I am a great believer in asking for something.
What is the worst you can hear after all?
If we don’t ask, we don’t get.
Some might believe that our paths are set and what is due will come in turn. Rubbish I say! – okay, not total rubbish – I do believe that our paths are somewhat laid down but just for the pure fun of it, GOD (whatever type yours is) throws in a bit of choice to see what we can come up with ourselves.
“if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.”
I have encouraged my kids to be confident in asking for something. There is a skill to this I think – there is a lot to be said for good manners, good humour, and sure, doesn’t everyone love a charming chancer?
It all boils down to asking for something ‘cos you, well, want it. So you have to put it out there.
As a boarder in Kylemore, I took chances at asking for permission – A lot of the time, I was told no, but it was a real bonus when I was told yes! I got home early from boarding school once – I didn’t expect that result myself!
As an adult I was often on the receiving end. Having worked in the hotel industry, while us managers had to manage complaining guests and going with ‘the customer is king’ attitude – I always acquiesced so much more easily to the polite guest with the issue, than the demanding loud condescending rude one.
And who doesn’t love the try-er – ‘Is there any chance we could get an upgrade?’
Did you hear about the student at a Richard Branson convention somewhere out of state? – he was receiving texts from the audience as part of the Q & A at the end of the session before he had to dash to his next commitment that was the inauguration of the new President Obama in Washington. Some bright spark texted him asking was there any chance they could get a spin with him to the swearing in – and would you believe it, Richard was impressed enough with their taking a chance and their charming cheekiness, that he said yes! The texter and their friend were whisked away there and then along with Richard in his helicopter and not only got to see the inauguration but got prime view with Branson’s entourage! (or so the story goes)
I just love that.
But what has this got to do with anything?
While the self published route has been very satisfying, now that I have written my second book in the series, I have realised with confidence that there is more to my book series than, well, books. I firmly believe that the idea as a whole has so much more potential and that realisation involves not being able to do it on my own. I can, and do, write, but I need experts in all the other areas to do what they do best and so need to be part of team.
To achieve this, I need to go back to the traditional approach that is to getting “Published” – and I think that means getting an agent. So I am back to the asking again.
Permission seeking. ‘Can I be part of your gang?’ sort of thing.
Now I have to up sell – ‘cos this time I am in a queue of askers.
Rejection is a little more commonplace when it comes to putting it out there – and I have had my fair share of those.
I am beginning to wonder do I need to revisit my approach?
Writing my blog and completing my various pages on ‘About me’ and ‘So who is Ruth?’ has made me realise that what I actually share with people when telling them about my book series is not what I have been actually sending out to the various agents/publishing houses.
Perhaps I need to take another look at that?
I recently sent out some new query’s to agents in New York – the thinking that the American market might like the idea of an Irish boarding school story and so after carefully studying and selecting the agents that I thought would be the right fit, I dusted off my submission page and query letter and sent that off.
I have received one rejection so far (1 week after submitting – good going considering some can take up to 6 weeks and beyond)
“Thank you so much for writing me about your project. I carefully consider each query I receive, and I’m sorry to say that I’m not quite the right fit for yours. I do appreciate that you wrote to me and wish you the very best luck finding the ideal agent for your work.”
Nicely put, but it is still a big fat NO!
It is a bit like going for that new job – but that role you really really want.
The fate believers will tell you that it will all come right in the end – and that you have to keep kissing a lot of ugly frogs before you find the right one – eggs to be broken to make an omelette – many doors to be knocked on before the right one opens………
It is reassuring to know that JK Rowling, CS Lewis, Agatha Christie among others, received many rejections before finding their right fit. I wonder how often they changed their approach?
And so I am now wondering should I not be knocking on doors but instead, say,
throwing pebbles at a window?
Maybe that would get a ‘special’ someone’s attention?