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Stay in Your Lane

Yesterday was a good day. I drove to meet with an editor from a publishing house, who was attending a conference downtown, and who really loves Southern fiction, women’s fiction, and romance. She left our meeting with all three of my books–her idea, and not the one I pitched to her. She just wanted to read them. I felt guilty adding weight to her suitcase. I’d brought them to show her my previously published work.

A couple hours earlier, I’d gotten an email from an agent who said she really wanted to work with me and could we talk? Well, sure we could, just after I finished up with this awesome editor. So, as I navigated downtown traffic, I got a call from a top agent offering representation. Finally. I was in the car on my way to a book signing with my buddy, and fellow author, Karen White, who is kind enough to let me ride on her coattails from time to time.

So, good day all around. But, not many days are like yesterday. In fact, those days are rare in this business. Very rare. When one is on the search for an agent, no matter if it’s the first agent or an agent switch, it’s hard, and stressful. Your query has to kick butt. Your writing  has to wow them. Agents want proof  your next books will sell. They want a new, completed, shiny, unpublished manuscript. They want sales figures from your previously published work. This is business, y’all. And no matter how much they like you and your work, they have to feel confident you’re going to bring it.

Authors switch agents for many reasons. Agents quit agenting, they move to a new agency, agents change focus to new genres, they become editors, they even sometimes ignore you and hope you’ll break up with them. Sometimes the agent you choose initially just isn’t a good fit in the long run for either of you, or you are inherited by another when yours leaves. Did you notice I’ve sprinkled a little of my truth in there? Anyway, it doesn’t always have to do with selling or not selling your book.

Trying to write while finding a new agent is extremely hard for me. The submissions, the waiting, and yes, the rejection. There is rejection, I don’t care who you are. Well, I guess not if you’re at the very top. But, the point of my blog post today is that a few days ago, I was down–way down. I told a friend that I just needed an offer: an offer to write a new book, an offer on my house, an offer of representation by an agent–just an offer! A few days later, I was asked to write another book, and now I have an offer of representation. Now, I just need an offer on my house!!

I need to remember to stay in my own lane. Do my thing. Write my books. Be happy for others and focus on what’s in front of me for my career. I’m always thrilled when I hear of my friends getting book deals, but then I wonder when mine is coming. It’s coming. I just need to keep writing.

Best to my friends who are waiting for their call. It will come; likely sooner than later. Contact me if you want to commiserate. I’ve got tons of research on the agent subject. Throw your query at me if it’s not doing the job and I’ll try to help.

But don’t worry about what’s going on with others. Stay in your lane.



  1. Betty M. Goss says

    Keep up the good work Susan! I love you! Say hello to your mom for me. I am having facebook problems. Hopeful that they will be cleared soon!

  2. Moving will derail your writing, so be careful what you wish for! Congrats on the success! Thrilled for you my friend!

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