Thursday, 23 February 2017

Soci of Metro: US Literary Agencies

Submitting my novel Soci of Metro to UK literary agencies was a long process. Between compiling a list of agencies, determining whether they accepted speculative fiction, and preparing a synopsis and cover letter, I was also working on a "final" fourth draft of the novel.

I sent off my submissions, and had a few requests for the full manuscript, a few queries regarding the novel's content, a few emails offering constructive feedback. But they all led to rejections.

As of writing this post I'm still waiting on seven out of twenty-six agents to respond. I've sent several follow-up emails since submitting in the autumn of 2016, and I'm getting closer to accepting that they might never respond at all.

But that's okay, because I have a Plan B: American agencies.

My chances of acquiring an American agent are lower than my chances of acquiring one in the UK. It makes sense that an agent or an agency would rather deal with someone who lives in the same country as them, or at least the same side of the planet. Also, a novel is more likely to appeal and sell to individuals who share the same cultural background as the writer.

But writers represented by agencies outside their home nation aren't unheard of. Some American agencies even welcome submissions from abroad. So what have I got to lose?

It didn't take me long to compile an initial list of eighty-two American agents, many of which specifically deal with science fiction and/or foreign writers. I've already submitted to a handful of them.

And I've already received rejections.

But that's okay. I'd rather know sooner rather than later. Waiting six months for a reply from a UK agent only to get a copypasta rejection email doesn't feel great. Although I'm sure it'll happen with a US agent soon enough...


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