Today Rachelle Gardner did a great post on agent's editing for their clients. Some agents are willing to roll up their sleeves and polish your MS til it shines. BUT (we've all heard that BUT cancels out whatever you said before it) in this tough market, where anyone and everyone is trying to get their book published, agents shouldn't have to. Why? Because there's just so much freakin' talent out there. They have PLENTY to choose from. Yes, they have to sort through a lot of slush to find it, BUT when they do find a well written, ready to submit to publishers MS, they are going to thank the query Gods if they don't have to spend hours upon hours of hard work to get your MS ready.
I think many aspiring authors hear the tales of a new author that wrote a story, queried a few agents, got representation quickly, and became a best seller. Now, everyone thinks they can do it. Sad fact is, it RARELY happens like that. Many of us MUST go through draft after draft, beta readers, critique, line editing, suggestions on plot and character development, etc etc etc. And then when we think it's perfect and ready to go, we should probably go through all that stuff a few more times.
It's a tough market. Agents want GREAT. Not "Okay, but needs some work." Many of us are guilty of "querying too soon" even though we've read the agent blogs that say not to. We think they won't care that a few commas are missing, or that there are too many adverbs. Surely, they'll think the story is so amazing that they'll happily do all the editing work for me. Ummmmmmmmm, no. Probably not. BUT, way to think optimistically (aka foolishly).
Agents are busy people. And publishers are being very picky in this economy. Good won't cut it. Make it great. Then, once you think it's great, make it phenomenal.
What do you think? Are you hoping that an agent will see your story as a diamond in the rough, or are YOU polishing it until it sparkles and shines?
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