Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Meeting a literary agent by Leanne Dyck

At home, to prepare to meet the literary agent, I...
-asked more experienced authors for advice.
-used a search engine to research the literary agent I was to meet.
-worked on my presentation. This was the most daunting task. I wanted to represent myself fairly in terms of my past success, my current project and my future goals. 
-gave my presentation to my writers' group. It was forty-five minutes too long. They suggested I revise it and use cue cards to stay on topic and cover the main points.
-cut fat from my presentation--reducing it to seven minutes.
-did additional research. Fearful that I'd forgotten something, I read writers' magazines.
-developed questions to ask the literary agent.

On the ferry, sailing from Mayne Island to Vancouver Island, I rehearsed with my traveling companion.

Just before meeting the literary agent, I took ten deep breaths and remembered to smile. Thankfully, the literary agent smiled back.

It was a pleasure meeting with her. However, the meeting didn't go as I had imagined. For example, she didn't throw her hands in the air and shout, "Oh, my gosh. I've finally found YOU!" For another, she didn't want to listen to my carefully rehearsed presentation. Instead, she wanted to get to know me. She did say, however, that she was pleased that I was so well prepared. So, I don't feel that the time I spent preparing was wasted.

I was delightfully surprised at how well I conducted myself--smiling was easy and words flowed. Even without my cue cards, I was able to highlight my past successes, current project, and future goals.

At the end of the meeting, she gave me her business card.

I had thought that meeting with a literary agent would be the end of a journey. As it turns out, it's just the beginning.