#14 of best/worst things of being an aspiring author querying agents vs. sending right to publishers

This is probably a no-brainer for you guys. You've researched, you've written, you've researched, you've edited and you're ready.

Ready for what, though? Most authors (of novels, anyway) would say "ready for an agent." Agents will tell you to be ready for an agent (for proof, go here and here). Heck, even editors/publishers will tell you to get an agent (just check their submissions requirements).

But what if you don't want to? Or you can't? Or an editor puts out an open call for submissions (like this one and this one, too)? Would you consider trying something other than the traditional agent route? A small publisher? A contest (like ABNA)? Or would you rather kill your manuscript and start over with a new one?

In the interest of full disclosure, I (erica) recently sent my ms out to the two publishers I've linked to above and plan on submitting to ABNA - while working on my WIP (or two). So I guess you know what I'd do.

What would you do?

Oh, and here's your Monday recipe (what? you thought this one would be short? pffft)

On our side of WI, we got over 16 inches of snow on Saturday, we live on top of a hill, the drifts are over my knees (I'm 5'10") and I haven't left the house other than to shovel in almost 48 hours (with more to go - school's cancelled tomorrow, er, today). So I want things that are easy and available and require the oven so it helps heat the house. This is super simple and good and always leaves leftovers.

Fake Spanish Rice
2 cups rice (cooked)
1 can drained peas (you could use corn, but I always use peas)
1 can tomato soup
salt and pepper

Mix all the ingredients. Put in casserole dish. Cover with crushed crackers. Bake 30 minutes at 350. Enjoy!


  1. Even though it is apparently next to impossible to get an agent for picture books, I'm going the agent route at the moment. In the end it comes down to the fact that SO many publishers require an agent submission. Le sigh.

  2. I haven't got to the submission part yet, but when I eventually do I'm planning (so far, at least) to try and get an agent...

    Good luck with what you've submitted already!

  3. Interesting question. I'm planning to go the agent route, I'm completely sold on the benefits of having your own agent. Best of luck with your publisher submissions Erica :)


  4. Mmmm. Sounds yummy. (The rice, that is, not an agent. I don't think they would taste good at all.)

  5. Mmmm. Yum! If I didn't try the agent route, I really have no idea what I would do! I have no plan for that! Yikes! Good food for thought though...thanks! And good luck on your own submissions!

  6. Best of luck on your editor submissions! My fingers are crossed for you. I did submit to both of those as well. If you've done all you can to make your novel the best it can be and you feel it's strong, then I say go for it. Sometimes editors see differently than agents. A friend of mine landed a publishing contract that way and has since landed an agent.

  7. I think trying all avenues are the way to go. I started with contests and the agent route. My next move is submitting to publishers. Once you have interest an agent is much easier to get. I would only use an agent for the contracts. They know the lingo and how to get you the best deal.


  8. erica--i'm going to query agents. BUT i'm also going to enter ABNA (if, i totally mean WHEN, i'm done with my novel(s)) i don't see the harm in doing both. right? best of luck. you're novel is ready and will get picked up somewhere by somebody and you and they will make a perfect union and sell gazillions of copies of your book. :0)

  9. Thanks again everyone! I'm not necessarily done querying agents - I've only sent out 12 and had some good feedback. But that process puts a lot on a persons plate and my plate's just about full. So when I heard about the publishers (yes, from Heather, in fact), I thought - why not one more readthrough/edit and try that route? Then it's in their hands and if (I wish I could say when!) it gets picked up, I can make the decision whether to give that information out to agents and see what happens.

    And in the meanwhile, work on a WIP or two! :)


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