories, and have had three other short stories in anthologies. I also have one more stand-alone before the end of the year (my m/m Christmas short due out Dec. 2 through Silver Publishing called "For the Love of Scrooge." I am so thankful to be published, I can hardly express. This has been a dream come true and I am so lucky that the dream keeps repeated itself.
I am also thankful for the people I have in my life. My husband (who supports the crazies writing sometimes give me), my kids (who don't know what I write yet other than me saying "no you can't read it, it's only for grown ups -- but will know one day), my family, my friends.
I was fortunate this year to also have another special person enter my life. My agent. Saritza Hernandez with the L. Perkins Agency.
I wanted to take this opportunity to recognize how very thankful I am for Saritza and answer a question I've been asked frequently lately: Why do you have an e-agent?
The short answer is that I believe there are many benefits to having an agent even in the current e-pub world that does not necessarily require it in the same way that the print world does.
The long answer is, and in no particular order:
(1) My personal preference is that Saritza takes care of all the business side of things for me. I have a busy and stressful day job . . . so I prefer not to worry about the querying process, contracts, etc. I do write the query synopses, and other required synopses and outlines, and look over contracts. But the meat and bones of it Saritza handles. That is one of the primary benefits for me. I asked her (and she agreed) to represent all my work so that I don't have to worry about it. She takes care of everything for me. This may or may not be a plus for someone that writes romance for a living and has much more time to devote to all sides of the process, but for me it is invaluable!
(2) Having an agent even though not required may be advantage with regard to relationships the agent (Saritza) has built up with editors and publishers. So, for example, a story submitted by an agent may get noticed quicker, read quicker, or pushed to the top of a submission pile or any other number of benefits.
(3) Saritza from my experience is an "editorial" agent. So, she will help with editing and almost act as a beta reader too. Give me suggestions if something isn't quite working in my story (and find typos, grammar mistakes, etc). If she finds anything, she'll let me know before she subs it to give me the opportunity to fix anything and (hopefully) make my story better. I’ve been writing for a living in my day job for many years now and no matter how many times I proofread and edit something, I always find mistakes. I am thankful for another pair of eyes (because you can never have too many).
(4) I truly believe that e-publishing is going to continue growing and is the future. It may take a while, but because if this core belief (which e-sales confirm), I also believe that one day (again maybe not in the next year or so, but some day) the rule like the one Samhain has will be the norm. At Samhain, agented submissions are not required. However, if the publisher is ever temporarily closed to submissions, having an agent is one of the only ways to get in see Samhain's FAQs.
As e-pubs continue to grow and get more submissions, they will need agents to be the gatekeepers. And not just in times when they are closed to submissions, but all the time. When that happens (no if, but when), e-agents will be the same position as print agents, and will be as numerous (perhaps current print agents will discover that to stay alive they must also become e-agents). As this progresses and time passes, e-agents (like print agents now) will become more difficult to come by. They will get many, many, many more queries than authors they are willing to accept as clients. When that happens, I already have mine. And, she will have loads of experience over others. I like the idea that I'm ahead of the game for what I believe is inevitable.
(5) It is comforting to know my agent is connected to and backed by a very long-standing and well-respected agency, L. Perkins Agency.
(6) I like having an agent that is on the cutting edge of this e-publishing revolution.
(7) It is wonderful to have someone in my corner, who puts my needs above all else. Someone who values her clients and goes out of her way to cherish them, and nurture them, and respond to many emails and tweets and Facebook posts and hysteria and joys!
I can think of many more reasons, but I’ve already written so much that I could have . . . well . . . been writing.
I am thankful for much, but I am particularly thankful for my agent!
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!