Tuesday, February 20, 2007

From Agent To Sale?

I just got an agent for my novel. Hurrah! I wanted to see if you knew what my odds were of now making a sale to a publishing house. I searched online but couldn't find anything concrete.

First of all, congrats on landing an agent! Hurrah, indeed.

Second of all, you couldn't find any reliable stats because there aren't any. And even if there were, these stats would have no bearing on whether or not your book would sell. (Sorry!) There are two reasons that a book sells: if it's good or if it meets a particular house's need at the time (or some combination of the two). And if your book isn't one of the above, then it doesn't matter if 99% of all agented books sell, yours won't.

Ok, now. I didn't at ALL mean that yours isn't good! I was simply pointing out that statistics are entirely unhelpful when it comes to situations like this. If your book is kick-ass and timely, then it probably has a better than 50% chance of selling...this is just a safe stat that I'm pulling out of my head. Unfortunately, however, getting an agent isn't a slam-dunk on the way to a book deal. And how do I know? (Lest you think I'm just being overdramatic.) Because my first (agented) book DIDN'T SELL! Came veeeeeeeery close, but alas, nada.

Here's the thing though: there's really not a whole hell of a lot you can do right now about the situation. You wrote what you (and your agent) consider to be a great book. That's ALL you can do. Now, it's up to your agent to pinpoint the best editors and put together the best marketing campaign for it, and then, let that baby fly. Here's to hoping that an editor catches it!

Good luck!

2 comments:

Monica said...

Allison - What do you mean by create a marketing campaign for it? Do you have to work with your agent to create a special campaign for the book when you go to a publisher?

Manic Mom said...

Congrats to the writer of the question!

I'm in that waiting game situation right now, hoping my agent pinpoints the right editor for my novel, and that it's the right time!

Nerve-WRACKING or is it RACKING? Either way, the WAITING SUX!