Wednesday, March 12, 2008

An Agent Call Story - Mine!

Maven Darcy BurkeHappy Wednesday MavenLand! I'm thrilled to share that as of last week, I am newly agented! Barbara Collins Rosenberg of The Rosenberg Group is representing Glorious and currently looking at Her Wicked Ways, which I just finished last weekend (double squee!). I met Barbara at the Moonlight and Magnolias Conference in Atlanta, a conference I only attended after I finaled in the Maggie contest. Wow, am I glad I did!

So what words of wisdom can I offer? Uh, probably nothing you haven't heard before, but it's always good to hear it again especially when I'm standing here telling you it can happen! It happened to me!

First, write, write, write. The first year I "seriously" wrote, it turns out I wasn't that serious. Meaning, a month would go by where I'd barely write. Now if a day goes by and I don't do something writing-related it's like I forgot to sleep or eat or go to the bathroom. I have to do it.

Read. Read craft books, research books, books in your genre, books out of your genre. Just read. Reading makes good writing. I promise.

Talk to and if possible, hang out with other writers. There's nothing like the energy you get from spending time with other writers, whether at an RWA meeting, a workshop, or just having coffee. Or heck, even here at the blog or any other virtual meeting place.

Write the best book you can. Once you catch the agent's attention you have to deliver. No, it won't be for everyone, but you're looking for that Love Connection. And your best bet for that connection is to make sure your materials match what you promised in your query or pitch.

Query, query, query, and/or pitch, pitch, pitch. I'm not going to talk about querying because this post can only be so long, but let's talk pitching for a sec. If you can get to a conference, pitch as many people as you can. This is not shameless self-promotion, it's sharing your project, which is soooo exciting, with as many people as you can. My first conference was RWA National in Dallas last summer and people would ask about my book. I totally stumbled all over myself. Pitching forced me to talk about it, and the more I talked about my book, the easier pitching became. I did much better talking about my project in Atlanta in September and even better in Seattle in October. If you've never been to a local conference I can't recommend highly enough that you go. Honestly, I'd spend my money on that instead of National this year, but that's just my opinion. Both Moonlight and Magnolias and Emerald City are fabulous, but there are many, many others and likely not too far away. Heck, I flew across the country from Portland to Atlanta and found an agent! What are you waiting for?

So what's next? I'm working on some changes to Glorious (best book possible, MaveFaves!) and doing a second pass on Her Wicked Ways. I will, of course, keep you posted when we start making the publisher rounds. Thank you everyone for your support. "Seeing" you here every day keeps me inspired, which keeps me writing!

Your turn: Do you like to pitch? Why or why not? Any tips to share?

19 comments:

Kelly Krysten said...

I've never pitched, but this was a great blog to get me in gear to attempt it as many times as need be to learn.

Kelly Krysten said...

OH also: CONGRATULATIONS!!

CM said...

Congrats, Darcy!

Vicki said...

Major congrats!

The first time I pitched was last year at Dallas. I didn't have an appointment, but rather worked them. When an editor asked me to pitch my book, the first words out of my mouth was, "It's not finished." Duh, she didn't ask me that. Thank goodness, she was understanding and said, "Just pitch it anyway."

It made me really think long and hard about what to say in a pitch. Trying to tell everything about everybody is a no-no. At least that was what she told me. Stick to the H/H and the story in a few short sentences. :) It's taking me months to figure that out.

Congrats again! So happy for you!

Marnee Jo said...

Congratulations Darcy!! That's so wonderful! Before long we'll be congratulating you on your sale!

Jennifer Linforth said...

Does the drunk muppet dance of happiness!

CONGRATS!

Jennifer

lacey kaye said...

W00T W00T W00T W00T!!!!!! Darcy, this is your year! CONGRATULATIONS WITH THE FIRE OF A THOUSAND MAVEN DARCY SUNS!!

Carrie Ryan said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!! YAYAYAYAAAYYY!! I'm so excited for you!

Writer & Cat said...

Congratulations! My favorite thing about getting an agent was NOT having to pitch any more. I don't have any tips and I'm terrible at it.

Darcy Burke said...

Thanks everyone!! Vicki, I only had one appointment scheduled in Dallas also but doing it was like crack so I hung around and picked up two more. And then cockroach crawled on my foot and I decided I'd had enough of the pitch room.

Jennifer, LOL at the drunk muppet dance!

Angie Fox said...

Congratulations, Darcy!

I was lucky enough to read Darcy's first 50 pages and they are amazing - truly first rate.

Bill Clark said...

Way to go, Darce!! When can we buy your book?

*Bill stamps his foot with impatience*

Jill James said...

Darcy, congratulations!!!

I first pitched in Reno and I'm lucky I didn't throw up on someone. You truly do get better with practice, so practice, practice, practice. Use your RWA chaptermates, friends, family. Have one line memorized that leads into your pitch, once you speak that line, the rest will follow.

Tessa Dare said...

Yay, Darcy! Congratulations!

B.E. Sanderson said...

I haven't had to pitch yet, and I haven't been to any conferences, so I don't have anything intelligent to contribute. I just wanted to say: WTG, Darcy!
=oD

Jackie Barbosa said...

Drat. Blogger ate my first comment!

You know how happy I am for you, Darcy, and I can't wait to see Glorious and Her Wicked Ways in my local bookstore. But I have a sneaking suspicion I won't have to wait TOO long!

Ah, the cockroach. I think that will always be one of my fondest memories of my first RWA National Conference. I know, it's not a fond memory for you, but for the rest of us...well, it was pretty funny.

I hate pitching in person. It just feels awkward to me. I don't mind query letters any more, though. I think I finally have the hang of them!

Mami K said...

Darcy, how exciting! Congratulations, lady!!

Keira Soleore said...

A HUGE yay for Darcy! Looking forward to seeing the news of the first sale.

Talking about my book? OMG. It's worse than an epidural.

Darcy Burke said...

Mave Faves are the best! Thanks so much everyone.

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