I feel that I should follow up on a comment I made in my previous blog entry about Tammi Sauer's picture book approach. Tammi was gracious enough to comment on my post, for which I am flattered and thankful!
When you are training a bunch of newbie writers, such as myself, you of course need to give them a framework. Dian C. Regan repeated much of the same advice when she critiqued my story. I think now that I have attended several conferences, the information is starting to be repeated. Maybe that's what I was picking up on during Tammi's presentation, and I didn't even realize it until later. It's actually a good think that I'm hearing the same advice. I can tell that some of it is starting to sink in (which for me, can honestly take a while, sometimes).
The main issue from my comment, however, is having an agent. Evidently, having an agent can limit the number of houses that see your work. This is new to my ears. I was under the assumption that having an agent actually opens up new doors to you. They have relationships with many publishers and know who wants what, right?
Well, yes. A good one does. In a follow-up with Tammi, a good agent has many relationships, but may choose to limit your houses while your list grows and as you develop as a writer. They may approach other houses if your style changes, or after you have a solid relationship built with your current publishers/editors.
So Tammi, thanks for the clarification. I'm beginning to feel that writing is 2% talent, 98% hard work, persistence and luck.