I was pretty sure I’d never sign with an agent. I’d been rejected (or ignored) by just about every agency that worked in Christian fiction. So when I found out Chip MacGregor was planning to be in Oklahoma City for the ACW Conference, I almost didn’t go. But with a hope and a prayer—literally—I paid the conference fees, only to find out a few days before the conference that Chip wouldn’t be there. Strep throat had derailed his plans and, I was fairly certain, my future.
I went to the conference anyway, learned a lot, and had a great time. And because Chip is so gracious, since he couldn’t be there, he invited all the attendees to send him a proposal. Mine was in the mail on Monday.
I didn’t hear anything and chalked it up to one more rejection. Of course the fact that Chip had been very ill and then had invited a whole bunch of people to send him proposals never entered my mind. I figured I was a terrible writer and ought to just quit. The 7-Eleven on the corner is always hiring, you know.
But a few months later, Chip attended an event in Tulsa, and my friend and I decided to drive the ninety miles to meet him personally. I approached him after the meeting, introduced myself, and asked him about the proposal I’d sent. He apologized for not having gotten back to me sooner and promised to look at my proposal soon.
I heard from him a month or so later and, amazingly, he liked it. I signed with him, and I couldn’t be happier. Did signing with Chip automatically lead to a big contract? Not even close. But it did do a few things for me. Because I signed with Chip:
- I have at least one industry expert who thinks I can write.
- I have someone I can ask all my questions of—and he always responds immediately.
- I have an expert to guide me in career decisions.
- And of course, I have someone to get my books in front of the right people at the right publishing houses.
I’m sure most writers think their agents are the best, so it won’t surprise you to know I think Chip MacGregor is the best agent in the entire world. It’s not just his experience, knowledge, and integrity, but Chip puts his clients’ needs above his own. When he couldn’t sell my book, he didn’t hang onto it hoping to make some money off it later when the CBA winds shifted. Instead, he encouraged me to self-publish it. Does that make him any money at all? Nope. But that’s Chip. For him, it’s about helping writers.
Chip and Holly Lorincz have just released a fabulous book, How can I find a Literary Agent? If you haven’t yet, pick up your copy as soon as possible. It’ll be like sitting down for a chat with the greatest agent in the business.
Look for How can I find a Literary Agent? at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iBookstore. Follow Chip’s blog, where he answers author’s questions every week, and visit MacGregor Literary for more information him and the rest of the MacLit agents.
Robin Patchen lives in Edmond, Oklahoma, with her husband and three teenagers. Her third book, Finding Amanda, is available now. When Robin isn’t writing or caring for her family, she works as a freelance editor at Robin’s Red Pen, where she specializes in Christian fiction. Read excerpts and find out more at her website, robinpatchen.com.