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Old 06-19-2004, 02:53 AM   #1
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Barronís Literary Management (Adele Barron-Brooks)

Has anyone heard of this Agency?
Been represented by it?

Based in Arlington, Texas.
As is the National Association of Women Writers ...
anyone heard of that either?

... inquiring minds want to know!
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Old 06-19-2004, 07:44 AM   #2
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Re: Barron's Literary Management?

I've gotten questions. My research has turned up absolutely nothing about either the agency or the agent. An established agency, or an experience person setting up a new agency, is usually more researchable.

- Victoria
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Old 07-13-2005, 10:40 AM   #3
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Generally speaking, there's no such thing as a "stealth" agency. An agent's job is to be visible.

A useful agent has sold books that you've heard of.
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Old 07-13-2005, 08:29 PM   #4
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Since my last post, I've seen some of this agency's materials. Ms. Barron-Brooks doesn't appear to have had any relevant professional experience before setting up her agency. A new agent really needs to have worked professionally in the publishing industry, or for another reputable agency; it's the only reliable way of acquiring the specialized knowledge and industry contacts that are essential to success. People who come to agenting from non-publishing-related fields rarely manage to make a go of it.

I'm not aware of any sales for Ms. Barron-Brooks, though she has been in business now for at least a year. As a general rule of thumb, a successful new agency will start making regular sales within six months to a year of starting up.

- Victoria
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Old 07-17-2005, 02:42 AM   #5
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J. Adele-Barron/Barron's Literary Agency

Anyone know anything about the above - can't find a website.
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Old 01-25-2006, 04:51 AM   #6
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Information on Barron's Literary Management

Quote:
Originally Posted by victoriastrauss
Since my last post, I've seen some of this agency's materials. Ms. Barron-Brooks doesn't appear to have had any relevant professional experience before setting up her agency. A new agent really needs to have worked professionally in the publishing industry, or for another reputable agency; it's the only reliable way of acquiring the specialized knowledge and industry contacts that are essential to success. People who come to agenting from non-publishing-related fields rarely manage to make a go of it.

I'm not aware of any sales for Ms. Barron-Brooks, though she has been in business now for at least a year. As a general rule of thumb, a successful new agency will start making regular sales within six months to a year of starting up.

- Victoria
---------------------------------
Comment from Adele Barron-Brooks, President of Barron's Literary Management

Just to clear up misconceptions about this literary agency: I do have 25 years writing, editing and publishing experience in medical journals, newpapers,
trade magazines, advertising copy, layout/design creation and more recently three years experience in the marketing of mass end intellectual property including novels, non-fiction, children's stories and short story collections. This is a new agency with only a few sales so far, but good contacts with prominent editors at major publishers in NYC and London.

Another misconception is that new agents might take less than
technically flawless writing. All agents are charged with the responsibility
to send well written books in if they want to stay in business. The
hardest part of starting up an agency is wading through hundreds of
submissions to find a few gems worth reading. I advise everyone to pay
very close attention to your writing before submission. It is discouraging
to see so many common writing errors and weak stories. Platform is a huge issue even on fiction. If you have anything at all published be sure to mention that to the agent or publisher. It pays to tell about your background including
degrees. Publishers are impressed with an educated person and are more
willing to invest in a new author with one or more degrees.

I look for multidegreed professionals here because of the competitive nature
of the publishing business and my areas of interest which are science fiction,
medical thrillers, forensic science thrillers, paranormal romance and numerous
others categories listed on various internet sites.

I am also mutidegreed with ungrad in chemistry from the University of Texas
and an MBA from the University of Dallas. Before starting the agency, I was
a Senior Research Scientist for a global consumer products company back east. Friends, all marketing and scientific work requires high powered writing skills and excellent attention to detail. I wrote my first short story at 22 and
am still writing professionally as a post menopausal crone.

I'm originally from New York and go back frequently to look after client business. This year, I've had three books go to editorial board before
being rejected and countless other full manuscript reads that were
not accepted for publication. In all cases, the editors rejected the books
for not liking either the writing, story or book concept and not my agenting capability. Friends, the competition from best selling authors and more competent writers with English PHDs is awesome. Let that guide you in your work. Beyond finding a agent, the hard part is getting Editorial board approval and actually getting a contract issued.

My advice to all on searching for an agent: If you have a well written powerful story or non-fiction book concept, start at the top of the
stratosphere of agents in NYC or London. There are tiers to every
business, but you need to determine first who among the top tier
could have interest. If rejected, try to get anyone to read and comment.
All the agent scam comments on the site are known to me from working with folks who've been scammed. I've been scamed for a $5.00 reading fee and have been offered contracts for my novels from worthless publishers as well. Don't pay for reading fees ever as outlined in many places on the site. And never go the self publishing route. It is just like throwing your book in the trash can. Also, agents are not keen on seeing self published books that
have not sold well.

Lately, I've been meeting most new clients at writing conferences, trade
shows, writing worshops and seminars held by regional Universities. We all
work very hard here to get all books in excellent shape to be submitted.
About 99.9% of all submissions across the internet have not been
suitable for this agency which has held me back no end from having
something to even sell. Best of luck to all,

Adele Barron-Brooks
President, Barron's Literary Management
4615 Rockland Drive
Arlington, TX 76016
Jannbrooks@aol.com
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Old 01-25-2006, 05:14 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adele Brooks
Publishers are impressed with an educated person and are more
willing to invest in a new author with one or more degrees.

I look for multidegreed professionals here because of the competitive nature
of the publishing business and my areas of interest which are science fiction,
medical thrillers, forensic science thrillers, paranormal romance and numerous
others categories listed on various internet sites.
[snip]

Quote:
Friends, the competition from best selling authors and more competent writers with English PHDs is awesome. Let that guide you in your work. Beyond finding a agent, the hard part is getting Editorial board approval and actually getting a contract issued.
The emphasis on degrees, outside of academic and scholarly publishing, strikes me as exceedingly odd. Particularly the assumption that a Ph.D. in English teaches you how to write; it does nothing of the kind, with the exception that a Ph.D. may, possibly, result in a recipient able to write exceedingly turgid academic prose, designed to be read by tenure committees--and they have to be paid to read it.

I find it difficult to take seriously an agent who is this misinformed, or possibly, naive, about publishing.
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Old 01-25-2006, 08:40 AM   #8
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Asking the same questions here that I did in private correspondence with Ms. Brooks yesterday:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adele Brooks
Just to clear up misconceptions about this literary agency: I do have 25 years writing, editing and publishing experience in medical journals, newpapers,
trade magazines, advertising copy, layout/design creation and more recently three years experience in the marketing of mass end intellectual property including novels, non-fiction, children's stories and short story collections.
Could you be more specific, please? What company did you hold the marketing position with? Have you ever worked for a commercial book publisher or another literary agency?

Also, I'm not sure what "mass end intellectual property" is, unless there's a typo in there somewhere.
Quote:
This is a new agency with only a few sales so far
Again, can you be more specific? What books have you placed, and with whom? I've searched the public record, and to date haven't been able to find any commercial sales for your agency.

One last thing: can you comment on reports I've received from two of your former clients who say you offered them your own editing services at a cost of several thousand dollars?

- Victoria
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Old 02-07-2006, 01:27 AM   #9
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Just a followup note--obviously Ms. Brooks hasn't answered my questions here, but she hasn't answered them in private email either.

- Victoria
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Old 02-07-2006, 11:14 AM   #10
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Question...

Not specifically pointing out the intrepid Ms. Barron-Brooks here, just asking:

Why is it that when you try to look up an agent and find nothing, you come here.
When you ask a question about said agent that you can't find info for, and someone makes a possibly negative statement about said agent, the agent suddenly has a web presence?

So the true question is: Which possibility is the best bet?

1) Are these agents "Google"ing themselves and then finding these forums with their names in them and feeling inspired to respond?
or
2) Are there clients of theirs on here that refuse to defend their agent but instead go to the agent and go "DEFEND YOURSELF! THE INTERNET SAYS EN GUARDE!!"

Just askin', no ill will toward Ms. Barron-Brooks (should she return, lest she be categorized as another IsabellaBrown...oh, how I miss her)
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Old 02-08-2006, 03:22 AM   #11
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Quote:
1) Are these agents "Google"ing themselves and then finding these forums with their names in them and feeling inspired to respond?
or
2) Are there clients of theirs on here that refuse to defend their agent but instead go to the agent and go "DEFEND YOURSELF! THE INTERNET SAYS EN GUARDE!!"
There is a third possibility. When I get involved in a discussion like this on the web, I try and contact the actual person as a courtesy to give them the 'right of reply'.

It's only reasonable to show them that others have had questions, and here is a forum to answer them on. They can clear up any misinformation. Also, as this board is often the first link on google when searching for someone's name, I think it's a good step to preserve this forum's credibility.

If they truly are a scammer, than there is nothing that they can put in their reply that will make them look good.
If not, then then we all learn something.

Eg: http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/...ad.php?t=23333

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Old 02-09-2006, 01:25 AM   #12
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My 0.2 cents on Barron's Lit

Wow! I haven't been on here in a while. Too busy writing I suppose. Anyway, I thought that I would give my two cents on Ms. Brooks and her "agency."

I worked briefly with her about a year and a half ago. She had requested a partial from me and offered some very helpful suggestions as far as readibility. As for grammar, she was way off and my editor since has questioned where I got said suggestions.
She often spoke of pending projects, but never gave me a concrete answer. She did, however, from time to time, send me another client's work and ask me to critique it. That seemed a little odd, but I was happy to help out the pther person. Every once and a while she would also send me a sample of someone's work and tell me that if mine was more like what she was sending me, an editor would be more inclined to excpet it. Fabulous! That person never published through her btw...
She said that she sent two partials two a couple of houses, but the editors she sent them to were not editors that normally read fiction. In fact, when researching the two houses, both prominent, these were two very high-up editors. I didn't question this, but it almost seemed as though she looked up an editor at the house and sent it. She said that she got a rejection back and e-mailed me what they supposedly said, but never sent me the actual letter. For all I know it was never submitted, but then again, maybe it was.
After a short time, JoAnn advised me that because she had to "edit" a lot of her client's work, she was going to be forced to charge a per page fee.
Our relationship ended at that point.
I would point out that she was always very kind to me, but we had differences of opinion of my novel and I always sort of felt like others who wanted something more concrete as to what her true credibility was.
When people say that it's better to not have an agent at all, than it is to have an agent who is not very good, this may very well be the case.
Now, in the time that has past, she may have had huge success and all the talent she told me about could be filling the walls. Who knows?
I think that Ms. Brooks is probably very talented and may have wanted to add literary agent onto her resume. The fact that she hasn't responded to Victoria says quite a bit.
I hope others had better luck!

Jay
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Old 02-12-2006, 03:29 AM   #13
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Response from Adele Barron-Brooks

Quote:
Originally Posted by victoriastrauss
Just a followup note--obviously Ms. Brooks hasn't answered my questions here, but she hasn't answered them in private email either.

- Victoria
Comment from Adele Barron-Brooks on 1-11-2006

Victoria:

You asked about my career and prior marketing and writing experience. My lifetime

achievements are diverse and very accomplished. During the years I designed

new products, I had managerial oversight for marketing research and competitive

intelligence gathering research for such companies as Kimberly Clark, Maybelline, BeautiControl as well as two entrepreneurial companies where I was CEO in the

early eighties and mid-nineties. This marketing work led the development of over

200 cosmetic, OTC drug, and medical device inventions. My products were

sold in Neiman Marcus as well as Wall* Mart. I have 7 patents assigned

in the US Patent Office with one pending. One of the patents is also assigned in

the European Patent Office. Before this work I worked as a management consultant

serving financial institutions and hospitals in the Texas and southwest region. To

do each of these jobs, I was frequently asked to write reports, proposals and negotiate contracts with customers to obtain the assignment. With an MBA and extensive business experience, I know how to manage money, and also run my own investment portfolio.



A few years back, one of the local universities asked me to speak to freshmen students about my career. I laughed and asked which one? When I gave the presentation I told them of the early days of going to night school while working in the medical field as a

certified allied health professional in clinical pathology, nuclear medicine technology,

xray technology and as a cancer research technician.



Looking back on my life, Iíve always been a very creative overachiever with great

passion for any work Iíve undertaken. Iím also a damn good oil painter and photographer. Agenting will likely be my final career along with my own writing projects.



You also mentioned editing. Only under emergency circumstances will I edit a clientís

manuscript on a fee basis or gratis. When I first opened the agency, I helped a few clients with edit projects when a publisher asked to read a full manuscript and the book needed additional polishing. Iíve also completed paid ghostwriting projects for foreign rights agents in Western Europe on translations. These days I donít accept any work that needs significant edit work. If I see a good story with writing that can be improved, I recommend the client align himself/herself with a qualified editor and resubmit when the writing has improved. Since the early days, Iíve identified line editors who do excellent work and have long waiting times for their services. Many are expensive, but if an aspiring writer has met with rejection, a line edit will

often steer the writer in the right direction and result in publication. However,

none of the book doctors guarantee the completed project will attract agency representation or publishing contracts.



There is another aspect of agenting that many folks donít quite understand. An agentís

chief task is to get a clientís work seen by editors who could find interest in the

project. Books are bought on writing talent and a strong story concept. An authorís

book needs to be not only technically flawless, but it has to reach out and grab

an editor by the neck or they wonít take it to editorial board for approval. Agents

can get your work seen, but none can guarantee a sale.



After someone hacked into my computer last year and contacted several clients,

I donít write anything about clients or sales over the internet. I share information

on stateside as well as international sales on a need to know basis only.



Best of luck to all.



Adele Barron-Brooks, President

Barronís Literary Management

4615 Rockland Drive

Arlington, TX 76016

Jannbrooks@aol.com



P.S. Sorry for the delay in responding, but my mother is very ill and I've
been helping out with her care. Also, I have not had any clients named
Jay here. I didn't receive any private correspondence at all from Victoria.
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Old 02-12-2006, 11:06 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adele Brooks
Comment from Adele Barron-Brooks on 1-11-2006

(1)...sold in Neiman Marcus as well as Wall* Mart.

(2)I didn't receive any private correspondence at all from Victoria.
First off, shouldn't that read 2-11-2006. Unless she's totally psychic...

1) Wall*Mart? Is it a store that sells nothing but wall products? Oh you mean the 500 lbs. gorilla Wal-Mart...gotcha.

2) Why in the world would Victoria lie about such a thing? What does she stand to gain by doing so?

Quote:
After someone hacked into my computer last year and contacted several clients, I donít write anything about clients or sales over the internet.


Okay, fine, but what does having your computer hacked into and sharing info over the net have to do with one another? If the information is stored on a networked computer, it is still accessible should a hacker wish to get their hands on it, regardless if you call attention to it or not.

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Old 02-12-2006, 04:59 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adele Brooks
You asked about my career and prior marketing and writing experience. My lifetime achievements are diverse and very accomplished. During the years I designed new products, I had managerial oversight for marketing research and competitive ]intelligence gathering research for such companies as Kimberly Clark, Maybelline, BeautiControl as well as two entrepreneurial companies where I was CEO in the early eighties and mid-nineties. This marketing work led the development of over 200 cosmetic, OTC drug, and medical device inventions. My products were sold in Neiman Marcus as well as Wall* Mart. I have 7 patents assignedin the US Patent Office with one pending. One of the patents is also assigned inthe European Patent Office. Before this work I worked as a management consultant serving financial institutions and hospitals in the Texas and southwest region. To do each of these jobs, I was frequently asked to write reports, proposals and negotiate contracts with customers to obtain the assignment. With an MBA and extensive business experience, I know how to manage money, and also run my own investment portfolio. A few years back, one of the local universities asked me to speak to freshmen students about my career. I laughed and asked which one? When I gave the presentation I told them of the early days of going to night school while working in the medical field as a certified allied health professional in clinical pathology, nuclear medicine technology, xray technology and as a cancer research technician. Looking back on my life, Iíve always been a very creative overachiever with great passion for any work Iíve undertaken. Iím also a damn good oil painter and photographer. Agenting will likely be my final career along with my own writing projects.
What's missing from this list is:
1.) any agenting experience, and
2.) evidence of excellence in any of these fields. There are some people who job-hop because they're good at everything they do and they like fresh adventures, but the most common cause for job-hopping is poor performance.

You wouldn't be the first person to think books are like any other salable product. Some big companies have lost a lot of money by making that mistake.
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Old 02-12-2006, 09:27 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adele Brooks
I didn't receive any private correspondence at all from Victoria.
I've just re-sent you my email of January 23, responding to your email of January 23 (in which, among other comments, you accused me of lying and threatened me with litigation).

Thanks for responding here, and for providing details on your professional background. Your credentials are impressive, but they don't appear to include any experience in trade publishing or as a literary agent. I'm also not clear on why a bad experience with a computer hacker would preclude you listing any sales you've made. That information becomes public as soon as a publisher announces a book, after all. Plus, it'd be good advertising for you.

I don't see any reason to change my assessment of your agency.

- Victoria
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Old 02-13-2006, 03:41 AM   #17
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I think P&E needs to add a new criteria for evasiveness.
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Old 03-12-2006, 04:13 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Julie Worth
I think itís terrible that people like her, who work as hard as she obviously has, canít be successful. Just shows what an insular world this publishing business is.
Yes, of course, it must be that the publishing world is set up to keep talented people out. It couldn't possibly be that she doesn't know what the hell she's doing, or anything like that.
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Old 03-13-2006, 07:20 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Julie Worth
I think itís terrible that people like her, who work as hard as she obviously has, canít be successful. Just shows what an insular world this publishing business is.
No. It shows that to do a skilled job, you need job skills. I am continually amazed by people who wouldn't consider hiring a building contractor without checking references and experience, but are willing to give a "chance" to a literary agent who has no relevant professional background. Why is it that so many writers seem to think that a literary agent doesn't need training and experience, like any other professional? If it were that easy, agents wouldn't be needed at all.

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Old 03-13-2006, 09:22 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by victoriastrauss
No. It shows that to do a skilled job, you need job skills. I am continually amazed by people who wouldn't consider hiring a building contractor without checking references and experience, but are willing to give a "chance" to a literary agent who has no relevant professional background. Why is it that so many writers seem to think that a literary agent doesn't need training and experience, like any other professional? If it were that easy, agents wouldn't be needed at all.

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Really? I'd think building a house would be far more complicated than hawking a book. And that connections more than skill would be the thing that separates the successful from the unsuccessful.



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Old 03-13-2006, 09:52 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Julie Worth
Really? I'd think building a house would be far more complicated than hawking a book. And that connections more than skill would be the thing that separates the successful from the unsuccessful.
Agents do much more than "hawk a book." They provide career guidance, money management, and advocacy. They also sell subsidiary rights, an important aspect of the job that's often overlooked by new writers desperate to publish for the first time.

Skills needed by a literary agent include the ability to recognize a marketable manuscript (a largely subjective process and subject to error, but still not an easy task), a deep knowledge of the publishing industry, and a great deal of specialized knowledge such as an understanding of publishing contract terms. These are skills that can best be acquired by actually working in publishing or for a reputable agency--which is the same thing that gives you those connections--so the two go hand in hand. Generally speaking, an agent who has the necessary connections will also have the necessary skills. An agent who doesn't, won't.

Unfortunately many writers refuse to believe that there is much skill involved, and construct conspiracy theories for why writers need agents. I really find it hard to understand.

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Old 03-13-2006, 10:10 PM   #22
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Really? I'd think building a house would be far more complicated than hawking a book. And that connections more than skill would be the thing that separates the successful from the unsuccessful.
Anyone can wield a hammer. Not everyone can wield a hammer efficiently. Fewer still know what order to nail boards together to build a house.

Anyone can walk up to editors at a conference. Not everyone can keep them from calling security. Fewer still can get them to accept a proposal.

Anyone can call themselves an agent. Not everyone can discover what acquiring editors seek. Fewer still can properly access a ms for publishability, much less get it into the right hands at the right time.

What separates the successful from the unsuccessful is...success. If one styles themselves as an agent replete with connections and marketing skill, then I'd think it'd be a pretty simple matter to measure their success, yes?
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Old 03-14-2006, 01:43 AM   #23
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Unfortunately many writers refuse to believe that there is much skill involved, and construct conspiracy theories for why writers need agents. I really find it hard to understand.
It perplexes me, too. But, on the other hand, that decreases the number of people submitting properly to the agents' slush piles!
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Old 03-14-2006, 02:58 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Julie Worth
I think itís terrible that people like her, who work as hard as she obviously has, canít be successful.
You're joking, right? Seriously: if I worked all day and all night trying to come up with a new patent for a car engine and in the end didn't succeed (because I'm a book editor and know absolutely nothing about cars, how they work, or how the automotive industry itself works), would you say how terrible it is that even though I tried really, really hard, the automotive industry won't allow me to succeed? Give those of us who work hard in this profession, have experience and are good at what we do a little credit. Puhleeze.
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Old 03-14-2006, 03:39 AM   #25
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You're joking, right? Seriously: if I worked all day and all night trying to come up with a new patent for a car engine and in the end didn't succeed (because I'm a book editor and know absolutely nothing about cars, how they work, or how the automotive industry itself works), would you say how terrible it is that even though I tried really, really hard, the automotive industry won't allow me to succeed? Give those of us who work hard in this profession, have experience and are good at what we do a little credit. Puhleeze.
No, I'm not joking. The agenting business is as much about contacts as it is about having a nose for what's good. And it's the same in industry. People patent things all the time, and then allow those patents to lapse. Why? Because they don't have the contacts, so they can't sell them. A patent means nothing to industry. They're not going to read it with the idea of buying it (though they might occasionally read one to get around it). And so you have inventors trying to commercialize their inventions themselves (the equivalent of self-publishing), after failing to market the invention to corporate management (the equivalent of querying). The situation is actually worse than in the literary world, because almost all invention promotion firms are scams.

And as for skills, I wasn't talking about editors, only about agents. The primary function of an agent is to get a skilled author together with a skilled editor/publisher. It's essentially a sales position, not so much a skill as a talent, not so much a talent as a personality type.



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