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kristi26
08-06-2008, 11:53 PM
Along the same lines as the post below referring to recommending a writer to an agent, how do you find an agented writer willing to recommend you and your work to an agent? I've found that the large majority of agents prefer a recommendation or something along those lines to the cold query. Any ideas?

DeleyanLee
08-06-2008, 11:55 PM
Network. Make friends. Write damned good books.

That's the only ways I've ever found, at least.

maestrowork
08-07-2008, 12:13 AM
Networking. Making friends. Yup. AW is a good place to start to make friends. There are a lot of published authors here.

willietheshakes
08-07-2008, 12:15 AM
Booze and sexual favours.

Kidding. Mostly.

CBumpkin
08-07-2008, 12:17 AM
Network. Make friends. Write damned good books.

That's the only ways I've ever found, at least.

Exactly. Don't worry about trying to find an agented writer. Write the best story you possibly can and query it EXACTLY to the specifications of the agent's guidelines. Don't submit hastily. Do all the rewrites and polishing you can do before you query. That's the way to stand out. Good writing trumps everything.

Having a writer recommend you to their agent is never a sure thing. It's not "preferred" by agents. What that recommendation will do is make sure you're read more quickly and with a little more care. It by no means means that you have a better chance to be published. The agent still holds to their strict standards of who they'll take on.

kristi26
08-07-2008, 12:19 AM
Network. Make friends. Write damned good books.

That's the only ways I've ever found, at least.


I'd like to say I definitely write "damned good books" but I just don't know. I have some writer friends, none of whom have an agent (but some are published anyway). Many have read my work. I write children's books, including a few picture books, a finished middle grade fantasy, another that's on its way. I've also got an adult romantic suspense with some religious elements that's being published in the next couple of months by Steelmoon Publishing. Those that have read my work say the children's stories are "cute" or even that I'll "have no trouble finding a publisher." My question is, do I keep trying to find an agent or shop the manuscripts around myself? I don't want to do the wrong thing here.

DeleyanLee
08-07-2008, 12:26 AM
The biggest thing to remember is that getting a recommendation to an agent (or editor) from a friend is NOT a golden ticket to win the chocolate factory. All it means is that you get out of the slush pile in a big way and more likely to get a personalized response.

You still have to have a damned good book that the agent (or editor) wants.

Introductions just start things off. Then it's all up to you.

maestrowork
08-07-2008, 12:28 AM
Exactly. A recommendation gets you read faster, and perhaps get you out of that slush pile quicker. But it also means you'll get a rejection faster if the book isn't good. It still has to be a good book that the agent wants. As Uncle Jim said, write a great book and the chances of getting it published is damn good. Maybe not by that particular agent or publisher, but certainly there'll be a fit somewhere.

So, it takes a bit for an author to make recommendations to his agent, because you know... if the book sucks, it looks bad for that author. But if that author is Stephen King and he really, really loves your ms., you may just have a good chance of making it.

scope
08-07-2008, 01:40 AM
kristi,

How long have you been looking for an agent and how many have you queried?

I wouldn't suggest you put too much faith in finding an agented writer to recommend you to the agent. One, it's rare to find such a person. Two, many agented writers don't want to recommend anyone to their agent - for a number of reasons.

Soccer Mom
08-07-2008, 04:39 AM
Start going to conferences and meet agents for yourself. Sign up for the pitch sessions and see if you can get an invite to submit.

Linda Adams
08-07-2008, 04:54 AM
Volunteer at writer's conferences. If you can, volunteer to run the pitch sessions. That's even better than trying to squeeze in one or two pitch sessions. At the last conference I ended up pitching my unfinished book to three agents who asked me what I was writing. I figured it was practice, and two of them asked me to send it to them when it was done (now I have to finish those blasted chapters that are giving me trouble. Grrr!).

Of course the story still needs to be good, or all the agents asking to see it won't make one bit of difference.

scheherazade
08-07-2008, 09:44 AM
Sometimes if you take a writing workshop and suck up to the teacher or just write consistently strong work, they may be willing to show your work to their agent. I had a teacher who mentioned she did this very occasionally with students who had a completed novel prepared - especially if she was working with them one-on-one on the final project piece (a novel). I wouldn't take a writing workshop just with this intention (most teachers will be really, really reluctant to do it for more than, 1-2 students a year) but if you do choose to take a workshop, you can always feel out the instructor and if they seem to admire your writing you might approach the subject with them (but subtly!).

kristi26
08-07-2008, 05:30 PM
Volunteer at writer's conferences. If you can, volunteer to run the pitch sessions. That's even better than trying to squeeze in one or two pitch sessions. At the last conference I ended up pitching my unfinished book to three agents who asked me what I was writing...Of course the story still needs to be good, or all the agents asking to see it won't make one bit of difference.


This is a great idea! Unfortunately, I have three young children and live no where near the normal conference spots! lol. If it ever is possible though, I'll definitely have to try it out. Thanks for the tip.

smoothseas
08-07-2008, 05:34 PM
Good writing trumps everything.




'nuff said....

kristi26
08-07-2008, 05:35 PM
kristi,

How long have you been looking for an agent and how many have you queried?

I wouldn't suggest you put too much faith in finding an agented writer to recommend you to the agent. One, it's rare to find such a person. Two, many agented writers don't want to recommend anyone to their agent - for a number of reasons.

I honestly don't have too many hopes of finding someone like that. I just thought it would be an interesting topic, I was feeling very frustrated with the writer's life yesterday, and just wondered how you go about meeting other writers who love you. lol.

As for how long I've been querying agents, I started about a year ago after completing my first novel. I never did find an agent for that one though I think I only queried about a dozen for that one. I never got even a small bite. It's set to be published in the next month or two now. So no agent for that one. Now I'm writing a lot of children's stuff-a few picture books, some middle grade fantasies-and am on the lookout for an agent for my first finished middle grade fantasy and my picture books. I've queried more than a dozen agents and the best response I got was to one of my picture books. A quote? "Cute premise but ultimately not for me." Sigh. I'll keep at it. Thanks for the support and suggestions everyone! :)

Red-Green
08-07-2008, 06:18 PM
Even if you manage to connect with an author who likes your work well enough to recommend you...don't get your hopes up. I got a rec from a good friend who loved my novel, which was the same genre as hers. Her agent said, "You're a talented writer, but meh." I mean, he said it much more diplomatically, but he just wasn't interested. So...my advice is, don't invest much energy or expectation in a recommendation getting you anywhere.

jkcates
08-07-2008, 06:34 PM
I wouldnt worry much about finding an agented writer to recommend you. As someone already mentioned above, writers are unlikely to do this, even if they like your work (actually ESPECIALLY if they like your work). Remember, this is a business, and you are in competition with these other writers to get published. If you write great work, an agent will find you. The main thing is the writing, and perhaps getting a following for your writing going (maybe a blog or website etc.) Once units start moving, someone will notice.

Just 6 cents worth

Danthia
08-07-2008, 11:38 PM
Unless you actively go to conferences and network and meet other authors, and then maintain friendships so you can ask them to read your work and possibly reccommend you, I'd focus your energy on writing the best book and pitch you can. If you have a great query letter and book you WILL find an agent. I'm a perfect example. I was a slushpile author and got four MS requests out of eight queries. I signed with my dream agent and just sold my YA fantasy trilogy for six figures. I didn't know anyone in the biz and submitted the old-fashoined way. It can be done. All that matters is the book. Write a great one and you'll succeed. Write a so-so one and all the connections in the world won't get you published.

BenPanced
08-08-2008, 12:06 AM
Booze and sexual favours.

Kidding. Mostly.
Cash. Preferably 10s and 20s.

willietheshakes
08-08-2008, 12:12 AM
Cash. Preferably 10s and 20s.

That would work, too. Then you can invest in your own booze and sexual favors of choice...

DeleyanLee
08-08-2008, 12:18 AM
Another reason many authors don't want to recommend to their agents/editors is because your submission becomes a reflection on THEM, like it or not.

So, if they look and this friend of their client is fantastic, then that's a positive reflection. If the books sucks, or the presentation is bad, or your attitude just hits them as wrong, that's a reflection on the person who did the recommendation.

On the flip side, if the agent doesn't take you on, it could sour your friend's view of them.

I know of at least one writer/agent relationship that went seriously south and ended after the writer recommended a friend's work that she fell in love with. The agent rejected with a form letter and the writer took insult on her friend's behalf. Sad state of affairs, but it is human nature.

kristi26
08-08-2008, 05:46 PM
Thanks for all the suggestions and opinions everyone! It was all very helpful! I'm still working on all my WIPs. Editing some, putting one aside, writing a little more of another...you know. Thanks again!

CBumpkin
08-09-2008, 02:55 AM
You can do it, Kristi. Just remember, the three hardest things about writing a novel are:

1. Writing
2. Publishing
3. Marketing

That's it. Once you master those three, simple steps, you're on your way to a solid #1 on the NY Times Best Sellers List! ;)

timewaster
08-10-2008, 06:29 PM
I honestly don't have too many hopes of finding someone like that. I just thought it would be an interesting topic, I was feeling very frustrated with the writer's life yesterday, and just wondered how you go about meeting other writers who love you. lol.

As for how long I've been querying agents, I started about a year ago after completing my first novel. I never did find an agent for that one though I think I only queried about a dozen for that one. I never got even a small bite. It's set to be published in the next month or two now. So no agent for that one. Now I'm writing a lot of children's stuff-a few picture books, some middle grade fantasies-and am on the lookout for an agent for my first finished middle grade fantasy and my picture books. I've queried more than a dozen agents and the best response I got was to one of my picture books. A quote? "Cute premise but ultimately not for me." Sigh. I'll keep at it. Thanks for the support and suggestions everyone! :)

Sorry I can't imagine the circumstances in which I would recommend anyone to my agent. I would recommend my agent to a friend who I thought might be write the right kind of things and meet her standards but the other way round? No way.

KikiteNeko
08-11-2008, 05:46 PM
I don't have an answer for you. But I will say that most agents I've come across don't need a recommendation. Plenty of great, legit agencies will look at new writers' manuscripts. Mine did.