How I Got My Agent: Nicole Conway

“How I Got My Agent” is a recurring feature on the Guide to Literary Agents Blog, with this installment featuring Nicole Conway, author of FLEDGLING (The Dragonrider Chronicles). These columns are great ways for you to learn how to find a literary agent. Some tales are of long roads and many setbacks, while others are of good luck and quick signings. GIVEAWAY: Nicole is excited to give away a free copy of her novel to a random commenter. Comment within 2 weeks; winners must live in Canada/US to receive the book by mail, whereas international winners can get an ebook instead. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before.
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“How I Got My Agent” is a recurring feature on the Guide to Literary Agents Blog, with this installment featuring Nicole Conway, author of FLEDGLING (The Dragonrider Chronicles). These columns are great ways for you to learn how to find a literary agent. Some tales are of long roads and many setbacks, while others are of good luck and quick signings. If you have a literary agent and would be interested in writing a short guest column for this GLA blog, e-mail me at literaryagent@fwmedia.com and we’ll talk specifics.

GIVEAWAY: Nicole is excited to give away a free copy of her novel to a random commenter. Comment within 2 weeks; winners must live in Canada/US to receive the book by mail, whereas international winners can get an ebook instead. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before. (Please note that comments may take a little while to appear; this is normal).

fledgling-novel-cover-conway
nicole-conway-author-writer

Nicole Conway is from North Alabama, and currently resides in South Georgia
with her husband, dog, and two cats.. She earned a BA in English at Auburn
University, as also works as a freelance graphic artist. Her favorite pastimes
are camping, cooking, writing, and spending time with family and friends.
Her debut novel is FLEDGLING (The Dragonrider Chronicles, April 29), a
MG/YA Sword and Sorcery crossover. Find her on Twitter, Facebook,
and Goodreads.

BLIND DATE LUCK

The first time I was set up on a blind date, I met my husband. The second time, I met my agent. I guess you could say I have a lot of “blind luck.”

When I started looking for an agent, everyone told me to expect lots of rejection. So I braced myself, and started my search. I revised my query letter over and over, submitted it to agents, and waited months for form-rejection letters that made me feel as insignificant as ever. It’s all part of the business, of course, and thankfully I had an excellent support system in my family and friends.

(Query letter FAQs answered.)

Despite the many rejections I’d already gotten, I wasn’t ready to surrender. I knew I had a salable product. FLEDGLING was special, and I just had to prove it. So I designed my own cover, said a little prayer, and uploaded it onto Amazon.com as a self-published novel.

THE BOOK SUCCEEDS ON AMAZON

Three months, thirty thousand sold copies, and a spot on Amazon’s Bestseller’s List later . . . I was completely stunned. People began asking me what my secret was, or how I was marketing. I started getting fan mail, and dozens of reviews every day. I had never run a single ad. I hadn’t paid a dime to promote my book. I knew next to nothing about marketing. But the emails and sales still kept pouring in, and I had no idea what to do next. I realized this was my chance. Now, surely someone else would be willing to look at FLEDGLING and see the potential I knew was there.

I met fellow author Vicki Weavil through AgentQueryConnect.com. She was one of the many gracious, incredibly helpful people on that site who were talking me through my self-publishing difficulties. She offered to explain my rather bizarre situation to her literary agent, Jennifer Mishler, of Literary Counsel. The result? A sort-of blind date with an agent who was not just willing, but eager to hear me out!

(How should you discuss a book's series potential in a query letter?)

TALKING WITH JENNIFER

Having Jennifer as my literary agent gave me the validation and relief I desperately needed. About two months later, she sold FLEDGLING and the rest of its series to Month9Books. Everything happened so quickly, and only recently have I been able to sit back and finally reflect on it.

What happened was simple: my little prayer was answered! I’ve learned a lot in the past year, but most importantly, that there’s a big difference between dreaming that something might happen while you sit safely on the sidelines, and actually taking a leap of faith to prove you were meant to fly. There’s plenty of rejection out there, but believing in yourself and having the determination to keep pushing towards your goal is more than half the battle.

Also, never underestimate the potential of a blind date!

GIVEAWAY: Nicole is excited to give away a free copy of her novel to a random commenter. Comment within 2 weeks; winners must live in Canada/US to receive the book by mail, whereas international winners can get an ebook instead. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before. (Please note that comments may take a little while to appear; this is normal).

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