View Full Version : [Business of Writing] On Agents

AW Admin
05-16-2012, 07:43 AM
Here are some things to think about in terms of agents and agencies.

Here are two simple rules. Commit them to memory. Write them out and tape them to your computer. Repeat them like a mantra every time you consider sending out a query letter.

Confine your queries to agents who have verifiable track records of book sales to commercial publishers (this is not as hard to determine as you might think; this article of mine provides some tips).

Limit your submissions to publishers that are able to get their books into bookstores and libraries (this is easy: just check the shelves).

If you are religious in these practices, you'll eliminate 90% of the pitfalls. —From here (https://accrispin.blogspot.com/2006/07/victoria-strauss-its-not-jungle-out.html)

SFWA's Writer Beware's primer on Literary Agents (http://www.sfwa.org/other-resources/for-authors/writer-beware/agents/).
On the Getting of Agents (http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/004772.html) from Making Light by Teresa Nielsen Hayden, while a little dated still has lots of good advice.

Everything you wanted to know about literary agents (http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2005/01/everything-you-wanted-to-know-about.asp) by Teresa Nielsen Hayden via Neil Gaiman

Writer Beware's Thumbs Down Agency List (http://www.sfwa.org/for-authors/writer-beware/thumbs-down-agency/)
Victoria Strauss on The Safest Way to Search for An Agent (http://www.victoriastrauss.com/advice/safest/)
Agent Carole Blake on 29 Ways NOT to Submit to an Agent (http://www.bang2write.com/2013/03/29-ways-not-to-submit-to-an-agent-by-carole-blake.html)
Jennifer Laughran on "Rock Star" agents, and more about Schmagents (http://literaticat.blogspot.com/2013/04/rock-star-agents-and-more-about.html)
Writer Beware on Questions to Ask Your Prospective Literary Agent (http://accrispin.blogspot.com/2014/02/questions-to-ask-your-prospective.html)
Writer Beware on Why Poets Shouldn't Seek Agents (http://accrispin.blogspot.com/2014/03/why-poets-should-not-seek-literary.html)

First and foremost, agents are paid when authors are paid; not before.

Professional agents are delighted to talk about their clients' books, and where they sold.
You should be able to find those books at your local bookstores and libraries.
Genuine agents don't keep their authors or their books a secret. They should be able to discuss their clients' books knowledgeably, and they should have recent sales to publishers whose names you recognize and whose books you can find in local bookstores and libraries.

A new agent might not have sales yet—but make sure that their agency has a solid record of sales of books you can find in your local bookstores.

Most agents specialize in just a few kinds of books; be wary of agents who claim they represent and sell everything.