Friday, January 11, 2013

How an Agent Hunt is like selling on eBay

I've become a seller on eBay these last few weeks (which is also why I haven't done much blogging lately).

My mom and grandma were into Hallmark ornaments...way into them...which has left my sister and me with enough  ornaments to fill five Christmas trees (no exaggeration).

I finally got around to going through all of them this holiday season to see which ones might sell on eBay. Then, after the holiday, I put some of them up for sale.

How This Turned out Like Agent Hunting:

First off (like querying), it's least it was for me...plunging into an unknown process...hoping I don't do something stupid and screw things up. And it also takes time, more than you'd think.

Once knee deep in the system, it became easier. Then checking my bids became like checking my email during querying time, hoping for good news, sometimes getting bad news, sometimes getting surprises.

Before I started on eBay or querying, I thought there'd be nothing more embarrassing than getting zero bids on an item or a form rejection letter, but once you've had a few nibbles, the rejections are easier to take.

Then you sell (or get a request/offer from an agent), and this brings on a whole new set of things you hope not to screw up on.

With eBay or querying, you can do your research, check out the market ahead of time, make sure you're putting the right item/book out there and sending it to the right customers/agents. This works in general, but there are exceptions...times when the seemingly perfect item/manuscript gets no nibbles from the seemingly perfect customers/agents. And other times when an item/manuscript will surprise you and get lots of attention from unexpected sources.

The overall advice is the same, do your research but also cast a wide net... when that doesn't work, write another book and keep casting...because you never know when/where you'll start getting nibbles, and soon you could have a bidding war on your hands.

What about you? Ever sold on eBay? Did you find it similar to querying?


  1. I always liked selling on ebay. I liked it from a writerly point of view because you get to write descriptions of products you are selling. I think writing a good description, much like taking a good picture can make a big difference.

  2. I have actually been trying to sell some rare books on eBay (a class set of an OOP graphic novel my mom used to teach with). I haven't had much luck--but that's probably because not a ton of people are looking for copies of an OOP graphic novel.
    But just like querying, it only takes one (or in this case, I need 6 buyers).