For those of you who haven't yet heard, Tribe Literary Agency is no more. The agent closed shop due to family obligations. For a few of the clients, this was an unpleasant surprise, but for others, like myself, it was a good thing because we'd already sent out "intent to terminate" letters and thus no longer have to wait 30 days to get back in the game.
Instead of launching into a vitriolic rant about my experience with this agency, I've decided to share the positive things I got out of it.
1.) I'm cured of the "I MUST HAVE AN AGENT NOW" fever. There seems to be a persisting attitude online that you're nothing without an agent. Those who have one seem to be held in higher esteem. They often have more followers on Twitter, their blogs get more traffic, etc. It seems they have it all, and the thrill when their book sells is vicariously exciting.
Once I had an agent, it seemed there was a huge empty spot in my life that had been taken up by querying and stalking my inbox. I dedicated that time to what should have been priority #1: focusing on my writing and perfecting my craft. I ended up fixing a previously broken novel and completing another, along with 2 short stories and a novella.
2.) I made a lot of new friends. Part of what drew me to the agent in the first place was the awesome bond she helped form between her authors. When she quit, that closeness remained and we were able to comfort each other.
3.) The manuscript being "shopped" was not the best way to launch my career with a big house. BITE ME, YOUR GRACE is a historical paranormal. It's a really fun book, but the problem is, I don't have any more historicals at the moment. That would have been awkward, had I landed a multi-book deal.
4.) My manuscript wasn't really ready. I recently won a critique from the awesome Ashley March and she pointed out a bunch of stuff that needed fixed. On the bright side, there was nothing wrong with the story or the flow, so it'll be an easy fix.
So, what am I going to do now?
For starters, I am NOT going to rush straight into hunting for an agent. I am going to step back and really do my homework.
While I polish up my urban fantasy romance series, I am going to shop my novella and short stories to get more credentials. I may even find a home for BITE ME, YOUR GRACE. It's such a fun book and a lot of people loved it. It feels wrong to let it die because of my poor decisions.
In the end, I think I'm going to be okay. I think I came out of this experience stronger than ever. I would like to give special thanks to those who were with me through all my doubts and turmoil. I wouldn't have made it out as well without you.