Updated: Aug 24, 2019
I'd like to start by saying I still have a lot of respect and admiration for my former agent, Kelly Peterson, we connected instantly, from the day we met in person the first time. I avoided posting this for too long, for fear of hurting anyone's feeling, especially hers, and honestly mine too because I miss her as a friend. It was not an easy decision, but there is a lesson to be learned here.
That being said.
I broke up with my agent in January, 2019, roughly about six months after we signed, it was really hard. I have an amazing post of how we signed, here that I re-read often and will continue to do so forever.
Here is what I discovered after breaking up with my agent. Once I was ready to jump back in query pool.
1- Make sure to add their actual name and agency to the query
I was so afraid to hurt Kelly's reputation because I didn't know authors break up with their agents all the time and that is something normal (it apparently is not as big a deal as I thought it was), I only mentioned that "I broke up with my agent in Januray." Mostly I reached out to the agents who had been kind to me in the past with soemthing like:
Hi, Mr. Thor,
I hope you are doing great! I broke up with my agent in January and have revised my ms twice since then. I was hoping you would like to take another look at it.
I hope to hear from you soon,
That got out to some people who thought I was hiding the fact I had been represented before. I truly wasn't. Except on that one query I pasted the wrong text (and no it wasn't the Dear Santa one). Did I mention I'm and idiot?
If you are querying after you break up with your agent, make sure to specify who your agent was and the agency they were with.
2- Once you've been on sub, and you break up with agent, that ms COULD be dead.
Could is the keyword, I didn't say WILL. With help from some amazing people I admire tremendously, people who knew it had been hard for me to break up with my agent, I revised my ms entirely (twice), because those people saw enough potential in the ms.
I am now back in the query trenches. I reached out to the agents who had been kind to me in the past and let them know I had broken up with my agent, had revised the ms, and I would like to know if they'd be willing to take another look at it.
The ones who were interested asked if it had been on sub. And here is where things got interesting for me.
This next part is very important, are you paying attention?
DO NOT MAKE MISTAKES.
I did. So, last year, we were excited about going on sub. We did so quickly with lots of excitement involved. In 5 months we got nine rejections from editors when we had subbed to, two editors never responded. We sent out a smaller batch in December (I broke up with Kelly less than a month after we sent the second batch). Once we broke up, she pulled those subs.
HERE IS WHERE I MESSED UP.
When a new agent asked what editors had seen the ms, I only included the list of editors who had rejected it (DO NOT DO THIS). Apparently I was supposed to have sent the full list. But I didn't know, so I hope I can save some of you this embarrassing moment. I did not find out in the most pleasant way. I tried to make mends and apologize, but it was too late.
I have very few real friends in the business I feel I can reach out to, and most of them are on this side of the equation, meaning still writing and querying. I want you all new authors and writers out there who feel like you are in the same position that I am a safe haven and that if you have questions, if you need anything, please reach out. I will not go behind your backs, I will do the best I can to help you. If sharing my mistakes is a way to do that, I will continue to do so.
I am here.
Valeu & beijos!