Saturday, April 20, 2013

Does Writer = Creeper?

Writers do a lot of things that make people nervous.  For example, we mentally record every conversation we have with you and then spend hours writing them down every single evening just in case we need to use it in one of our novels.  And you'll never know if that character in Book 4 of the Psycho-Killer series we write is actually you (your quirks exaggerated, of course).

But that's not all we do.  Oh no.  Us unpublished writers (and, I suppose, some who are published) have the joy of finding agents.  With finding an agent comes a whole other level of creepitude.

I read somewhere that finding an agent is a "1 in 100 shot."  While those odds are not impossible (although with a P-value that low, the statistician in me would rejoice and reject the null hypothesis), they aren't exactly good (like they would be if you were a statistician).

I do wonder where the statistic comes from.  Does it take into consideration all the people who query agents without looking to see if those agents accept their genre?  What about all the people who send really bad queries or don't follow the querying guidelines?  Those who query on imperfect manuscripts?  I'd love to know because it might help me understand what numbers I'm up against.

Not long after I started writing LitD, I began to compile a list of agents I might consider querying.  Today, I spent a large portion of my day going through each website and making sure I have all my information straight...and ranking them.  Nearly fifty agents have now been sorted into groups A, B, C, and then ranked  within those groups.  You should see my spreadsheet.  It almost makes me feel dirty.  Ew.  Ranking people I have never met before.  I don't like ranking people I know intimately, never mind those I don't know at all.

And then of course the twitter stalking commenced. As I looked up every single one of the agents on my A List and started following her, my reason told me, "April, it's okay.  She wouldn't have an account if she didn't want strangers to follow her.  So what, you now knowing she really likes to take a lot of pictures of her dogs doesn't exactly help you secure her as your agent?  It's the internet!"  Yep, I pretty much still feel like a creeper.

So what is the moral of this story?  I don't think I have one.  I guess this is more of a public apology:  I am sorry I am being a horrible person and ranking and stalking people with whom I want to develop a relationship.  I promise the part of me that stalks and ranks agents is the part of me that wants to be prepared for everything.  I don't want to be creepy.  Cross my heart.