Last time, Kristen Lamb guest blogged for me about how Twitter can be a writer’s BFF. And maybe some of you weren’t convinced. (Really, Jami, we know you’re just trying to justify your time on that thing. Of course a social media expert would say social media is important. Duh.) So I brought back-up with me today—Ha!
This time, I’m thrilled to introduce Mercedes M. Yardley, a friend I met through (wait for it…) Twitter. She has the ultimate Twitter success story to share with us, so take it away, Mercedes…
How I Got My Agent: A Social Media Love Story
You know the story. Author meets agent. Author stalks agent. Agent realizes that Author is everything that Agent ever wanted, and stardust falls from the sky as contracts are signed.
Well, this story isn’t really like that. It’s even better.
I met my agent via Twitter.
Twitter took me a while to get used to, I’ll tell you that. It’s like having a conversation with 700 of your closest ADD friends. At the same time. But once I got the hang of it, I was hooked. I use Twitter as a reward (“Yay! I finished my project and now I can play! What’s up, Twitter?”), a resource (“Does anybody here live in New Haven, CT? What’s your weather like RIGHT NOW?”), and as a place to meet new writers. I follow those in the publishing industry. I follow agents. I follow established writers and those who are in the same boat I’m in. It’s a blast.
One day, after my work was done, (and that’s the key, right there. Don’t let Twitter distract you from your priorities) I was having a Twitter conversation. Meanwhile, snippets of other conversations were popping up, and somebody tweeted a link to a Query Tracker contest. And I? I pounced.
Query Tracker was announcing that agent Jason Yarn from Paradigm was going to judge a query contest. But not just any contest! You had to sell your entire novel in a one line pitch and your first paragraph. A one line pitch? Are you kidding me?! Condensing an entire novel into a query letter was hard enough, but this? This was a challenge!
Oh, and I like challenges. Very much.
The contest was limited to 100 people, so time was definitely a factor. It filled up very quickly. If I hadn’t seen the link right then and jumped on it immediately, then I would have lost my opportunity. Although I didn’t win the contest, Jason was intrigued enough that he asked me to send my query and first ten pages. Then my full. Then The Call, which turned out not to be The Call, but A Call. Then The Real Call. And the rest is history. Or at least, it will be.
I’d like to think that, barring this opportunity, I would have eventually sent Jason my query and he would have shouted, “Hallelujah, this is the query of my dreams!” It could happen. But I’m also realistic enough to know that timing really is essential. By the time I finally carefully researched him (hello, Jason Yarn is way back in the “Y” section) and sent my query in, would he still be looking for this type of manuscript? Would he enjoy the whimsy, or would I perhaps catch him on a bad day and get a rejection? Luckily it’s a scenario that I don’t have to think about. I had an eye on Twitter and it helped me land a fantastic agent. There really isn’t a stronger argument for social media than this.
*sniff* I love happy endings! Thank you so much for sharing your story, Mercedes. (Check out the picture of her signing her agent contract above!)
And that, my friends, is just one reason why Twitter can be an invaluable resource for writers. Whether I’ve convinced you or not, you might also like to check out some of Mercedes’s writing on her blog, called Stilettos and Shirley Temples. Along with our mutual friend, Simon C. Larter (at least, I think they’re friends, sometimes it’s hard to tell), she’s writing a tale that deserves to be made into a movie.
If you use Twitter, what’s the best thing that’s happened to you because of it? If you don’t use Twitter, did this convince you yet?
Mercedes M. Yardley wears poisonous flowers in her hair and writes whimsical horror. Her short story “Werewolf 101” was just released this month in John Skipp’s Werewolves and Shape Shifters: Encounters with the Beast Within anthology alongside stories by Neil Gaiman, HP Lovecraft, Chuck Palahniuk, and Charlaine Harris. She’s still jumping up and down over it. Mercedes works for Shock Totem Magazine and is represented by Jason Yarn of Paradigm Talent Agency. Come swing by her blog at A Broken Laptop. They eat cookies and sing songs there.