View Full Version : How I Got My Agent

09-01-2005, 06:27 PM
I'd like to take a survey of how people got their agents and, to paraphrase Dr. Phil, how it's working out for ya; in other words, aside from eliminating an option clause here or there, what your agent has done for you.

To get the ball rolling, as someone with a dozen published books and approximately that many agents, I have found most of my agents through the personal recommendations of friends or editors of mine who were their clients. I got one agent through a cold call, but he was familiar with my byline and track record (and he sold my proposal to a publisher in two months)

09-05-2005, 11:15 PM
I sent an unsolicited snailmail query (first three and synopsis) to my agent because I liked her website. I waited about five months for a reply and was about to email to withdraw my ms when I got a phonecall from the agent, bubbling over with enthusiasm and asking me to send the rest of the book. Which I did. A week later I got another phonecall telling me that the agent loved the book and wanted to represent me. Oh, and could I email her everything else I had ever written or was working on?

It's working out great so far. I think she's a lovely person and she's done really well improving terms on my contracts. She's a lone operator and I was one of her very first clients so I always get the gold treatment from her and she's quite willing to listen to me talk for hours about my latest baby's tantrum (why won't chapter five come together? WHY???). The other side is that she doesn't have a huge amount of muscle and is a very nice agent as well as a person, so she doesn't threaten editors or get heavy with them, which, sometimes, would be nice. I must admit that, especially since I found my own publisher and almost had my contract sewn up before she took me on, that sometimes I resent that missing 15%. And when I skim the websites of huge, influential agents who can make a strong editor cower, I do feel a twinge...but I love my agent for all that. She's a doll.

09-07-2005, 11:43 PM
I was taken off the slush pile after several close calls on other slush piles.

09-08-2005, 02:25 PM
I got my agent the old fashioned way ...

In other words: Researched agents using a book and then the Internet ... sent out query letters by snail and e-mail.
Sent out partial manuscripts to those who requested them (and synopsis -- ARG! hellish to write one -- when requested)
Sent follow-up e-mails.
Got another request for a partial, followed within a week or so with a request for the complete manuscript, followed within days with an offer of representation.

As for what my agent has done for me so far -- besides making me blush with pleasure and excitement when discussing representation -- I'll have to give the chap some time to work on my behalf before answering this part of your inquiry.

09-12-2005, 01:12 AM
I obtained the name of my agent from a friend who was determined to make sure I wasn't going to give up. lol (Yeah, I was that discouraged) I sent an e-query and a week later, was asked for a partial. Sent it out. Four days later, I received an email asking for the full ms. I mailed it out, asking the mail lady to pray for me. (pathetic, I know) Six weeks later, I received an email from her telling me that she and her partner would like to represent me. She phone conferenced me two weeks later, telling me about her agency and what to expect when I received my contract. I received the contract a week later, read it, reread it, decided I liked what she was offering and signed. Now, her partner (an editor) is going over my ms., getting it ready to submit to the publishers. (Of course no major changes w/o my consent) That's how I got mine.

09-13-2005, 05:51 AM
You guys have had a whole lot better luck than I have, either that or you write better queries. I've worked my query over and over 'til I'm about sick of it, and think it's pretty good. I've sent it out to over 30 agents so far, and all I have to show for it is a whole lot of form reject notices.

09-13-2005, 03:21 PM
Valona: It really does take time and patience. I mentioned in another thread that I had enough rejection letters to wallpaper my closet with. It's no lie! You just have to keep at it. Luck and timing also play a big part in it. IMHO, anyway.

09-14-2005, 02:41 AM
Valona: It really does take time and patience. I mentioned in another thread that I had enough rejection letters to wallpaper my closet with. It's no lie! You just have to keep at it. Luck and timing also play a big part in it. IMHO, anyway.

Ditto. I'd hate to say how many rejections I received before I found the one and only.

09-19-2005, 08:35 PM
I wrote a couple fo very short capters to a novel, picked an agent from Writer's Market, and sent her the chapters. She called a couple of weeks later and wanted the novel.

09-19-2005, 08:50 PM
Smarty pants.:banana:

09-19-2005, 08:59 PM
It can take a lot of legwork, but I can point out a couple of things to look for when trying to find an agent. 1. An agent who is both new and experienced is a dream find for new writers. By new AND experienced, I mean an agent who has put in a good deal of time with a large agency, and then starts her own. When she first starts her own agency, she will have plenty of experience and contacts, but few writers. She'll be hungry. Hungry is good. 2. Do as much research on publishers as an agent does. Find out in advance which publisher is likely to publish more novels of the type you're writing in the next year. Now look for an agent who has sold something to that publisher. If you know what they want, then so will she.

The best way to land an agent, of course, is to send her something that makes her see dollar signs, but the above tricks can work very well.