The Orphan Train is now ready to be sent out into the world. Because the subject is so topical and needs to find an international market I am now trying to pitch the book to a select few top agents, who I hope might be interested.
Every submission takes hours to prepare. You might think as it’s the same book I’m sending that I could just print several copies of the same material and send them out easily, but it really isn’t like that.
Firstly, I need to research who are the agents most likely to be interested in the book. There’s no point my sending it to an agent who is looking for children’s picture books. I use that as an extreme example, but it would be equally pointless to send it to someone looking for crime or science fiction. I want to find an agent that can get as excited about the subject matter of this book as I am. When I meet them, I want to be able to enthuse about the research and the story and find a receptive audience. That is only going to happen if I find an agent who is interested in historical fiction.
Secondly, I need to prepare the work in exactly the format they ask for, no more, no less. If they wanted it with pink ribbons and a neat bow I’d do it. In reality their requirements are all sensible requests for the material they have found works for them. As an editor, I can completely understand that. It has meant preparing CVs in different formats, a one page synopsis, a half page synopsis, the first 50 pages, the first three chapters and so on.
Now I have to wait… and hope… and get on with the next piece of work!