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Ivonia
04-17-2005, 11:10 PM
Not sure if this is the right place to ask, but could anyone give me a place to start researching an agency that represents novels and screenplays, or has a division that does it?

I am asking because I want to write both novels and screenplays, and my ultimate goal right now is to break into Hollywood (as a screenwriter, then we'll see what happens from there), but I don't want to just be another wannabe right now (I'm also writing the book so that if the movie version gets ruined, then at least I had it written down the way I wanted it done via the book. I do have other concepts that I believe would make good movies as well, but one thing at a time :) ).

The only agency I know of right now that can represent books and screenplays is William Morris Agency (WMA). I'm going to try their book division in NY first, and they'll probably be the first place I send a query to, but I want to know what other agencies do both in case they reject me. Plus, I won't have to go looking for two different agencies later (one for my books, one for my screenplays) if I can avoid it (and as a side note, does anyone here have any experiences with the WMA, or know someone that does? I know that they're one of the biggest agencies representing screenplays in Hollywood, but what about their book publishing division? Is it as good?)

Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated.

Zolah
04-17-2005, 11:32 PM
Get hold of a current copy of the best writer's handbook available and go through it page by page (with a highlighter pen, or maybe coloured paperclips). It should give you all the information you need on which agents are looking for work like yours and the kind of rights they represent. It would probably also be an idea to check the Editors and Preditors board to make sure that any agents whom you fancy approaching are legit (since some not-so-great ones do sometimes appear in writer's reference books).

IWrite
04-18-2005, 10:49 PM
Ivonia -

If I were you, I would pretty much resign myself to the fact that you will probably have to have two different agencies representing you.

There are very few agencies that rep both novelists and screenwriters - and of the one's that do, almost none of them accept unsolicited queries from screenwriters. It's referral only to get to most of the bigger guys (ICM, CAA, Morris) on the film side. Film and publishing are two entirely different business with totally different players on opposite coasts, so only the biggest agencies have both film and publishing divisons. Even if you are lucky enough to get a referral to one of the biggies, the chances of getting signed if you have no credits is miniscule. You're far better off focusing on agencies that will be best for your screenwriting career and more likely to take you on - rather than seeking a one-stop shop.

If you go to everyonewhosanyone.com and check out the lists for Literary Agents and Screenwriting agents you will see how few agencies are on both lists.

Pick a copy of the Hollywood Creative Directory or subscribe to their online database for an updated list of reputable, respected Hollywood Talent Agencies and Managers.

zeprosnepsid
04-18-2005, 11:25 PM
I agree with Iwrite, you are certainly going to require two completely different agents, it probably wouldn't matter if they were at the same agency or not. Pick the agent on the publishing side who is best for your book. As noted, a lot of big agencies on the film side won't look at your screenplays anyway.

Decide which paths are best for your novels and your screenplays seperately.

Also, Neil Gaiman in his blog (www.neilgaiman.com (http://www.neilgaiman.com)) will sometimes answer questions. You can search his archive or send in a question and ask him. He writes screenplays and novels and I doubt he has two agents at the same agency.

Not to mention that agents move. Even if you do get two agents at William Morris, there's not guarantee they'll both stay there.

Jaws
04-19-2005, 12:32 AM
In my experience, it's actually not in your best interest to have a single agency running everything for you unless you have substantial prior publishing credits or are already a celebrity of some kind. Start with the area for which your work is closest to market-ready now. That may require some harsh soul-searching.

One caveat: Screen agencies are not bound by the rules that apply to scripts when representing books. Be very, very careful.

jomo
09-12-2005, 01:42 AM
I have been trying to find an agnet for almost two years and have not had any leads yet. Should I try the publishers and just forget about the agents or do i need an agent?

Jomo

Andrew Zack
09-12-2005, 05:46 PM
Please do NOT recommend everyone....com in this forum. The host of that site isn't doing anyone a favor, has been banned from this forum (not by me, by management), and is generally seen in by agents to be a crank. If you go to an agent and say "I found you on....," you're off to a bad start.

Just FYI

Best,
Andy

Andrew Zack
09-12-2005, 05:49 PM
I have been trying to find an agnet for almost two years and have not had any leads yet. Should I try the publishers and just forget about the agents or do i need an agent?

JomoYour question is too simplistic. Has your search been organized? How many have you contacted? Did you follow their submission guidelines? Is your query letter carefully crafted? These and many other questions would need to be explored, but the short answer to your question is, Always find an agent first.

Best,
Andy

aruna
09-14-2005, 11:37 AM
I had an agent who only did books; but she had the means to get my book seen by people in the movie industry. My first book went all the way up to Bernardo Bertolucci (but was rejected by him). She had subagents who dealt with it, and it's the easiest way.

As I also have a screenplay, I've been going into the matter myself of late and I've seen some literary/media agencies who say they only take screenplays from book authors if they ALSO represent their books. (Curtis Brown)
Many literary agencies have a media department, and if they don't they have contacts and can get your screenplay looked at more easily than if you tried yourself.
Generally, it's easier to get a literary agent than a script agent. MUCH easier, in fact. I would go that way.