Dear Agency in New Zealand,
I am terribly anxious to get published …
If you know anything about writing to an agency, you won’t start an e-mail this way. You will be perfectly professional. You make sure you have the name of the person most appropriate for the work you are submitting, and you will write to hook, getting onto your plot summary as soon as possible – but taking care to provide all the important details. These include your intended audience, the size of your book, your previous writing history, and so on.
Once you have sent something to one agent, you will subsequently find yourself glued to your laptop, almost hyperventilating every time you receive an e-mail. When the rejection comes back, you go into a tailspin for what seems like five years before trying again. The very best thing is to case your net wide. It doesn’t matter how many rejections you get. You are aiming for one acceptance, and every agent that rejects you brings you one closer to your goal.
In the summer of 2011, I e-mailed virtually every New Zealand literary agent whose details I could locate. There were a couple who were interested, but most e-mailed back promptly to tell me they weren’t interested in my kind of work or they were currently full.
I discovered Anna-Soler Pont online, and visited the website of the agency she leads: Pontas International Literary and Film. The moment the link loaded I knew I’d made a mistake. It was a worldwide agency, and it sold translation and film rights. Such an agency would never consider me. The mouse was hovering above the ‘x’ button before I reconsidered.
I had nothing to lose, really.
It turned out that Anna Soler-Pont took me on, and as a result, I now have a publishing company that I'm working with.
I guess the moral of this story – which is in a very different vein to the earlier story I wrote – is that you simply must never give up. You never know what the future holds, what God is planning for you.
I must encourage all aspiring writers to a take a leaf out of a Dutch woman’s book: if the door of opportunity isn’t open, kick it open. Success, in many cases, ultimately depends on how many attempts you make.