Friday, June 7, 2013

Pondering HUGE Decisions - Your Thoughts Welcome!

So, life’s been pretty eventful this week! And not in the fun, dances, *huzzah* kind of way. More in the eating-too-many-potato-chips and not-sleeping-well category.

See, my Agent of Awesome (Brittany Howard) is also an Author of Extreme-Awesome (Cora Carmack). Brittany / Cora is an NYT, USA Today and International bestselling author. And, as it turns out the demands on her time as a successful author have forced her to make a decision between the two very challenging careers she’s been juggling so far. Not surprisingly, being an international bestselling author wins (and don’t get me wrong, I don’t blame her. Cora writes some of my favorite books!).

So I have some big decisions to make in the next few days. Decisions that will affect my future as a writer, and the future of this book in particular. I find myself excited for my friend and former agent, and dizzily uncertain about myself.

1.       Do I continue working with a colleague of Brittany’s who will kindly continue submitting my manuscript, even though it isn’t one of her choosing?

2.       Do I start the query process (AGAIN! *Sob*) and look for another agent entirely who might connect with me and my characters as wonderfully as Brittany did?

3.       Do I give up on the traditional model, take control, self-publish, and see where that takes me and my book?
Answer: I DON’T KNOW.

And I hate not knowing. So I’m doing a lot of research right now, corresponding with some of the parties involved, and generally walking around in a fog of decision-making strategies.

Oh, and I’m also revising because Really Awesome Editors who’ve decided not to buy my book have offered Really Awesome Advice.
So….yeah… Life’s interesting right now. My blurbs, About the Author, and Twitter Info will be changing over the next few days.
But to what?
I’ve re-instated the first five pages link to my book LISTEN TO ME at the top of my homepage here. If you’re interested, take a look.
What should I do???
Your Turn: Thoughts? Advice from your experience? Referrals to Awesome Agents? Let me know anything you think might help. At this point, I’m a sponge.


  1. Hi Aimee,

    First of all...*big bear hug*, second of all, even though I'm not an expert with this, I would probably go with number 1. At least, and I'm not sure if this is the case, but if for some unimaginable horror it doesn't work out with them, you can still go for number 2, right?
    The relationship between agent and author has to be right, so it really depends on your 'feeling'. I know that is horribly vague, but what is your gut saying? If you feel like this other agent is more like meh about your work, then I'd go with plan 2. (Even though that is a lot of work AGAIN for you.)
    Hope this helps! Don't lose hope, though. I hate not knowing too, but adapt this motto: Go with the flow! And have a little faith.

    *Another big bear hug* Morgan

    1. Thanks, Morgan! And you're right: Faith is the only thing that keeps me from running naked through the streets right now.

      I'm joking, of course.

      Sort of....

    2. Nothing wrong with running naked! ;) Just had to say that.

  2. Oh gosh Aimee, how difficult/interesting/argh what to do. I guess I'd be asking myself questions like: how connected do I feel to the agent who is willing to continue submitting it? Is she offering to represent me as an author or just submit that book? Do I feel she is passionate/keen about it or just filling a role?

    Also I'd be thinking back to when I was submitting - had I exhausted lots of agents at that point or had lots of interest etc to see what that route might feel like.

    I hope that helps at all!

    1. Thanks, Vik. You're right. Those are the important questions!

  3. Aaaahhh, I had wondered if this was going to happen once BH's writing career started taking off. What a bummer! So sorry to hear it. I know from others that this is not a fun thing to go through, but the good news is that most previously-agented writers seem to get a second agent much quicker. And of course, if you hit it off with her agent-mate, maybe that's the right choice all along. Best of luck in your decision. Rooting for you!

  4. You can find an agent easy. Get the current one to give you a recommendation to a colleague. It's the least she can do.

    1. Yeah, Brittany's great. She'll help any way she can. But it's up to me to decide how I want her to point her assistance!

  5. Hi Aimee!

    I think it all comes down to how your best interests -- i.e., your manuscripts -- will be represented. If you think Brittany's Colleague can do the job, then give her a chance prove herself. You have to get to know each other to see if the new business relationship will work.

    At the same time, it doesn't hurt to have a contingency plan in place -- just in case.

    Good luck. I just found our web site/blog and I'm already learning so much from it.

  6. Hey Aimee:

    Have you thought about talking to someone who has been in a similar position? I think I know of one person whose agent stopped agenting and she had to step back and make some decisions too. Just a thought. If you're interested, I could pass along their name (privately) and maybe you two could talk. Just a thought.

    1. That would be so helpful! I do want to do that but don't know anyone personally. My email address is in the little blurb at the top right corner of the homepage. I would be in your debt if you could arrange that!

  7. I don't have an agent or publisher; I self-publish, so I don't exactly know how you're feeling with this. I guess my first thought would be to ask what was your first thought of what you'd want to do to replace this loss?

    I would suggest talking with her colleague. See if you both have the same opinions about your book and if you feel comfortable with her as your lead promoter. Then, if that doesn't give you the right feeling, decide if you want to find another agent or self-publish.

    I enjoy the fact that I've self-published and do it on my own, but I do like the idea of having an agent/publisher and knowing there's someone out there professionally supporting my work.

    I hope this helps.

  8. From what I've read of your book from WriteOnCon, I love it. I know I certainly can't wait to read the whole thing!

    As for your decision: I agree with a lot of the suggestions so far.

    Talk with the college and see what she thinks of the book, other things you have planned to write, and what she would like to see you write/do with your career.

    Even if it isn't a great match, I'd say go next to the query process. You have a great book and I have no doubt it'll find a great home. The fact that you found a great agent already speaks volumes about your writing!

    I'd leave the self publish for last resort. There's nothing wrong with it at all! There are wonderful self published books out there. I've considered it from time to time. But for me, there's something in the validation of getting published the traditional way.

    I wish you the best of luck! Keep us posted on what you decide to do.

  9. I can understand being torn between being happy for her, and stressed about what choice to make! I think everyone's given you some great advice above, about choosing between looking for a new agent or going with the colleague, so instead I'm going to look at the self-published option.

    How do you feel about the thought of finding an editor (if you don't have one already?), making covers and self-publishing? I'd examine your reasons for choosing the traditional path, and see if they still ring true for you. It's a decision that I think is changing every year, as more and more self-published books are gaining respect, the line is more blurred than it used to be, and it's good to re-evaluate your reasons for choosing the path you're on every so often. I personally am loving self-publishing, and wouldn't change, but I know it's not for everyone.

    1. Thanks, Rinelle. That's the big question, isn't it?!

    2. PS - The only real obstacle for me regarding self publishing is the money I'd have to spend to do it the way I really would want to. I just don't have the resources right now.

  10. Ironically, I'm in the middle of reading "Faking It" by Cora Cormack, who I guess is Brittany...

    I read your first five pages. If the rest of the book is as good, you have a winner regardless of what you decide.

    My advice, for what it's worth, will be slightly different. I think you should examine all of your options, and think about your desired time frame. Does it matter to you if it takes another 3 - 4 years to get your book published?

    If the answer is 'yes', then you should consider the third alternative or a variation of it - a curated press like She Writes. The reality is, regardless of having an agent, you may or may not get sold. And that definitely doesn't mean your book isn't great or it shouldn't be published.

    If time isn't a factor for you, the advice above is really good. Just make sure it reasonates in your gut.

    I wish you the best, whatever you decidee!

    1. Great advice. Thank you. I will chew that over!

  11. So much of what I would say has already been said - i.e. go with your gut, work out how in tune this new agent is with your book.

    As you know, I've self published The Big Smoke, and I've really enjoyed the whole process but it's a LOT of work. Much of that work I would happily outsource. When you self publish, it's even harder to fight through the masses to get your voice heard. B

    UT if your book is good enough, you can make a name for yourself and earn a lot more royalties with self publishing. I know I haven't told you anything you don't already know, but hopefully this prattle has helped in some way, shape or form.

    Just know that, whichever decision you make, I'll be one of your first paying customers!