I’ve started pinging agents about Catharsis in the hopes of getting the book picked up before the sequel’s ready. Long ago, actually, I worked for a literary agency. Nicholas Ellison, a division of Sanford. J. Greenburger Associates, Inc., was my first employer out of college.

Working as an assistant at a literary agency offers a lot of opportunity to learn about the publishing industry and meet key players in the industry. It also means serving as the front line between the unsolicited query letters that come in every day and the agent or agents you’re assisting.

I opened literally hundreds of letters for Mr. Ellison and another agent, Alička Pistek. Some of the query letters were ridiculous, some were from authors with projects that just were not a good fit, and some were great but lacked that certain something to set their projects or themselves apart. To those hundreds of letter writers, I sent hundreds of rejection letters. Maybe two or three authors were picked up by the agents out of the entire pile of queries over that year of employment. That’s three out of maybe thirteen hundred letters!

So how do you get an agent? Networking helps a lot. Finding an agent who knows you or knows someone in your network really makes getting his or her attention much easier than trying to get in through the query letter pile. Also helpful is having a proven track record. If you can come to an agent with some already successful projects under your belt, you’re much more likely to get his or her attention.

Will I find an agent for Catharsis and its sequels? Who knows? I’m trying, that’s for sure. If any of you know a sci-fi agent interested in a new author, let me know!

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