View Full Version : To Agent or Not to Agent

09-05-2005, 04:31 AM
I am absolutely sure this has been asked before, but am unsure as to how to search for it. So please forgive me if I am rebeating the already dead horse.

Is it better to search out an agent than to go directly to a publisher?

I understand an agent has 'ins' and is also on the author's 'side' (I would hope) but I noticed that TOR (I'm setting my sights high until they pull out the rifle and shoot me down) accepts unagented manuscripts.


09-05-2005, 05:30 AM
Yes, the dancing banana guy is way cool!

From what I understand, an agent can get your ms. on the desk of an editor more quickly than sending it directly yourself. Who knows how long it'll sit in the slush pile before someone reads it? If the ms is good enough for Tor to publish it, you should be able to find an agent.

IMHO, an author should try to get an agent first. If you've queried every legit agent who handles your genre and don't get representation, then submit directly to the publishers. That was going to be my strategy anyway.

Good luck!

09-05-2005, 07:23 PM
TOR has an extreeeemely long turn-around in regards to their slush. We're talking 1-2 years.

Not to mention, Anna Genoese (an editor there) has said that she can count on one hand how many manuscripts they've bought out of the slush since she started working there.

If your sights are on TOR, your best bet is an agent, IMO.

09-06-2005, 01:39 AM
Is it better to search out an agent than to go directly to a publisher?

It is better to get an agent.

Cathy C
09-06-2005, 04:25 AM
FWIW, Anna's my editor at Tor and yes, she really did say what Irysangel quoted. Because they accept unagented, the reading wait is very long, but they do whittle down the pile every week. They don't get stuffed in the trash or get returned without a fair look, or anything like that.

However, I will say that our first release, Hunter's Moon, was REJECTED by Tor before we found an agent. The agent knew the right person and the right line that the book fit, and no more rejection. We were in!

Take the time to find a good agent. Your checking account will appreciate it!

09-06-2005, 04:33 AM
Thanks guys. Too bad I'm at a low point and feel like I should focus on my next black belt instead of my next novel. I know how to fight with my hands, it's a heck of a lot easier than this.