January 12th, 2005

books

the hunt for the elusive agent in the wild

Brought to my attention by matociquala, I've now perused TNH's response to Neil's inquiry about agents a little more closely. If you want to read it yourself, it's here. I'm not really going to respond to it directly... but I will say it's pretty darn good advice. And that list o' links is invaluable for a writer hunting an agent.

That said... as mcurry commented on this post -- I disagree with the need to show up at the agent's doorstep with an offer. It is quite likely having an offer in hand from a reputable publishing house will increase your chances. And there are certainly agents who will definitely take the so-called easy commission. I did it. Once. And then I vowed to never do it again. I made myself a solemn promise that I would always read the work prior to offering representation. In that particular case, my reasons were selfish. The author and I did not get on well, and I really was not a fan of their book, and it made the whole thing rather more work than it should have been. For both of us. I can't speak for authors everywhere, but I imagine they would prefer an agent who was also enthusiastic about what they were writing -- not just about how much money they could pull down. For my part, this certainly comes in handy when/if a client hits a plateau in their career, or even worse, a backslide. I can't speak for agents everywhere, but I like to have something else to sustain me when the commissions aren't pouring in.

Here's my advice for getting a good agent:Collapse )
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