Monday, December 14, 2009

Good News/Bad News and a reminder to update your website!

IN THE NEWS: Authorities say angry driver crashed into DMV. Read more here.

Happy Monday! It's that time again for good news/bad news.

Here's the good: I had a literary agent e-mail me last week.

I shouldn't say a literary agent. Actually, she's a pretty prominent literary agent, so of course I thought it was a joke. (A mean joke at that) But it was no joke.

Did I query any agents? Well, no.

Am I looking for a literary agent now? Well, no.

But here's what happened: I sent in my info to the RWA so they could announce my second sale. That was back in August when I sent it in. The announcement went in the RWA enotes last week. (Actually, I thought they lost it, since technically by now it's not really "news" anymore.) But anyway, this is what it said:

Jennifer Shirk announces her second sale to editor Faith Black of Avalon Books. GEORGIE ON HIS MIND features a young woman who comes up with a way to keep her independence, but her brother’s best friend interferes with those plans and soon has her thinking that maybe being an independent woman isn’t what it’s cracked up to be. Visit Shirk at www.jennifershirk.com

Big deal, right? Well, apparently I'm not the only one who reads those RWA enotes! Because the next day an agent e-mailed me to tell me congrats on my sale and that she thought my blurb sounded interesting, so she went to my website. She said my excerpt made her smile and that she was looking to expand her romance author list, yada yada yada.

I have to be honest, the first thing that went through my mind was "OH MY GOSH, I JUST UPDATED MY WEBSITE!!" Co-inky-dink that RWA was almost 4 months late in posting my announcement and just days before my website revamp was completed? Uh, I think not. God's hands were all over that one.

Now the bad news: After my hubby scraped me off the ceiling, I was able to think and respond clearly. I had to be upfront and tell the agent that at this point in my puny career, I don't need an agent. (I'm able to submit to Harlequin, Avalon, Samhain, etc.. without one) I really don't know what I plan on doing in the future. But she was so kind and gracious and told me to submit to her when I was ready. Which I definitely will now!

So remember to keep your website updated. You never know who's clicking on your link.

Well, that added a little extra excitement this Christmas. :)

I really felt very humbled by the whole experience. Especially since I've been praying for some direction in my writing. I'm not sure if this is my answer, but it's something I'm going to keep in mind and continue to pray about before the year is out.

What about you? Are you thinking about making any changes in your writing career for the new year?

37 comments:

Shelley Munro said...

Wow, I hear about that sort of thing happening. She must have really enjoyed your excerpt.

Changes - I'm not sure. I'll probably just continue as I have been at the moment.

Tamika: said...

Exciting news Jennifer! That says a great deal about your work!

This year I am throwing myself in revision prison- on lockdown with my WIP!

Tabitha Bird said...

Oh Wow Jenn! You weren't tempted to sign with her just for the heck of it? :)

Katie Ganshert said...

that's AWESOME! I'm with Tab...weren't you just a little tempted to sign? Having an agent never hurts! Especially a reputable one. :)

Joanne said...

Very exciting news going on here! Agents can negotiate strong contracts, sell more rights, that sort of thing. Did she discuss what she might be able to do for you if you did sign?

Kristen Painter said...

What do you mean you don't need an agent? Every writer needs an agent. They can do so much more for you than you can do yourself. Seriously, it's something you need to give more thought to.

Maria Zannini said...

Yay for Team Jennifer! What a great experience. At least now you have a contact for when you are ready.

Congrats!

sherrinda said...

Oh how thrilling! I think that is awesome news! I would have been so tempted to sign right there and then! lol But goodness, if you can get contracts without one...more money for you! :)

Wendy @ All in a Day's Thought said...

You just described my dream...an agent coming to find me! :D

Fantastic news. Something to keep praying about b/c it seems like you were talking to God recently about direction...??? Maybe.

~ Wendy

Jessica said...

Eeek! That's so awesome! I know there's a commission and those pubs pay low advances, but I think you sign with her. I bet she'd do some good things for your contracts and maybe even get you higher advances.
Congrats! I'm not surprised Hubby had to scrape you off the ceiling. LOL

Jordana Ryan said...

That is so awesome Jennifer, and I'm so happy for you! A great reminder to me as I'm starting to make changes and getting ready for the big 2010 that my website is one of the things I need to invest some more time in :) I'm so happy for you and congratulations on all your successes!

Jennifer Shirk said...

Kristen: Really? You think I need an agent at this stage of my career? Ugh. Must give more thought on this.

Wendy: Yes, still praying about direction.

Jordana: Thank you! Yes, now I know firsthand how important a website is!

Thanks, ladies!!

Linda Kage said...

Wow! How exciting. That's wonderful news. Gives me plenty to think about too. Thanks.

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

WOW!!! THAT IS SO COOL!!!!! Congrats, Jennifer! And way to keep your head and react in a way that's true to you and what you need right now instead of leaping ahead and wondering why you did that later on.

Susan R. Mills said...

Very cool. I had an agent email me once because of something he read on my blog. Like you said, it's important to keep websites and blogs updated. You never know who might be reading.

Em-Musing said...

WOW! That's exciting! That's my dream, an agent reading my blog and contacting me. And you're proof it happens.

Keri Mikulski said...

Congrats!!

Very exciting. :)

T. Anne said...

My heart is racing, what a thrilling story! Quick send her my way! You are so blessed. I really admire and look up to you. It doesn't hurt that your funny.

Jennifer Shirk said...

Aww...you gals are so sweet and supportive!

T. Anne: LOL!! You are too funny, too!

destrella said...

Great story! Glad hubby was there to peel you off. I'm trying to keep my new blog bedazzled and up to date... good reminder. :O)

Cindy said...

Jennifer, that's great news! I recently updated my Web site some but I am going to try to make it a goal to keep it up to date more often now.

It's so exciting you will have an interested agent to submit to in the future. Congratulations!

Roni @ FictionGroupie said...

That's awesome, congrats! I would have been so tempted to sign. But I understand your quandary. An agent can definitely help, but if you're doing well on your own then it would be sharing a piece of the pie.

Elizabeth Bradley said...

Good for you! I would consider submitting when you're ready. Don't look a gift horse in the face. (My Mama's old saying.)

tsueversteeg said...

I'm not seeing a downside here! CONGRATS!!! Wow. I'm only slightly jealous (majorly) of you ;)

~Ellie Kings~ said...

Should I say congrats or no? Since you didn't need her now. :) Okay, i'll say Wow! Goes to show you the little things we do take notice. xo

Catherine Denton said...

How exciting! Good to know she's there if you need her.

Anonymous said...

Jen can I email you at the old address?
Or you can email me if you want.
Mercy

Shannon O'Donnell said...

That is awesome. What's even more awesome is that you are in a position to be able to choose whether or not you want an agent right now. ;-)

Jennifer Shirk said...

Thanks, ladies!! Now I just have to WRITE something. LOL!

Mercy: I don't know what e-mail address you have for me and I don't have yours. But you can
e-mail me at
jennifer AT jennifershirk DOT com

Walt M said...

Jennifer,

Just catching up this morning and am totally jealous about this. :-)How grateful you must be that the work you do gets noticed.

Jill Kemerer said...

Awesome Jennifer!!! God's hands ARE all over that one! I'm so happy for you!

Stephanie said...

Isn't it wonderful when you can see God's hand in eerything? I've been praying for direction, too. About 2 days after my initial prayer, Silke and I are talking. I don't know what this means, but I hope I figure it out soon!

I'm so proud of you, girl!

Patti Lacy said...

Exciting, Jennifer! So proud of your updated website and persistence.

I enjoy hanging here and have placed you on my blogroll!

Patti
www.pattilacy.com/blog

Dawn Simon said...

"What about you? Are you thinking about making any changes in your writing career for the new year?"

Yes. I'm planning on getting an agent who will get me a book deal so I can become an official author and take the word "aspiring" off my bio. Tee-hee! Oh, did you mean changing something that's actually in my control? Yes. I plan to keep plugging away. I'll continue putting in the writing hours, researching the agents, keeping in touch with bloggy friends, reading craft and other books, querying, attending conferences, and praying I'll succeed. Those aren't changes, but I learn new stuff every year, and I feel like I'm getting closer. :)

CONGRATS on the phone call! That's so exciting! Agents do sooo much and truly earn their commission. I vote you call her!

Eileen Astels Watson said...

Congratulations on the book and the agent's interest.

I REALLY need to update my website!

Stacy Post said...

What a nice surprise for you! Congrats! As for keeping sites updated, I totally agree. I try to update the blog at least three times a week. Sometimes a fellow blogger may share a resource too that turns into something promising too!

Karen said...

Wow! That is so cool (and amazing). It's good to know that if you ever do pursue an agent, your wait shouldn't be long. :)