Next weekend I’m attending my first writers conference. I’m excited about meeting other writers and learning more about the craft.
But I’m nervous, too.
This will also be my first time presenting my book to an agent. Seeing as I haven’t had a professional editor read through and doctor up my entire manuscript yet, I doubt my prospective agent will give my book proposal more than a mere glance. But it’s worth a try, right?
When I think about presenting my manuscript to an agent, I often think of American Idol or The X Factor. Except in this case, Simon Cowell is the cynical agent, Paula Abdul is the editor, and L.A. Reid is the publisher. I feel like one of the contestants nervously stepping onto the stage with the spotlights glaring into my eyes and the judges waiting impatiently for whatever I have to deliver. And I need all three “yes’s” to get through.
Like the contestants, I’m constantly worrying about how the judge- or in this case, the agent- will react. Either his eyes will widen in pleasant surprise, or a sorry grimace will spread across his features.
This is how it plays out in my wildest fantasies: I hand the agent my book proposal and wait silently as he reads the cover letter. Then he turns the page, making my heart leap with eager anticipation. (I’m pretty sure less than 80% of first novel cover letters don’t get read past the first paragraph. I’m just tossing around numbers here.)
He nods his head, lifts his eyebrows in interest, and begins reading the first few sample chapters. My breaths become quick and uneven as I wait for his reply. Finally, he looks at me and says, “I would like to see the rest of the manuscript.” He reads the ENTIRE novel that night, tells me how much he loved it, and agrees to sign a contract with me the next day.
I can dream, right?
I’ll probably end up being the writer’s version of Andy Silikovitz from The X Factor. (See the video below!)
Either way, the conference is going to be packed with valuable information on how to hone my writing skills. And who knows? If the agent likes my story and my book sells out, maybe I’ll be on an episode of MTV Cribs. (Again, see the video below…)