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mugwort
05-28-2012, 07:28 AM
Is there a way to obtain an agent if one is on a budget. Or does every one of them charge a significant, expensive fee. Especially concerned for writers wanting a break and can't pay high fees.

Medievalist
05-28-2012, 07:34 AM
No legitimate agent charges a fee.

Agents get paid when they sell a ms. to a publisher; they typically get 15% of the advance, and then, if the book sells enough copies to cover the advance and earn royalties for the author, the agent gets 15% of that.

If they want money upfront, or tell you to hire an editor, run like hell.

There's a publishing FAQ on Agents (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=245100). Read it.

I've never had any of my agents charge me for a postage stamp even. They make money when I make money.

rainsmom
05-28-2012, 07:48 AM
What Medievalist said.

angeluscado
05-28-2012, 08:11 AM
Thirding Medi. There's nothing I can say that she hasn't already.

Susan Littlefield
05-28-2012, 08:20 AM
Is there a way to obtain an agent if one is on a budget. Or does every one of them charge a significant, expensive fee. Especially concerned for writers wanting a break and can't pay high fees.

Query Tracker (http://www.querytracker.net/index.php) is great website to search for agents. It's free.

Preditors and Editors (http://pred-ed.com/) is the place you should check out agents and publishers. As Medievalist said, if any agent charges money for their services, run the other way as fast as you can.

Bewares (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=22)is one of the best forums here for discussions on agents and publishers.

Finally, Writer Beware (http://www.sfwa.org/for-authors/writer-beware/)is an excellent website for finding out about writing scams, etc.

The best of luck in your agent search.

Richard White
05-28-2012, 08:51 AM
Actually, that's Writer Beware (no "s"). *grin*

Common mistake.





Finally, Writers Beware (http://www.sfwa.org/for-authors/writer-beware/)is an excellent website for finding out about writing scams, etc.

The best of luck in your agent search.

Susan Littlefield
05-28-2012, 09:36 AM
Actually, that's Writer Beware (no "s"). *grin*

Common mistake.

:wag::yessmiley

Thank you!

shaldna
05-28-2012, 03:18 PM
Is there a way to obtain an agent if one is on a budget. Or does every one of them charge a significant, expensive fee. Especially concerned for writers wanting a break and can't pay high fees.

What the others have said.

Agents get paid when you do, not up front.

There are a lot of scam agents out there who will charge fees to writers who don't know any better. If you're submitting to agents then the boards here are a great place to find out about them.

Katrina S. Forest
05-28-2012, 05:25 PM
Just want to add -- some scam agents are even sneakier than the ones who ask for upfront fees. They'll insist you need "professional editing" and "recommend" a certain independent editor, when really, they just get paid by the so-called editor to send writers there. Other scam agents might send you to a pay-to-play publisher with the same results. Some companies even claim that can help you write a query and find an agent for a hefty fee. Again, almost across the board, it's a ripoff.

Unless you have no knowledge of your market whatsoever, real agents have sold books you've heard of. Or at the very least, that you could easily find on the shelf of any local bookstore. Not all are open to submissions all the time, but when they are, they don't charge a fee. Ever.

Read Writer Beware and learn how the industry works. Otherwise you're a very easy target for scams. If you have an awesome book that people want to read, people will pay you, not the other way around. If some time down the road, you decide you'd prefer self-publishing, even that can be done for no upfront cost if you've got the willingness to learn.

Best of luck!

mugwort
05-30-2012, 05:04 AM
Thanks everyone for your truly helpful advice. I now know a real agent doesn't charge upfront. Now my next question how does one get an agent when one was never published. IE no track record? Susan Littlefield Query Tracker. Thanks for the tip. Richard. Your writer beware blog looks packed with good info. Katrina your post is a very enlightening. Everyone really excellent help. Thanks!!!

quicklime
05-30-2012, 05:28 AM
Thanks everyone for your truly helpful advice. I now know a real agent doesn't charge upfront. Now my next question how does one get an agent when one was never published. IE no track record? Susan Littlefield Query Tracker. Thanks for the tip. Richard. Your writer beware blog looks packed with good info. Katrina your post is a very enlightening. Everyone really excellent help. Thanks!!!


the same way any new writer gets in.....a good book and a good query. Ideally, a GREAT book and query.

Check out Query Letter Hell in our SYW forums

maybegenius
05-30-2012, 05:34 AM
Thanks everyone for your truly helpful advice. I now know a real agent doesn't charge upfront. Now my next question how does one get an agent when one was never published. IE no track record? Susan Littlefield Query Tracker. Thanks for the tip. Richard. Your writer beware blog looks packed with good info. Katrina your post is a very enlightening. Everyone really excellent help. Thanks!!!

I recommend you poke around the boards and read up on agenting blogs. It'll help you a lot more than these individual answers will, I think. You're going to need to do a lot of research.

As to your question: you get an agent the same way a published writer would. You query them. A lot of previously unpublished writers are offered representation by agents. You just need a good query and a good project.

thothguard51
05-30-2012, 05:59 AM
Try AgentQuery http://agentquery.com/search_advanced.aspx

Never take a rejection personally. Its a business and there are many reasons agents turn writers down.

I do warn you though, before you start querying agents, make sure you work is the best it can be. Make sure it fits publishable standards and you have all the i's dotted, t's crossed, and no over use of commas, as well as a few dozen other things...

Lastly start a second or third book while you query. This helps to take your mind off things because querying can take months and months to go through and many, many rejections. You will also want to have another book ready as soon as possible in case you are accepted. Don't rest on a single work...

Good luck...

Pieohazard
05-30-2012, 10:27 AM
People get agents without publishing credits all the time, myself included. Don't worry about it. What you do need to worry about is writing and editing a fantastic book, then doing a ton of research on how to write that query letter and where to send it. From the looks of things, you still have much to learn, young Jedi.