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How I Got My Agent: Robin Mellom

“How I Got My Agent” is a recurring feature on the GLA Blog. 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. Robin Mellom is the author of DITCHED: A LOVE STORY, a young adult novel released in Jan. 2012 by Disney/Hyperion. GIVEAWAY: Robin is excited to give away a free copy of her book to a random commenter. Comment within one week; winners must live in Canada/US to receive the book by mail. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before. (Update: Grammarian won.)

“How I Got My Agent” is a recurring feature on the Guide to Literary Agents Blog, with this installment featuring Robin Mellom, author of the young adult debut, DITCHED. 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: Robin is excited to give away a free copy of her book to a random commenter. Comment within one week; winners must live in Canada/US to receive the book by mail. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before. (Update: Grammarian won.)

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Robin Mellom is the author of DITCHED: A LOVE STORY,
a young adult novel released in Jan. 2012 by Disney/Hyperion.
Robin has taught grades five through eight and has a master's
degree in education. Her new middle grade series, THE
CLASSROOM
, launches in June 2012. She lives on the

Central Coast of California. Visit her at www.robinmellom.com

NETWORKING MATTERS

How did I find my agent? In a nutshell: networking! For years, I queried (back when we sent them through the mail!) without any luck. Fortunately though, I met my first agent through the Internet. She came across my blog and liked my writing style—she reached out to me and asked for me to submit my work. (So never underestimate the power of blogging!)

(Learn how you can support and help a new author with their book release.)

We worked on submitting a couple of books over two years without getting a contract. So I had to make the incredibly hard decision to move on and start fresh again with a different agent.

SEEKING A SECOND AGENT

I polished up another manuscript and started querying. This time, it was through e-mail and the process was much quicker. There were a couple of agents interested in working on changes without a contract, but one agent—Jill Corcoran [formerly of Herman Agency, now helming her own agency, Jill Corcoran Literary href="http://www.publishersmarketplace.com/members/JillC/"]—expressed interest in my work right away. She e-mailed me while she was reading the manuscript to let me know her thoughts (i.e. “halfway through…loving this!” then, “on p.200…so great!”). It was helpful to get her updates but also the most nerve-racking week of my life. I knew when she only had 50 pages left—what if the story completely fell apart?!

LUCKILY, IT DIDN'T FALL APART

Fortunately, on Friday at midnight my husband woke me up to say she’d emailed me with a subject line that said, “Offer of Representation!”

(How NOT to start your story. Read advice from agents.)

I hardly slept.

Working with Jill has been an amazing experience. But truthfully, when I signed with her…that’s when the work really started. I wrote another two books with her that we submitted and still didn’t land a contract. It wasn’t until I wrote my sixth book, DITCHED, that I landed a two-book deal. Luckily, she kept me motivated all that time to keep going and never give up. Every time we received a rejection she’d say, “That’s okay—it means we’re one step closer to finding our YES.”

Turns out she was right.

GIVEAWAY: Robin is excited to give away a free copy of her book to a random commenter. Comment within one week; winners must live in Canada/US to receive the book by mail. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before. (Update: Grammarian won.)

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