View Full Version : Is it time?

04-17-2005, 11:07 PM
So far, I've managed a modicum of success without the help of an agend, but I feel that it may be time for me to start looking. I've gotten two fiction books published, one nonfiction/folklore/ghost story to the publishing mark, and still I have no agent. Oh, it's not as if I have not been looking. It just seems that there are not many agents accepting horror now-a-days. So I suppose I have a few questions to field to the peanut gallery...

Should the past publications influence an agent to possibly take me as a client, or do they really matter to an agent at all?
What is the minimum length novel that an agent will look at? Most of what I write clocks in around 60,000 words.
There's also this issue that I'm fiercely loyal to the publisher I'm with now, but I feel an agent could get me better deals from larger publishers. I suppose what I'm looking for is advice in all areas. Give me some pointers and I'll be truly greatful.

04-17-2005, 11:25 PM
To be honest, it doesn't sound as if you need an agent. You've already found a publisher, and if you're fiercely loyal to them then you won't want an agent to be sending out simsubs to a dozen other editors.

But there's an agent to represent every kind of writer - and if a publisher will buy your 60,000 word long horror mss, then there should be an agent who can represent you. As a published writer you're probably way ahead of about 98% of the unsolicited submissions that agents get every day. So get hold of a current copy of a writer's handbook (I live in the UK, and here the best one is Barry Turner's The Writer's Handbook) and scour it for an agent who seems to fit the bill. Then go to it!

04-19-2005, 04:14 AM
Agents don't just sell your ms. to domestic publishers. They also sell your subrights, track your income, run interference for you with publishers, and, depending on the agent, provide career guidance.

If you're looking to sell fiction to one of the larger houses, I think you do need an agent. Even if you already have publication credits, a good agent is more likely to know which editor to approach. For nonfiction, it's more feasible to go unagented, even when approaching bigger publishers--nonfiction editors are more open to unagented proposals.

If your current publisher is a commercial house, and the books have sold well, it'll certainly give you a leg up with an agent (and an editor).

It's my understanding that 70,000 words is the minimum for an adult novel.

- Victoria