What has luck got to do with it?
In a word, everything. I could have kept copies and lists of all my paper and on-line submissions, but in the end, I decided that would be too depressing and weigh me down; so I cannot give you an exact count the number of submissions I sent out; though by the time I had written round prospective publishers and agents, the total number must have been around sixty. Luckily, I found my darling agent in the right place at the right time and on the lookout for a book like mine. I call that lucky. The success I had so long hoped for, came along -as is so often the case – when I least expected it.
Everyone can help luck to smile on them by researching the market with care. It takes courage to send out submissions, but even so, we always have time to make sure that our enquiries are word perfect, grammatically accurate, polite and to the point. There are always ways in which we can refine our searches, and be clear that we have made an attempt to assess whether our work and the agent we have in mind are a good match.
Are you thinking about trying your luck with the larger agencies? Then find out who in the most likely agencies is looking for work of your genre and actively hoping to expand their lists. Search for agents who are interested in new writers or emerging talent or for agents who are looking to build their lists. Address your submission to them by name.
The Writers’ Workshop has a comprehensive list of agents which you can select from, according to your genre and preferences. For example, you may want to search for small agencies who are looking for science fiction only, are interested in new writers and actively seeking manuscripts. I found my agent by working through the list there; and I have found The Writers’ Workshop to be a mine of useful information and ideas, and their lists and articles are updated regularly.
The best of luck, and thanks for reading!