Plotting Advice,  Publishing Advice

If You Think You Might Never Get a Literary Agent… Read this.

So, this week, I signed with an agent!

I knew this would happen. Realistically, I did. My motto is, “You can’t give 110% forever and get nowhere.” So when I decided three years ago to pursue traditional publishing, I knew a literary agent was in my future.

I just expected it to take like, 30 years. Maybe more.

That’s because I never thought I’d be the exception to the rule. You know those “exceptions,” the ones who get 10 agent offers after querying 2 weeks? We all love those stories.

But WOW, do we hate those stories too.

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After all, it’s hard to be happy for a person like that. I put in 3 years in the trenches. I queried 167 agents over 3 novels, all vastly different in genre and tone. I wrote hundreds of thousands of words–millions if you count the novels that could never be publishing contenders. I clocked in 15 years of writing experience, devoured tons of writing reference books, and attended writers conferences. I wrote a blog. I networked on Twitter–of my 1600 followers, literally ALL of them are writers, agents, or publishers.

I worked my fucking ass off, you guys. And for a LONG time, it seemed like I wasn’t getting anywhere. For the first 2.5 years of my journey to publishing, I didn’t get a single partial request.



Sound familiar? Any writers in here raising their hands?

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get you. I so, so do. It’s incredibly frustrating, because at first we love those insta-success stories. At first we daydream about them being us. And then days pass. Weeks. Months. Years. And still we seem no closer to the dream.

I’m here to tell you, the dream will become a reality.

Because even if you don’t get a partial request on this book, maybe you’ve learned about #MSWL. Or maybe you discovered a great group of writers, your own #PitCrew, and now have beta readers and CPs. Or maybe you’ve finally mastered the dreaded query, and know how to perfect those opening pages.

You’re constantly absorbing knowledge, whether you realize it or not. And some day, hopefully soon, all that knowledge will provide you with the exact tools you need to snag your own literary agent. And she’ll rave about your book and mention all the right publishing houses and champion you throughout your career.

And you know what?

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So hang in there, writers. And remember, I’m rooting for you. If you ever want to talk or need someone to cheer you on, DM or email me. Or just, you know, comment below!

You guys rock; never, EVER give up. <3 


  • getoutoftherecliner

    Excellent article! I’ve watched you working like a whirlwind; I’ve seen you write and study and evaluate, and then move on to the next project when one wasn’t getting traction; and I’ve benefited from the way you generously share everything you’ve learned. You’re a role model for the rest of us who are still working to earn our own success as writers. Congratulations!

    • Rebecca Thorne

      Wow, thank you so much!! You guys are the best, and I’m so happy to be a part of our critique group!! 😀 And you know I’d never get any writing done without our write-ins. XD

      Your time is coming, Shan!! Your book will BLOW people away during the conference in September, and I can’t wait to see you grab your own agent and find your book in stores. <3 <3 <3

  • C.A. Masterson

    First, kudos and congrats on finding an agent, especially one who obviously “gets” your stories.
    Second, thank you so much for this. I’m in the process of querying three vastly different books, which are also vastly different from what I’ve written in the past. It’s great to hear that hard work pays off, as well as persistence.

    • Rebecca Thorne

      Oh man, you’re going to do SO WELL. Writing three books, especially books of different genres, is an excellent way to grow as a writer!! Plus, it shows your future agent you’re not a one trick pony. 😉 Mine definitely asked me about works in progress before signing me–she makes money when I finish novels, so of course she’d want to know I had other books written. 😛

      I’m so, so glad this helped!! I can already tell you won’t be querying long; you’ve got all the experience, and you’re clearly determined to make it happen. If that’s your mindset, there’s no other end result but snagging that agent!! <3 Keep querying, keep writing, and if you feel down, don't hesitate to reach out to me for some daily inspiration. 😀

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