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field19
10-08-2016, 02:51 AM
Would large publishers ever be willing to work with an author who was akdo a seasoned entertainment law attorney and therefore forgo enforcing their "gotta' have an agent" requirement?

cornflake
10-08-2016, 03:10 AM
The contract is not the primary point where publishers want an agent involved. Most publishers will not accept unsolicited material. You need an agent to have your manuscript considered by an editor at a publishing house, and agents know editors, know which editors are looking for what kind of material, etc.

Agents also know how to handle things like foreign rights, etc., that are much more than just simple contracts, but can involve contacts within other agencies, houses, yada yada.

AW Admin
10-08-2016, 03:14 AM
Publishers who are open to submissions aren't going to care.

Publishers who only accept agented submissions aren't interested in agents for their contract knowledge as much as for their knowledge of what the editors in question are looking for.

Agents, good ones, have close working relationships with editors. They know them. They have regular contact.

Old Hack
10-08-2016, 05:36 PM
Would large publishers ever be willing to work with an author who was akdo a seasoned entertainment law attorney and therefore forgo enforcing their "gotta' have an agent" requirement?

Trade publishers work with unrepresented authors all the time.

So long as those authors have proved that they can write commercially viable works, all is good.

If, however, an unknown author approached a trade publisher and said, "I am an attorney so I don't need an agent," the publishers would raise their eyebrows and step away.

I think you need to consider why publishers have this requirement. Publishers only take submissions from agents because if they were open to submissions from anyone they'd be swamped. By working (mostly) with agents, and agents only, they reduce the numbers of submissions they receive by a significant proportion; and they ensure that all they receive has already been filtered to remove the stuff which isn't appropriate or commercial enough for them.

veinglory
10-08-2016, 06:03 PM
I think the first time I really understood agents was when I listened to a panel including an agent and Tor acquiring editor. The editor said, of that agent, "not only do I acquire the manuscripts she sends me, I have acquired every single manuscript she has ever sent me. She know what I want."

Sheryl Nantus
10-08-2016, 09:10 PM
The quality of the book matters. Really, nothing else does.

Write a good book. Start from there.

Old Hack
10-08-2016, 10:25 PM
The quality of the book matters. Really, nothing else does.

Write a good book. Start from there.

Yes! This.

If you're struggling to get an agent don't try to find ways around the need to have one. Instead, consider why that might be.

(Anyone who wants to find out more about what agents do and why they're so necessary would do well to read Carole Blake's fabulous book, From Pitch to Publication. Disclaimer: she's a friend of mine; and the book is a bit old now. But the book is still brilliant.)

Treehouseman
10-09-2016, 11:56 PM
I've heard how it helps to have a "buffer" in some cases, between the writer and the publisher. So the unpleasant business of "where is my money/why does this marketing suck/why isn't my book out yet/can I have my rights back" doesn't get in the way of the relationship (and the perks that come when someone likes you and wants to see your book succeed)!