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Month: October 2015

Just Keep Pitching (Day 31)


This weekend is your last chance to sign up for a phone consult with me. Interested? Click here for details and to schedule your appointment.


When my husband graduated from high school, he was not ready for his baseball career to be over. He went to a small JuCo a few hours from our hometown and tried to walk on. He ran. He hit. He pitched. For weeks, he worked out in hopes that they would allow him to walk on. Finally the day came for them to announce their team—they posted the 25-man roster, and he wasn’t on it. They told him he didn’t make the team, but if he would keep coming to practice, there was a chance to earn a spot. He was devastated.

But, he went back.

And he ran.

He hit some more.

And he pitched and threw batting practice like he was playing the most important game of his career.

And the coaches noticed.

And in a week, he had a uniform. Later, the assistant coach, who is now the head coach at Texas Tech, told him that he felt the head coach cut him as a test to see if he would press through. My husband worked his way to a new team after that, Tyler Junior College. The coach there had noticed him at Hill, and offered him scholarship money if he would transfer and play for them. He had a very successful year at TJC as one of their pitchers, when the coaching staff at The University of Houston noticed him. They offered him a substantial scholarship to come pitch for them, so he transferred there to finish up his degree. My husband led his team in wins at U of H, and went on to help his team win a Conference USA Championship.

When you work hard, eventually heads will turn. When you keep trying, eventually an agent will notice your perseverance. Sometimes it’s a series of baby steps that lead up to your securing an agent, but it’s ALWAYS about hard work. Pitching at The University of Houston was one of the best times of my husband’s life. He is a baseball coach today, and I wonder what life would’ve looked like had he looked those coaches in the eye and gotten hurt, angry, bitter, or so frustrated that he decided not to pick up a baseball ever again.

It happens—I promise this happens every single day.

Maybe you have queried 20 agents, sat in front of them nervously, recited 20 awesome elevator pitches, and struck out every time—find ten more agents to query. Maybe you’ve attended writers’ conferences for 20 years and you are a regular, but still, you have no agent—stay the course. Stay a regular. Keep pitching. Eventually, the right agent will notice. Just keep pitching—your time will come.

Thank you to everyone that has followed along on our 31 day journey. This was really fun, and I hope you feel educated and encouraged to go out there and snag yourself the agent of your dreams. If you’ve enjoyed our series I would love for you to share it with your friends. And I’d be honored if you’d sign up for my email list and stick with me at my place beneath the pines.




This series is part of the #Write31Days challenge. To read all the posts in this series click here.


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Last Chance for a
Phone Consult with Me!


October is coming to a close which means my discounted 30 minute phone consults are too. But there’s still time to snag an appointment with me for the half-price rate of $50.

If you are interested in a phone appointment with me, please email me this weekend at: jessieekirkland@gmail.com and put “Phone Consult” in the subject line.

And if you’re not sure see the original post here to help you decide.



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Phone Consult with Me!

Ask an Agent Q&A (Day 30)


Tomorrow is the last day to schedule a phone consult with me. Interested? Click here for details and to sign up.


Happy dance. We have covered a ton of material this October about how to snag an agent. Has the series been helpful? If it has, would you mind sharing Day 1 with your friends and other writers? I’m going to leave this series up for a bit, then it will all come down so that I can make it into an e-book.

Also, all of the phone consultations have been amazing! I will take phone consult reservations through this Sunday only. I’m booking them out through next Wednesday, and then they will be closed until next Spring. I love all the stories that you have shared, and simply listening to your questions helps me grow as an agent. It’s always nice to hear what potential writers are struggling to understand, and to hear the different pains of being a creative pursuing publication.

With all that said, many of you have been asking about my #MSWL. What an agent needs/wants is forever changing. At the moment, here’s what I’m looking for:

Romance. No erotica. Clean and sweet. Something I could sell to Hallmark if I wanted to.

Suspense & Mystery. I have zero mystery novels right now. Mystery, oh mystery, wherefore art thou mystery? If you are CBA, I would love the writing clone of the following: Travis Thrasher. Frank Peretti. Billy Coffey. Come on over clones. If you are ABA, I’ll take the more PG-13 version of Gillian Flynn. I love her books, just not her F words.

Non-fiction. I will look at any non-fiction with a few exceptions. I do not want any devotional or Bible study proposals if you are CBA. I am full memoir-wise at the moment, although after Christmas, I’ll be ready for more of those projects. I have room for one more chef/foodie. I love bloggers with strong communities. I would love some unique lifestyle books for either market. I’d love some strong leadership books/books from women entrepreneurs/creative leaders.

Also, I am working on a personal project about angels. I am specifically collecting stories about possible encounters with angels. If you have an angel story, would you email me at: jessieekirkland@gmail.com and put “Angel Project” in the subject line. If I think your story is a fit, then I’ll include it in my book.

One final question that I’ve been asked this month…

Can you please, please give us some sort of number guidelines concerning platform?

Sigh. The million dollar question, yes? I’ll tell you what I am personally striving for with my own platform:

  • 5,000 emails, 5,000 FB likes, 5,000 Instagram followers, 25,000 hits a month for this blog.

My blog is 2 months new. These are my current goals. Once I hit it, I’ll double the goal. Ultimately, I’ll probably start feeling pretty good when my blog traffic is sitting at 200,000 hits a month, and my Facebook page and Instagram followers pass 10,000. I think I’ll re-fill my sweet tea, down a cupcake, lay in my hammock, and read a good book. But, until then, it’s time to hustle.

Thanks for hanging out with me here. I hope that you will stick around and do real life with me too. After all, my dog is bad, my feet are still growing, and soon we will be house hunting again. You can’t miss those details, right? One more tip for you tomorrow, until then…




This series is part of the #Write31Days challenge. To read all the posts in this series click here.


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