Now then, on to the meat and potatoes of the post.
I have gathered you all here today to talk to you about what happens to a writer on their journey to hopeful publication. This topic? All change at station one!
So you have an agent (finally!), you're all set and out on sub (we covered that in an earlier post)...and then...then you get news. Your agent is leaving their agency.
Well. That is the first reaction above. On no! The world has crumbled! I'm going to die. What do I do? Someone please help me. But I just FOUND her! (or him!). Kill me. Someone please kill me.
However, once that passes, and pass it does, you then move onto the more realistic question of: What the F&%$ am I going to do now???
And this is where that advice "don't just pick the first agent who offers you representation" has the potential to come back and bite you on the ass....
Please, please, PLEASE heed that advice. Yes, I too remember thinking "are you crazy, any freaking agent will do?" at my lowest ebb. However, I am SO glad my common sense prevailed and I took my time to find the perfect agent for me.
It made the decision super easy and super quick. Here's a quick recap (and forgive the paraphrasing of the conversation) of my agent talk regarding this sensitive discussion:
Jamie: Hi Fiona. I wanted to let you know I'm leaving XYZ agency and joining ABC agency. I really love your book and working with you...**insert lots of lovely words about my book which I still am amazed she thinks relate to me and my work*...and I'm asking whether you want to come as my client or would prefer to stay with the original agency.
Me: Hmm...let me think about this...okay. This may take a while..YES! YES! YES! SQUEEEEEEEEE (yes, I professionally squeed!). I am IN like Flynn! Anywhere you go, I go. You're like the most amazing agent ever and I will follow you off a cliff (no really!) if you thought it was a good career move. (And yes, for all you observant bunnies out there - I did do a ridiculous amount of being thrilled over joining my agent in her new venture!).
But herein lies the point. PICK THE RIGHT AGENT FOR YOU right at the very start. No matter how hard. No matter how desperate you are (yes, I know desperate...no trust me...16 years people...16 years of aiming to get an agent). No matter HOW BAD YOU WANT IT. Wait. Think. Go with the perfect match for you. This is the agent you want to spend your whole writing career with, so you want to get it right the first time around.
And it pays. Over and over and over again it pays.
Me and my super agent - neither of us are actually really handsome men. ;-)
Now, some of you may have been in this situation before and opted to go with the original agency and not your original agent. That's totally fine. Everyone has their own path.
My only advice is to think think THINK about who you want to work with for the next gosh knows how many years. And yes, that goes for agents too - do you reaaaaally want to work with this person for a long time to come (Jamie, don't answer that! lol).
I can safely say to my agent: Jamie...change your locks, move state, create a secret identity...I'll still find you. Changing agencies won't shake me off! ;-)