Oh god

(76 Posts)
ImperialBlether Thu 04-Jul-13 20:06:40

Yesterday I got the email I've always wanted from an agent! I won't paste it in here just in case but it includes the words:

Really impressive
Stunning denouement
Powerful psychological thriller
I want to talk to you
Send me the other one (I've written two)

It says just about everything I've wanted to hear - it's been a long time coming but wish me luck!

apatchylass Thu 04-Jul-13 20:08:06

LUCK! LUCK!!! Shedloads of luck. Good for you. That is absolutely brilliant news.

ImperialBlether Thu 04-Jul-13 20:11:17

Thank you! Waiting does pay off! (Or I hope it does!)

TunipTheVegedude Thu 04-Jul-13 20:31:43

Good luck.
I can't tell you how pleased I am.

Keeping my fingers crossed and please, please do keep us updated.
It is so well deserved for all your hard work and persistence.

wine flowers

ImperialBlether Thu 04-Jul-13 21:12:59

Thanks so much. I'm really excited and just hope I don't fall flat on my face with this one. I'm happy to answer messages but am wary of putting too much here in case she's an MNetter!

GW297 Fri 05-Jul-13 00:18:08

Amazing! Well done!

wordassociationfootball Fri 05-Jul-13 17:15:55

I don't see how you can fall flat on your face. A stunning denouement is a stunning denouement whoever is slicing it. It sounds like you'll be able to pick and choose. Is this the agent you've got good reason to know you really want? Is it with anyone else?


ImperialBlether Fri 05-Jul-13 19:35:12

Thank you!

The problem is that it was with another agent who tried to place it a while back. The agent who was interested then passed it onto a new intern and most of the publishers she tried to place it with said they were wrong for the book, IYSWIM. I had to make the decision whether to tell this new agent or not - most friends advised against telling but I couldn't stand it if I was found to be lying. It wasn't fair on her too, if she were to approach the same people.

Anyway, I was honest with her and she's now reading the second novel. She's asked for a list of the publishers it was sent to previously, so I'm having to email the original agent to ask her - not sure she'll have that information now, though and not sure she'd pass it on anyway.

And wordassociation, the thing is that the new agent has said it was a stunning denouement but one of the publishers said she didn't like that bit, so you can't please them all! She did say an editor could help change it, but of course she didn't want the novel anyway (she had someone similarish who I think comes on here) so I didn't change it.

It's all so stressful!

allbie Fri 05-Jul-13 20:20:44

That is totally brilliant! How long had you been trying to place your book? A two book deal would be sensational! Well done. It is always fab to hear of success.

BsshBossh Fri 05-Jul-13 20:21:38

Fantastic news Imperial!!!!

ImperialBlether Fri 05-Jul-13 21:33:45

Hey, don't jinx me by talking about success, allbie! I can't imagine she was too thrilled to hear it had been sent out before, but hey ho, nothing I can do about that and at least I've told her.

Thanks, Bish!

Anyway she'll be reading the second book next week so I'll come back on and update. I hope to god it's good news - I'll be pulling this thread otherwise!

ImperialBlether Fri 05-Jul-13 21:35:17

Allbie, I've sent it off to a few places in the last few months and have been fed up by how few actually respond. A couple have been very nice and haven't sent standard letters but others have been quite curt in a "don't even think of entering into correspondence with us" kind of way.

You really have to have thick skin, don't you?

wordassociationfootball Sat 06-Jul-13 09:19:23

Well she loves it. And if she loves it she will work for you to get the best for it and you. Best of luck and keep us posted.

BsshBossh Sat 06-Jul-13 10:00:20

Yes, agree. As she loves it she will do her utmost to support it (she'll want to make her cut of the sales!) smile Do keep us posted!

ImperialBlether Sat 06-Jul-13 12:41:02

Thanks so much for your reassurance. She said she'll read it in the next week, so I'll be back on to tell you about it, whether it's good or bad!

allbie Mon 08-Jul-13 15:58:27

The success I meant was for being recognised as a decent writer! No jinx intended. Having just started in sending out my completed novel, I can just about imagine the delight at being taken seriously!! I have started number two now which has helped me to shrug off the no ta emails! Ho! And to get me over the sudden space created by the completing of a book!

ImperialBlether Mon 08-Jul-13 22:01:40

That's the best thing to do, isn't it? It's the ignorant buggers who don't even reply who get on my nerves - it's soul destroying.

BsshBossh Mon 08-Jul-13 23:44:27

Ooo allbie best of luck to you. I'll hopefully be where you are in a month. Just doing final edits then synopsis then list of agents then... eeeekkk!

ImperialBlether Tue 09-Jul-13 00:12:55

They could start up an MN imprint!

Best of luck allbie and BsshBossh.

BsshBossh Tue 09-Jul-13 08:27:50

Thanks Imperial!

Excellent, well done. I'm in a happy place too, just been sent the final version of the cover for mine.

TunipTheVegedude Tue 09-Jul-13 19:50:16

If we were all published by a Mumsnet imprint, it would certainly have a varied list <innocentface>

ImperialBlether Tue 16-Jul-13 15:51:59

I don't believe in prayer but could all of you just take a minute to close your eyes and say to yourself, "Please, agent, pick up the bloody phone!"

Thank you - I'll time her call from now!

TunipTheVegedude Tue 16-Jul-13 16:33:02

Sending vibes to the agent, Imperial.

ImperialBlether Tue 16-Jul-13 16:40:29

Thanks, Tunip! I'll be sending more than vibes if she doesn't get a move on!

BitScary Tue 16-Jul-13 22:13:42

Hurry up agent! Oh god, it's torture waiting for this kind of news, isn't it?

ImperialBlether Tue 16-Jul-13 22:46:30

It's really awful. Mind you if it's bad news, I'll wish she'd taken longer!

Brilliant news, so excited for you. I just came on here to blabber about what I'm up to and this is just the boost I need. Hope it's going well.

TunipTheVegedude Tue 23-Jul-13 09:06:37

Fingers crossed that she gets a move on.

Lurkedtoolong - come on then, tell us what you're up to! You can start a new thread/post on the starting a novel or the editing a novel thread if you don't want to do it on Imperial's.

Ooops, sorry Turnip grin. Will start my own thread.

TunipTheVegedude Thu 25-Jul-13 18:20:00

I didn't mean it like that! I doubt Imperial minds! grin

Oh, no, sorry. I'm sure Imperial doesn't - but I realised that I probably had lots to say so my own thread was probably better.

fackinell Mon 29-Jul-13 23:53:20

Ooh I just saw this!! Well done, Imperial, that's amazing news. Keep us posted grin

ImperialBlether Wed 07-Aug-13 14:57:43

Thought I'd come back on, though my wounds are still smarting.

After that email, I wrote to the agent and told her that actually it had been taken on (though nothing was signed) by an agent before and that it had been sent out to publishers. I also sent my second novel.

She completely backtracked. She picked holes in the second novel - nothing that couldn't have been sorted in a week - it was clear she was very disappointed in the whole thing.

She has suggested starting from scratch with a new novel. I've just sent her the synopsis and I'm waiting to hear from her.

However, I'm finding it a struggle to start writing it. I feel like I've lost all my confidence.

The original agent (I had to write to ask her which publishers she'd sent it to) has asked to see the second novel, but I've no doubt she'll pick the same holes the other one did.

It's so frustrating. I do believe if she'd taken on the first one at least, I'd be halfway through the new book by now. I just keep looking at blank paper and wanting to cry!

Be careful what you wish for, eh?

Negroni Wed 07-Aug-13 17:46:26

Hi Imperial, been lurking on this thread but saw your post and had to de-lurk and say how frustrating that all must be. Totally sympathise with you finding it hard to get going on new book too. So much that dictates what we do is down to how we feel and am sure you must be feeling annoyed!

Sending good luck vibes that the first agent will love the book she has and do remember that both agents really liked your book so that means your writing is fab! It's a set of irritating circumstances. Please have lots of wine

ImperialBlether Wed 07-Aug-13 18:11:52

Thank you!

I have a problem with the start of a book - I feel it's like abseiling or something, where you are literally staring into the void and then taking a jump! I've nearly finished chapter 1 now, and will finish it today. I have to keep saying to myself, "It's only the first draft..." because it really is rubbish at the moment.

The thing is that when the first book didn't get published the agent told me to write another. So I did and now I've got to write another, that's better than either of them! No pressure, eh?

Negroni Wed 07-Aug-13 18:34:44

It is like abseiling though - well, I haven't written a book- but creating something from nothing is very much like jumping into the void.

The fact that you could go off and write a second book shows you can do it. And you do have a book that 2 agents liked, and one of them really really liked it!

Am lurking on these threads - as I imagine others must be- because I haven't quite got round to getting over procrastination about writing something. But you have written 2 books and 1 chapter so be very proud of that!

ImperialBlether Wed 07-Aug-13 18:43:06

I've written three! The first one I wrote a few years ago, when my children were smaller. They'd go to bed at 9 pm and I'd sit down and write from 9 - 11 every night, 1000 words a night. The book took three months to write, though I edited it afterwards.

I can do it if the synopsis is full enough. If it's too vague, I just do mental screaming!

In fact I was looking at Frasier on Wikipedia - someone had done a brief synopsis of each episode and it was exactly the sort of thing that helps me. It's here.

What do you like to read? What would you like to have written?

Procrastinating Wed 07-Aug-13 18:50:54

Hello ImperialBlether just wanted to say that I have been in your position and I gave up because I lost confidence. I'm impressed that you are getting on with it. I think I will always wish I had taken the chance while it was there. Good luck to you.

ImperialBlether Wed 07-Aug-13 18:54:26

It's enough to knock the confidence out of anyone, Procrastinating! It's never too late, though! Do you write at all now?

Procrastinating Wed 07-Aug-13 19:02:22

Yes, I write non-fiction now but it took me a long time to get over the experiences I had with agents. I have a proposal with a publisher and another proposal with an agent at the moment. I'm waiting to hear - it is horrible.
My first agent showered me with praise, left me waiting for news for months and then just ended my contract. My second agent just kept asking for different plots but nothing, it seems, was good enough. I'm writing in my two areas of expertise now but I'm still expecting to get nowhere with it. I keep trying to work out why I do it!!
What are you writing Imperial?

TunipTheVegedude Wed 07-Aug-13 19:02:32

Oh no, just seen this. Bugger.

You know what it's making me think of though - that novel on the Booker shortlist that got rejected 47 times.

I think the fact that you are sitting down in front of a piece of paper says quite a lot. You are committed, you will get there. Someone on Twitter today tweeted someone-or-other famous saying a writer needs two out of three things to succeed: talent, luck and determination. You've got the talent and determination and you will break through. Maybe soon.

Keep at it x

Negroni Wed 07-Aug-13 19:08:56

Those Frasier synopses are great!

I like to read lots of stuff - fiction, that is ignores huge pile of magazines and newspapers in the living room I like reading crime fiction and thrillers as well as more general contemporary fiction. Would like to have got on and written a book for teenagers and I also read some young adult/ children's fiction.

Inspired by your getting down to writing between 9 and 11. I could do that. Am always finding excuses - mainly work and looking after DDs - for not getting on with writing.

Negroni Wed 07-Aug-13 19:10:55

Yes, and like others say, do keep at it!

wordfactory Wed 07-Aug-13 19:14:04

Hi OP.

I was just wondering if it might be worth sending the second book out to other agents.

I can't help feeling that this agent is probably a no-go, and that by the time you've written another book on her say so, who knows where she'll be or what her list will look like.

If it were me, I think I'd bin the book that has been sent out and rejected by publishers. You really shouldn't be sending that to agents - it'll just pee them off when they find out!

Don' consider it dead, though. You can resurect it in time to come when you've secured an agent and publisher grin...

Why not start a fresh round of subs with the untested book?

ImperialBlether Wed 07-Aug-13 19:21:23

When I was writing from 9 - 11, it made me very focused. Everything had to be done by 9. I didn't want to go out to the kitchen at 11 and have to start cleaning up and I didn't want to go up to the bathroom and find it a mess. It was a really good focus and you know, it was a bit like getting ready for a date. I'd get really excited and be running around desperate to get everything ready for the 9 pm start.

I feel I've got to keep going. I'm in my 50s. If I don't do it now I risk never doing it. I can't take that risk!

Thank you for all your support; it means a lot to me.

Procrastinating Wed 07-Aug-13 19:25:10

I know what you mean about the risk of never doing it Imperial. I'm in my 40s and I feel like that too.

Unless you really like the agent I would try another agent with the new one as wordfactory suggests. It is a bloody rollercoaster isn't it?

wordfactory Wed 07-Aug-13 19:28:42

I think if you have a half decent book already written, I wouldn't take the owrd of this one agent that is too flawed. Keep in mind her view will be slightly tainted by discovering the first book had already gone out to market!

If you think it's good enough, Op, then sub it to more agents. What have you got to lose?

ImperialBlether Wed 07-Aug-13 20:08:48

Hi again

Wordfactory, I've sent the second book out to quite a few agents and nobody's shown any interest. This one was the first that read all of it; the others saw the first three chapters.

It's really hard to get agents now (stating the obvious here) and many just don't reply at all if they're not interested.

This agent did read it through. She said I am a good writer and had a good plot. However, the three main characters had flaws (from her point of view.) I didn't really agree (in fact I didn't at all) but I would have been willing to work on it. You're right though, having learned that the first one had been seen by publishers before, she decided to back down.

However, she does want to see whatever I write next. She's said I should feel free to see other agents for the first two books.

The original agent now has the second book and I haven't heard from her yet.

This second agent is a good one (well, they both are) and I do trust her. I think she was hoping the second would be better than the first so she could present that to publishers and then ask them to look at the first book, too.

I'm not going to send the first book out to anyone now. As you suggest, I'm going to hold onto it and hope book 3 does the trick, then hope like hell they want the others too!

It's a bloody nightmare, isn't it?!

TheRealFellatio Wed 07-Aug-13 20:10:19

How fantastic! Loads of luck.

Abra1d Wed 07-Aug-13 20:13:06

'it had been taken on (though nothing was signed) by an agent before and that it had been sent out to publishers.'

They really don't like that--but there are ways round it. My second published novel had actually been round the houses some years earlier. I just kept revising it every time I was between other books and eventually, with a new name, it was published. Really the best thing is to keep on writing another book. You can always return to earlier works and either decide to keep them in the bottom drawer or give them a reworking. smile

ImperialBlether Wed 07-Aug-13 20:13:26

Read the thread, Fellatio; it wasn't good news!!

Abra1d Wed 07-Aug-13 20:13:32

New title, that should read.

And forgot to say: GOOD LUCK!

ImperialBlether Wed 07-Aug-13 20:13:42

But thanks!

ImperialBlether Wed 07-Aug-13 20:15:16

Abra1d, thanks and congratulations on getting it published. What sort of books do you write?

wordfactory Wed 07-Aug-13 20:18:24

Sorry IB I hadn't appreciated you had subbed the second book.

Do you feel you've run out of options for it now? Or are there more agents to try?

Either way, you're right, it's very very competitive at the mo. Agents are overun with subs and at the same time, publishers are being more and more cautious, which filters down to the agents.

The industry is in a poor state sad. But this does mean you shoud not take any rejection as a judgement of your writing. Just a reflection of an economic crisis (coupled with a lot of other shit the industry brought on itself)...

Abra1d Wed 07-Aug-13 20:23:53

Thanks, IB.

I write novels that blend historical with crime/psychological. Someone did something bad in the thirties and it comes back and hits their family in contemporary times in an unexpected way, that kind of thing.

ImperialBlether Wed 07-Aug-13 20:29:35

Oh I want to do something like that, Abra1d, with something that happened in my family. My dad discovered it during his research into the family tree. The problem is that I'd have to do so much research into the era (1870s) and there are people like Sarah Waters who do such a fantastic job.

I do like that sort of novel, though.

Wordfactory, I'd sent this agent both submissions at the same time - I could submit via her website but asked her first. She said both had promise and asked to see the first one. That's when I got the comments above.

I think I won't submit book 2 to any more people at the moment. It's dispiriting when they don't reply and besides, the first agent is meant to be reading it. I need to be upbeat to get through this new book. I thought I have a thick skin and do when it comes to criticism, but I feel I got so close and then it all fell through.

Oh well. Onwards and upwards with this new book!

fackinell Wed 07-Aug-13 21:01:38

Oh Imperial, I'm so sorry to hear this. This is why I hate the wanky world of Agents!! Have you thought of self publishing on Amazon? I've done that and now sold 20k copies. I'd get them both uploaded and see if you can make it on there.

TheRealFellatio Wed 07-Aug-13 21:03:21

Oh bugger. Sorry to hear that. sad

Abra1d Wed 07-Aug-13 21:08:14

Yes, I love Sarah W and Helen Dunmore

ImperialBlether Wed 07-Aug-13 21:09:51

I just don't have the time to devote to advertising and marketing fackinell. If I have time I want to spend it writing. 20K is fantastic. My brother is doing the same though and has only had a few hundred and it's meant such a lot of effort. I'm not on FB or Twitter and I just can't see myself doing all that - I'd love to if I was published in a regular way but to go from nothing to 20K is something I just don't think I could do! How long did it take to build it up?

Abra1d Wed 07-Aug-13 21:12:44

How do you reach your readers, fackinell? Do you do free days and approach blogs, etc?

fackinell Wed 07-Aug-13 21:30:04

See what you mean, Imperial. An author page on FB doesn't take long really and I post maybe twice a week, it immediately filters to my Twitter account so no effort required.

I first published in Nov 2011 but it was so low in the ranks that it wasn't noticed at all and I sold maybe 50 copies to friends only. The big turnaround was changing to a less crowded genre (comedy) and making it 99p. So from April on its been 20k though its slowing a bit now. TBH my ads haven't been too successful, really.

Amazon does a mail drop of cheap books. I'd be happy to share your ad on my FB page if you PM'd me if you decide to go for it. The good thing about self publishing is the profit after tax is all yours. Fair play to your brother, Imperial, it's a flooded market to be noticed in!! smile

fackinell Wed 07-Aug-13 21:31:13

Abra, I just have my Author page and Twitter account, I've had two retweets from celebs which helped, advertise locally too.

TunipTheVegedude Wed 07-Aug-13 22:38:46

Imperial, if you're subbing it might be worth joining Twitter just so you can follow agents and get some sense of what they're looking for.
You don't need to tweet much yourself but a lot of them are putting info out there that you won't find elsewhere. It will help you get a sense of who is actively looking for clients in your area and who likes the kind of book you have written.
I think it's worth doing for the information you can get out of it, regardless of how many followers you have and all that stuff. It's not only useful for self-promotion.

TunipTheVegedude Wed 07-Aug-13 23:13:02

Also, are you entering competitions? There's a competition run by MsLexia with a deadline in a month or two, and the Bath Novel Award.

Abra1d Thu 08-Aug-13 17:43:09

Oh, that's interesting, fackinell, thank you.

Second the competitions. Also, getting a few short stories accepted can help give you that 'serious' impression. I remember being so chuffed to get a cheque for £2.50 for the first one I managed to persuade an editor to take. And it means you are a professional writer--writing for money, which gives your subconscious a fillip. smile

ImperialBlether Thu 08-Aug-13 19:07:27

I'll have a look out for the competitions.

I've written 1.5 chapters - could have written 4 in the time that took. The .5 is actually chapter 2 - there isn't enough in it.

I feel like crying!

ImperialBlether Thu 08-Aug-13 19:13:58

Sorry, that was very self pitying. I'm carrying on, on the basis that you can edit what's there but can't edit a ream of blank A4 paper!

TunipTheVegedude Thu 08-Aug-13 19:29:26

I don't see why you shouldn't cry. I would. I would also swear, and throw things.
I'm sure it's totally normal to be slowed down by something like this, but equally, you will get back on track if you keep sitting down at your desk, which is what you are doing.

ImperialBlether Thu 08-Aug-13 19:38:42

Oh I was like Malcolm Tucker when I got her email saying "Let's start afresh"! Don't know whether you watch The Thick Of It but there was a moment just before he was fired when it dawned on him that was going to happen, and he says "Oh no..." and then just explodes. That was me!

Yes, that's the thing, I can blame anyone and everyone, but unless I sit down and carry on writing, I will never get published. Arrgh!

Abra1d Thu 08-Aug-13 19:48:54

I have screamed with sheer frustration several times.

But, as a friend of mine puts it, what you need to hear is (and excuses for language): 'You want a book? I'll write you a fu.king book.'

It always makes me smile and makes me switch the laptop back on again when I'm feeling defeated.

fackinell Fri 09-Aug-13 06:22:45

I really hate the superiority of those in the publishing world. Who is to say the public wouldn't have loved what you've written already? There's a real arrogance about the industry but with so many now SPing, I'd be shiting myself if I were them. I follow another author on Twitter and she said from a 3.99 book she would get 7p after costs, and 10% of that goes to her agent.

wordfactory Fri 09-Aug-13 11:28:05

fack I think there is a degree of arrogance on the publishing world. But there is also a degree of skill to knowing what will sell.

Obviously they get it wrong sometimes.

As for profit per book - well that's the bleedin' netbook agreement for you!!!! Everyone got fucked over with that.

That said 7p sounds awful! She must have signed a crap contract. One reason to always always always get proper advice. I think too many publishers take advantage to the plethora of writers ready and willing to do anyhting to get published!

fackinell Fri 09-Aug-13 11:40:02

Luckily, she didn't sign it, but has with another agent now. I also know of an author (DP's friend) who was made to NC and say she lived 500 miles away from where they actually do. There are some great articles on people going SP after years with an agent to have the freedom to be and express themselves how they want. That said, never say never. I may not always stay indie but feel heart sorry for Imperial's hard work going to waste, sad

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