Delete. Re-write. Delete. Re-write. Delete. Check thesaurus. Re-format. Adjust margins. Check thesaurus. Re-write. Choose new title. Stick with original title. Bite nails. Drink tea. Eat cakes.
Such are the repetitious tasks which have taken-over my life since I typed the last sentence in my first picture book, Lola Louselove’s Lice Line.
After six months of tirelessly patting my keyboard and chewing a Biro lid ‘til it curls, I have a polished manuscript ready to send to a literary agent in the desperate hope of acquiring their representation. This is just the first stage of a very long journey; the packing of the suitcase before the exhausting road-trip even begins.
Should I strike gold with an offer from an agent, which is apparently as rare as finding diamonds in the English Channel, they will then need to find a publisher. The publisher will need to find a buyer (I’m favouring Waterstones and Barnes & Noble). And the bookshops will need to find customers. The customers will need to physically buy the book and their children will need to love the book so much they force their friends to buy copies too. At this point, I imagine Pixar will want a piece of the action and invite me in to write the screen adaptation.
So you see, finding the right agent is imperative to my plan. But who to choose? I have circled with my topless Biro, sixteen potential partners. I say partners, as I’m hoping the agent/author relationship will be matched in heaven. I want to like my agent and for they to like me.
I have learned that it is acceptable to approach more than one agent simultaneously, but just in case I get a sudden rush of interest, I thought it wise to send my manuscript to my top five pics. Each agents’ website advises waiting up to eight weeks for a response. Should the ninth week arrive without good news, I will contact the ‘maybe’s’ on my list.
What if no one likes my book? What if, despite my countless proof-reads, the manuscript is littered with errors? And, what if I forgot to remove the line which I jokingly sent to an editor friend of mine, ‘please be my agent or I’ll send you my pubic lice’?
To resist checking my voicemail, answerphone and emails every thirty seconds, I have started work on my second picture book. This should keep my mind occupied for the next few months. Best go, I’ve got to check my inbox….
Wish me luuuuuuuck!