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Friday, February 19, 2010

New Agent

I finally signed with Roger Williams of Publish or Perish Agency. It took longer than I expected it too. Leaving Gina and Talcott Notch was not a simple matter. The termination clause in my contract required thirty days notice. Moreover, any pending sales belonged to Gina. It turned out that at the time of termination, five publishers were reviewing the Splintered Paddle manuscript. That caused further delays while we waited to see if any of them would make an offer. Talk about a frustrating wait. I was torn between wanting the publishers to reject it and wanting them to make an offer. Since I'd already notified Gina I was leaving Talcott, what would happen if one of the five made an offer? Gina would be the agent, but how would our relationship be?

Fortunately, there was no acrimony in leaving Talcott. I think Gina is a good agent and I wish her well. She helped me a lot in making Splintered Paddle into a publishable manuscript. When I was searching for agents, Gina first requested the manuscript and then rejected it. However, the rejection came with a two-page, single-spaced critique. Wow! I'd never received anything like that from an agent. I wrote back and thanked her for it. She responded with another page of thoughts on it and said she'd be willing to look at it again if I revised it. Revise, I did. Three drafts later, I sent it back to her and she agreed to represent it.

Gina represented the manuscript for three years. I left because I became frustrated at no action in that time. I don't know if the lack of action was due to the book being not quite right for publishers or if Gina was contacting the wrong editors. I wish she had given me more reports. I still don't know how many publishers considered the book in that time. At any rate, after three years, I decided I needed a change. First, I revised the book once again and then sent it to Helen Ginger for editing. Helen did a great job. If any of you are looking for an editor, talk to Helen. She is prompt and thorough. I can't say enough about her. You want informative tips about writing? Visit her Straight From Hel blog.

I did send the revised manuscript back to Gina, but seeing no action in nine months, decided to look for another agent.

Roger's agency impressed me with the straight talk to writers on his website and with his blog in which he lists his query queue so you know where the things stand with him. He was enthusiastic about the book and gave me a lot of great advice. He strikes me as very knowledgeable about the industry. I'm looking forward to working with him.


  1. Helen Ginger said...

    Congratulations on the new agent. I hope you get some action on Splintered Paddle soon. It's a great book and I will be first in line to buy it.

    Straight From Hel

  2. Kevin R. Tipple said...

    Any update as to how things are going?