View Full Version : Getting organized and motivated

03-19-2011, 01:27 AM
With respect to seeking agents.

I have no difficulty getting the writing done, or submitting to editors. I've sold a measly handful of works, usually semipro, doing so.

But for a book-project, I know I need an agent, and so I ask:

Has anyone seen a good "motivational" book or essay about how to wrap your psyche around the necessity of finding one?

03-19-2011, 06:06 PM
I can't think of a book that will motivate you to find an agent. What I do suggest is for you to go to the websites of publishers you're interested in, and see how many of them will take unagented submissions.

03-19-2011, 09:04 PM
An agent is NOT an absolute necessity, and many a writer sells a first novel without an agent, and to very good publishers.

But I really don't understand why you need a book on motivation to find an agent. Either you want an agent or you don't, and either you're willing to do the work it takes to find one, or you aren't.

Linda Adams
03-19-2011, 11:47 PM
Try this from Nathan Bransford: http://blog.nathanbransford.com/2008/04/how-to-find-literary-agent.html

Becca C.
03-20-2011, 02:53 AM
If you aren't motivated to find an agent, then don't.

03-20-2011, 05:54 AM
Motivation isn't really the problem. Persistence is. You have to do your research first. Some people get lucky on the first blind query they send out. Most don't.

I generally find that most artists' and writers' self-help books are meaningless in the fray. They may offer some hand-holding at early inspirational stages, but they don't help you find the magic formula. There isn't one, and if you get sucked into the details in, say, QueryTracker, you might lose steam in the actual effort of researching and contacting agents.

03-20-2011, 11:45 PM
Unfortunately, an entire industry has developed around the how-to of latching onto literary agents who now function as gatekeepers to the publishing world. No wonder some writers seek to avoid this horrendous process.

03-21-2011, 10:41 PM
Hey, if I could bypass the query process, I would. But I don't go to conventions and pitch-frenzies, and the few writers I know in my genre I don't know well enough to pester them for a rec. So I've had to dig in for the long haul. In 2 years of research I've gathered a list of potential agents, and I'm working my way through them with small batches of queries at a time.

One thing that does help is distance. I was frustrated that nobody wanted to take a chance on my big fat fantasy epic, my sixth finished mms. I didn't want to spend time writing a sequel if the first standalone wasn't going to sell. But I stumbled into another genre that works really well with mine, and another market that appealed to me. So the big fantasy novel is going slowly through queries right now, while I'm busy writing and thinking about my new project.

As for the writer self-help industry, it is no more or less honest than all the other self-help genres. You can gain bits of good advice from nearly anything. Just don't let the search for advice take precedence over crafting and submitting your best work.