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Fairies wear bOOts:)
12-16-2016, 01:14 AM
I am not trying to be an agent... I was just wondering what the agents side of the 'table' looks like. What are the main types of lessons you have to learn that can take you from being a new agent playing a menial role in an agency to a senior agent? What are you actually 'taught' by those higher up in the field?

I feel most authors focus their research when dealing with agents on things like determining which ones are scams and what they expect of you in terms of query letters and correct submissions... but I am wondering what being one is actually like... as in what are the lessons they must learn in order to hold the title as an agent... in anything between how to negotiate deals, or how they are supposed to respond to authors they are interested in representing, then things like how to know which queries or authors to ask for partials/full manuscripts for whether by e-mail or in a conference and how to handle yourself in a conference as well... or is it pretty much self-explanatory? I guess what I am asking is what are the tricks of the trade?

For the agents answering, what are the three main lessons you learned on your way to becoming a proficient agent?

Lauram6123
12-16-2016, 01:29 AM
Here's a link that may interest you. It's more about what a typical day is like for an agent, rather than what type of training they have, though.


http://www.publishingcrawl.com/2015/02/13/a-day-in-the-life-of-literary-agent-suzie-townsend/

Fairies wear bOOts:)
12-16-2016, 01:34 AM
Yeah, I've read a bunch of those for sure. I decided to ask this on here because I could not find the answer to it anywhere online. I'll definitely give it a look though. :)

Old Hack
12-16-2016, 01:51 AM
If you want to know what literary agents do day to day the most comprehensive answer you're going to find is the late and extremely great Carole Blake's book, From Pitch to Publication.

An agent's training involves working in publishing for several years, working at an agency for several years, learning all about the business, learning to read a lot in a short space of time, learning about the law in publishing, learning how publishing works... it's involved and difficult and you do all this for very little spare time and very little money.

But still: it's a wonderful job, and those who do it well transform people's lives.

Fairies wear bOOts:)
12-16-2016, 02:05 AM
That sounds like an awesome read, I will definitely look into it!

Marissa D
12-16-2016, 02:55 AM
A major part of being an effective agent is having the knowledge of what editors like and what kind of books they're looking for, which mean cultivating relationships with them over time. It's part of why agents who don't come up through the ranks as a junior agent with an experienced agent to help them make those connections often don't do very well. Knowing that agent A doesn't like stories with kids in them but is a sucker for dog stories, while agent B really likes stories with children (just as an example) makes you much better at effectively targeting your submissions. That's not necessarily something you can take "lessons" in.

Writes-With-Wolves
01-03-2017, 12:34 AM
If you want to know what literary agents do day to day the most comprehensive answer you're going to find is the late and extremely great Carole Blake's book, From Pitch to Publication.

An agent's training involves working in publishing for several years, working at an agency for several years, learning all about the business, learning to read a lot in a short space of time, learning about the law in publishing, learning how publishing works... it's involved and difficult and you do all this for very little spare time and very little money.

But still: it's a wonderful job, and those who do it well transform people's lives.

Often times no money at all-- vast majority of internships in the industry are non-paid these days. I actually did manage to land one, though. Granted, I'm out of college now and had to do the internship remotely via emails, so I didn't get much of any experience working right in the office, but it was my second internship in the industry, and one that actually paid a stipend at the end. I'm very grateful I was able to get the opportunity.

So far I've worked for a publishing house and agency. Lots of editing and filling out reports and such so far for me. Did some interesting research for a nonfiction book as well.

I really like the work, so I'm looking to see if I can get an assistant position somewhere.

Though, the most important thing, I'd say, is developing reading speed :v

Old Hack
01-03-2017, 03:06 AM
Often times no money at all-- vast majority of internships in the industry are non-paid these days.

There's a growing movement towards paying interns, at least in the UK. And while applications for the first round has just closed, it's worth looking up the Carole Blake Open Doors scheme, which aims to provide a stepping-stone into publishing for those who can't afford to take an unpaid intern position.