I found an interesting file folder in the back of an old cabinet. Here is the list of its contents:
- AMC literary Agency
- LongStreet Press
- Peachtree Publishers Ltd.
- Harper Collins Publishers
- Maria Carvanis Agency,Inc.
- Cantrell Colas, Inc.
- Ellen Levine Literary Agency
- Lee Allen Agency
- Arron M. Priest Literary Agency, Inc.
- Harvey Klinger, Inc.
- Acton, Dystel, Leone, and Jaffe, Inc.
- James Allen Literary Agent
- Curtis Brown, Ltd.
- Appleseeds Management
- The Axelrod Agency
- S. J. Clark Literary Agent
- Jane Butler, Literary Agent
- Barbara Bova Literary Agency
- Brant and Brant Literary Agents, Inc.
- Marcia Amsterdam Agency
- Reid Boates Literary Agency
- Berenica Hoffman Literary Agent
- Robert Cornfield Literary Agency
- John A. Ware Literary Agency
- Mildred Marmur Associates Ltd
- Carol Abel Literary Agent
- Dominick Abel Literary Agency, Inc.
- Carol Mann Agency
- Darhansoff & Verrill Literary Agency
- Charlotte Sheedy Literaary Agency, Inc.
- Knox Burger Associates, Ltd.
- The Wendy Weil Agency, Inc.
- Sterling Lord Literistic, Inc.
- Russell & Volkening, Inc.
- Jed Mattes, Inc.
And those are just the ones who bothered to answer. Some, of course, didn’t and some sent me a nice form letter saying “Dear Author, no thanks.” This list as you surmised was my search for an agent as the result of a query letter. My list of rejections from publishers to whom I submitted manuscripts is much longer, but I may have discarded that one. Sometimes the truth hurts.
Out of all that though, a nice lady named Alexandra Chalusiak took time to write me a long letter explaining the difficulty I faced. In it she said, “Now, with the onslaught of celebrity books, homicides-of-the-week books, and repeat authors, there is very little space or money left for the decently written, first novel. It has become a tough uphill battle for agents as well.” I thought that was kind of her, don’t you? Her letter was dated September 15, 1994.
I actually did secure not one, but two agents in my search and they were good at their jobs. Even they couldn’t get me published.
Ah, but then came Amazon. I just wish it had come along twenty years ago.