First off (and before we get to today’s post)…
HAPPY RELEASE DAY to Deborah Vogts, author of Snow Melts in Spring (Book 1 in the Seasons of the Tallgrass series). This is her first novel… and my first agented novel to be released. We’re both excited!
Click the picture to buy the book, and visit Debbie’s website to say hi and extend your congratulations.
Now on to the post…
A reader asked: If you enter a major contest, can you still look for an agent or is your ms. tied up until the winner is announced? Of course it’s a long shot but I hate to mislead potential agents…I’d like to hedge my bets and try for both. What’s the protocol? Help!
I think it’s a good idea to be querying agents and entering contests at the same time. You never know when lightning is going to strike, and like you said, it’s smart to be covering all the bases.
You said you “hate to mislead potential agents” but I can’t see how this would happen unless you were purposely withholding information. But you’d never do that, right? Just include a line in your query that says, “My manuscript is currently entered in XYZ contest.”
Make sure the contests you enter don’t have any stipulations preventing agented authors from being eligible to win.
If an agent agrees to represent you, then you and the agent will determine how to proceed. The agent may want to begin submitting your book to publishers right away; if it gets a contract, then you’ll probably have to withdraw from the contest. Or, you and the agent may decide to wait and see if you win, especially if you’re a finalist.
So, readers, how many of you are entering contests? Are you querying agents at the same time? What have you heard about the protocol?
Rachelle Gardner, Christian literary agent, Colorado