Wednesday, January 28, 2015

From Agentless to Four Book Releases in One Year - Author Medeia Sharif

In 2013 I parted ways with my last agent. Yes, folks, I’ve had more than one agent. It happens—enthusiasm dies, bites from publishers don’t happen, there isn’t enough communication, and so on. Normally, when an agent and I break up, I’m a mess. It was different this time. During this last breakup, I was very calm and levelheaded. It was a new day and age in publishing. Despite the pitfalls of publishing and the gripes many authors have, there are more options today. One option is the small press. Some small presses are still relatively new, while others have been around for years.

While waiting and waiting and waiting for things to happen in the more traditional route, I had several beta read, polished manuscripts ready to go. They were HOT PINK IN THE CITY (Prizm Books, 2015), THE ATTIC OF SAND AND SECRETS (Featherweight Press, 2014), VITAMINS AND DEATH (Prizm Books, 2014), and SNIP, SNIP REVENGE (Evernight Teen, 2014). I submitted all four of them soon after my agent breakup. While I waited to hear back from small presses, I wrote new things. I won’t bombard you with my list of books, though, since I have other titles coming out this year. You can visit my site for my list.

Some people think that I write like a maniac. Yes, I do, and I’m able to write at least two drafts a year, but the major factor in getting three books published in 2014 was that I had them ready. I’m always working on something. If you’re waiting for one book to be published—whether it takes a year or ten—then you won’t have anything else to submit. No, I kept on writing, whether I was agented or agentless. Also, I was busy submitting. I made a folder of links to small presses and I keep adding to it. Googling, seeing what small presses blog friends are with, and noticing where my book purchases are from all led me to making this folder. I know which publishers will accept submissions for my middle grade, light YA, and dark YA. Because I write in different genres, but not all publishers are open to them, you’ll see that my books are all over the place, although some presses I’ve worked with twice.

So, this is why my 2014 was busy and why my 2015 will be equally as busy.

Find Medeia – YA and MG Author

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33 comments:

Karen Jones Gowen said...

Well done, Medeia! I can't imagine why anyone is holding out for agents these days. People have said publishers are dying but I'd say no, it's the agent system that's dying fast. In fact, many of them are creating work for themselves by figuring out how to work with self-published authors. Your experience is one of many that shows how writers are leaving that outdated system of waiting for an agent, and instead taking their careers in their own hands. Good luck with your new releases!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thanks again, Medeia!

Christine Rains said...

Fantastic post! I love hearing success stories like yours. Thanks for sharing and good luck! :)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

They say while you're waiting, keep writing. And you did! That's why you had so much success.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I also work with three different small presses though I'm about to narrow that to two. One has been around for a long time, one of the first digital publishers, and the other is relatively new but very professional.

Chrys Fey said...

That's the good thing about it taking time to publish, you always have books ready to go. :) I work with a small press and love them! You've done a great job, Medeia. Keep it up!

Peaches Ledwidge said...

Impressive list and determination to write.

Pat Hatt said...

True indeed, we can't just sit around waiting, Have to keep on writing.

Mary Montague Sikes said...

Authors are wise not to wait. Thanks for your post!

Medeia Sharif said...

Thank you, everyone. I'm glad this resonates with many.

Christine Danek said...

This is so refreshing to hear. I've been on the query train to agents for years. I'm still hopeful to get one one day, but I have started submitting to small presses. I have been writing while doing this so hopefully one day.
congrats on all your books!!

Anne R. Allen said...

Excellent advice: 1) Keep writing 2) Keep submitting. Also a great tip to pay attention to what publishers are producing work like yours

Jocelyn Rish said...

Thank you for sharing this. I've been curious about small presses for a while, so it's helpful to read about your journey.

Donna McDine said...

I've nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. Check it out at Write What Inspires You Blog

Best,
Donna

Donna McDine said...

Michelle Wallace - I’ve nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. Check it out at Write What Inspires You Blog

Best,
Donna

Bish Denham said...

All I can say is, good for you! Congratulations. All your hard . Work is paying off.

J.L. Campbell said...

Well done, Medeia, You work hard so this is well deserved and your path will be inspiration to many.

Nas said...

Great post Medeia and well done!

LD Masterson said...

Excellent advice. Thanks.

Catherine Stine said...

I so relate. I've had agents too, and now I'm with small publishers who are great! Your journey is inspiring.

Michelle Wallace said...

What an amazing and inspiring journey!
I don't know much about small presses, so thank you for sharing this info.

Lexa Cain said...

I love the fact you forged your own way and succeeded without an agent. I'm ashamed to say I didn't write for about a year after I got my agent, and then wrote something I decided to trunk. But I finally got my head on straight and really love my new WIP. (Though I wish you could send some "speed writing" pixie dust my way 'cause I'm waaay slower than you. lol) Thanks for the honest and inspiring post, Medeia!

Lea said...

Thank you for sharing your story. I'm not a writer, but I'm equally inspired by your post :)

Cathrina Constantine said...

What an inspiring post, Medeia. And so True! Nowadays, an agent isn't necessary. I have 3 books & a 4th coming out Feb. 7 all with small presses, and I'm happy. I also had a very nice agent, though, like you, she couldn't sell my book. The traditional route is fine, I'd be fibbing if I didn't say, I'd like to see my book on a shelf in Target or Barnes & Noble.

Sheena-kay Graham said...

You found what worked for you Medeia and I'm happy for all your success. My 2015 will be busy too and I think both of us are better for it.

Linda said...

Smart lady....

Shell Flower said...

Congrats on taking charge of your career and good luck. This is awesome advice!

Fundy Blue said...

What an inspiring post, Medeia! Congratulations on your success with your books, and all the best in writing this year!

dolorah said...

congrats Media :)

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I'm so thrilled for you, Medeia!!! I've had 3 agents, 3 publishers, and now I'm also agentless and down to 1 publisher. Some days feel tougher than others. But you're so right. Never stop writing and never stop believing in yourself! Bravo! You can tell by the amount of ! how exciting I am for you.

Robyn Campbell said...

Medeia, YOU ROCK IT, woman! I love your writing. I'm one of your number 1 fans. (There are many.) :-) So happy for you. I have decided that I don't want an agent headache. So, I'm subbing to publishers. Hopefully, it WILL happen for me too. Hug hug hug!

cleemckenzie said...

You're taking great advantage of what's available to authors these days! Congrats on being savvy and moving on with your writing career. I have so many writing friends who are still looking for their agent, parting with their agent, nudging their agent and they're not publishing. Yet, two are amazing writers...so much stronger than many "well-published" ones. I shake my head.

Karen Lange said...

Great advice, Medeia! Whether you write books, articles, or something else, it is always a good policy to have more than one thing going. Being prepared is the way to go. You are an inspiration. :)