Last year my friend Dinky asked if he could read my book. Without a good reason to say no, I handed it over.
"Sure Dink, why the hell not?"
He was the first person to read the book in its entirety.
When he was done, he complimented me for the story and told me to call Beth, a mutual friend of ours. Beth wrote a gambling memoir, had it published and then made into a movie. If anyone could steer me in the right direction it would be her. So I sent Beth the book.
Her response: "You have a great story but what you've written does not do it justice."
Optimistic me took that only as a compliment. I dusted the cobwebs off my pc, went back to writing, and re-worked the entire project. The end result is sitting in the inboxes of thirty or so agents.
Because I know Beth and because I know the details surrounding her deal, I figured it was attainable for me too. Alas, could it be that I'm wrong? That not everyone gets an agent, gets a deal, sells the rights to a movie and lives to tell another tale?
I knew going into this that making money off of a book is a long shot; memoir, young adult, cookbook, whatever. I just thought I'd be the exception. Now I'm questioning everything. Is my query letter polished? Is my opening chapter gripping enough to want to continue reading? Are the agents I'm targeting too "big-time?"
Trying to find an agent is sigh.
It's sort of exciting to check my email every morning but when I don't get any positive responses my excitement quickly wanes.
One of the agents I really want, a celebrity agent, read the first draft in 2015 and told me he'd talk to his colleagues on how to proceed. It was the closest thing to a yes I've had, although I never heard from him again. (I had a baby a month later and reeling from the difficulty of that and the next year with a newborn, I failed to follow up with him. Reading this now, it's obvious that was awful on my part.)
I sent him my revised work last month and have been stopping myself from "nudging" him too soon for a response. (To "nudge" is a fancy writer's term for asking an agent wtf is going on.")
Knowing that he's still in the running is a little bit of a bright spot but besides that, it's quite dim.