Tuesday, February 7, 2017

WOTP: Tracy Auerbach, Young Adult Author

A new month means a new division of the Wielders of the Pen interview series. The next four authors fall into the category of agented writers on submission. This is the stage where an author's agent submits their book to various publishers who then decide if they want the book...or not.

The first on submission author is Tracy Auerbach. She has a very unique view on the traditional publishing process that you don't want to miss. Especially if you're unsure how you want to publish your book!


To start on a personal note, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

My name is Tracy Auerbach, and I’m a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) coach and curriculum writer. I’ve been working for the New York City public school system for eleven years, but before that I was in film and television production for a few years. I have a husband, and two sons, six and eight years old. I love reading with them and discussing television, books, and movies. 

What is your “how I got my agent” story? 

I had published an ebook with an indie publisher in 2011 and it was released in print in 2014. I figured it couldn’t be too hard to land an agent after that. Yikes, was I wrong! I completed a novel which I thought was a true work of art, and sent out 150 queries over the course of six months. I only received one request for a full and it was eventually a pass. I was devastated. But I picked myself up and completely restructured my story. I took time to hone my craft. I also hooked up with some awesome beta readers and learned to take suggestions.

Cautiously optimistic, I sent out 50 queries. Right away, I received a few rejections that weren’t form letters. Agents gave me feedback! I celebrated. The agents specifically told me they liked the story and the writing, but didn’t feel they were a good fit. I ended up with six requests, but I ultimately loved the first agent I interviewed with. I just felt that we ‘clicked’ so I signed with him.
  
What novel landed you your agent? 

The novel that landed me my agent (Evan Marshall of the Evan Marshall Agency), is a young adult science fiction novel. THE SIN SOLDIERS is its working title.
   
Tell us about the much anticipated and nerve-wracking “Call” with your now agent.

Evan scheduled a call with me to discuss my book, my writing style, and some of my goals. I so wanted to impress him, and I was super nervous. But he came across as extremely personable, smart, savvy, and a huge fan of my writing… which is why I ended up signing with him.
  
You have also published through a publisher, only. Can you tell us a little bit about that experience? 

I published my new adult urban fantasy novel with an independent publisher called 48fourteen. It’s called THE HUMAN CURE, and it’s a new twist on the vampire mythology out there. I wanted to keep my vampires gritty, bloody, and original. No sparkles, but plenty of gore. I have Juanita Samborski, who acquires titles for 48fourteen, to thank for my first big break, and a lot of what I’ve learned about the industry.





In your opinion, what are the pros and cons of having an agent/publishing through a publisher solo?

Through my experience with an indie publisher, I learned so much about the industry; how to self-promote, how important relationships with bloggers and reviewers can be… just so much invaluable knowledge. But it’s a lot of maintenance and my sales were never amazing. It’s hard to get noticed when there are so many talented authors out there with more time or money to pool into publicity. My agent has a ton of established relationships with bigger name publishers, and there’s a higher potential for visibility if I publish through a larger imprint.

What is the hardest part about being on submission?

The waiting and the rejections. It’s completely devastating to have come so far and gotten an agent, and then enter into another round of rejections. But it only takes one ‘yes,’ so I remain hopeful.
  
How do you cope with waiting to hear back from publishers?

I write! I already have another novel out with beta readers, and I’m working on a brand-new story as well. If I didn’t love writing for the sake of writing, I don’t think I could have dealt with so many rejections and still stayed afloat. Even the early versions of my books that need a ton of work are fun to write, so I never feel like I’m wasting my time.

Do you have any tips for writers who are trying to decide whether to go the publisher or agent route?

I think it all depends on how savvy they are with social media, and how much work they’re willing to put into selling their books. A lot of bigger publishing houses don’t take un-agented submissions, so the onus falls on the author to publish smaller and make a name for him or herself.
  
Finally, how will you celebrate when you eventually get your book deal?

I will scream and call everyone who’s been supporting me this whole time. Then I’ll soak it in for a few days… maybe go on a little vacation with my family and unplug. Every author needs a break from ‘screens’ once in awhile, or we forget how to interact with other humans.

Tracy has had a very unique journey, and I wish her the very best success in the submission arena. Fingers crossed for a "yes" very soon!

If you want to keep up with Tracy and give her some support, make sure you check out these links:

Blog

Facebook Author Page

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