View Full Version : so... all you agents out there

10-22-2005, 10:59 PM
I have an offer on the table... and I'm in over my head when anyone utters the word "Contract" in my general direction... (and Zack's already rejected me, FYI).

So, um, I need an agent. I've been querying, with no success. Any advice?

Daughter of Faulkner
10-23-2005, 02:19 AM
Don't give up!

For every 10-12 agents I query I get one that's interested. One hit for every dozen more or less.

What I believe works the best is a great query letter, have a synopsis on hand and an outline and, of course, the first three chapters or 100 pages ready to go in the mail or via e-mail when you do get a hit. Make sure your work is the BEST it can be and ready for an in-house editor. Don't send a page out that's not edited. Have your complete novel ready to go too if they request the full manuscript.

Always, always, always be professional in your dealings with an agent. Don't get too comfortable and let your guard down. By this I mean make them want you as much as you want them. Sell yourself and work with truth. Don't beg, talk about how hard it has been for you or the weather UNLESS they ask you about the journey that lead you to them. Be honest remain humble.
I say query only agents who you honestly believe your work might interest. Don't query just for the sake of hoping they will like the work. Read and research them and make sure that you are what they are looking for or your work is what they are interested in represented.

If an agent promises you a "house in France" run don't walk away. Never give a penny for reading or editing or anything. Don't fall for the line of a friend of theirs is a Book Doctor or Editor...

And if an agent tells you you are a great writer simply say, "Thank you for your kind words." Then wait to see what he says about your work. Think of your journey as if on the course of a good marriage or a relationship that will lead you in "that kind of direction" with the contract and an offer for representation the time you humbly say with excitement say, "I do."

I know that there are about 100 agents out there that do take e-mail submissions for I have found them myself this past summer. There are about 350 that want a US mail query letter with SASE enclosed for reply and others who simply say say send a sample and whatever else they want along with as SASE for reply unless they say they will recycle the samples and reply with an e-mail or SASE envelope for reply. Just read what they say they want you to do and what they will do if you follow their guidelines. Don't give them more than they request either. Again, always be professional for the competition is fierce. Do make sure you have zero typos and that every word in your query letter counts. Mean what you say and say what you mean and nothing more. SELL yourself and your mss. If you have a website make sure it's professional, free from typos and geared to sell you and your work with the honest truth. Don't lie about anything especially your education and publication history for they will find you out.

If you believe that you have a story to tell and in yourself as a writer, the work then don't give up!

If you go to RESEARCH on this website there should be other posts about finding an agent. This is a fine website and loaded with professionals that have far more to say than I do. I hope this helps you in some small way. It's hard and never easy but I hope every writer on this Board finds the right match for his / her work sooner rather than later.

All good wishes I send your way!

Daughter of Faulkner
10-23-2005, 04:12 AM
Thread in Forum: Rejection and Dejection
"Cracking the Agent Code" thread posted by mollythemagnificent

Good words and advice for everyone!

10-23-2005, 04:17 AM
Did you say you have an offer as in from a publisher? Then skip the agent and get a Intellectual property lawyer to deal with the contract. The best way to get an agent is to be successful at what you do. Yes, that is moronic but it is an agents market, not ours.

10-23-2005, 07:34 PM
I have an offer on the table... and I'm in over my head when anyone utters the word "Contract" in my general direction... (and Zack's already rejected me, FYI).

So, um, I need an agent. I've been querying, with no success. Any advice?

If you have an offer on the table, CALL someone and say "Hey, I know you rejected my work, but now I've got publisher X that wants to publish it. Can you negotiate the contract for me?"

I know several people that acquired their agents this way. Nobody will hang up on you.

10-24-2005, 07:50 AM
Yeah, what IrysAngel said. I am under the impression that if you have an offer on the table, you can call any agent and tell them that you have an offer and would like them to negotiate the deal for you.

10-24-2005, 09:06 PM
Is this an advance-paying publisher? If not, it's not very likely that an established agent will be interested (and a non-established one might not know any more about contracts than you do).

It's possible you might be able to find an agent who'd be willing to work on an hourly basis to evaluate and negotiate the contract--but if not, find an intellectual property lawyer who has publishing experience.

- Victoria