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Isa_Halley
02-03-2017, 10:41 PM
I'm wondering what your views on this are..... What are the advantages and disadvantages of signing up with:

A. 1 Agent 'Agency'
B. Boutique Agency
C. Larger Agency


Which type of agency would you like to sign up with if anything was possible and why?, we know that hunting for an agent, any agent!, is quite a task in itself.

I'd like to sign up with a boutique - to medium agency. I think they give more support to the author.


ALSO,

How do you select agents? What's your criteria? Apart from the obvious: the agent represents your genre.

I find this process difficult....there are so many agents...which one will be a good fit....which one would be receptive to the type of book I've written...

Would you recommend signing up with a NEW agent who's just building the list. I've heard good things...that they are hungry and may have more time for you and it may be easier to sign up with them

Hope these questions are OK. Sometimes it's a bit overwhelming and navigating thru the publishing world a tad difficult :e2steer:

Isa_Halley
02-03-2017, 10:59 PM
* I want to share this with you guys, very helpful. http://www.booksandsuch.com/


'' They might not understand how to negotiate your contract, yet you still will have to live by the obligations in that contract. ''

Earthling
02-03-2017, 11:11 PM
Regarding how much attention you get, I don't think the size of the agency matters so much as the individual agent. If you got an agent who has multiple household-name authors on her list, then as a pre-published author you aren't going to be her top priority. That's likely to be the case whether she's a one-woman band or has 20 co-agents. Then some agents are more involved and editorial, and some keep it distant and businesslike. Again, the size of the agency doesn't define that.

So I have no preference as to the size of the agency.

Isa_Halley
02-03-2017, 11:21 PM
Where's this from? Always give attribution! OK updated with the source.

Isa_Halley
02-03-2017, 11:26 PM
Regarding how much attention you get, I don't think the size of the agency matters so much as the individual agent. If you got an agent who has multiple household-name authors on her list, then as a pre-published author you aren't going to be her top priority. That's likely to be the case whether she's a one-woman band or has 20 co-agents. Then some agents are more involved and editorial, and some keep it distant and businesslike. Again, the size of the agency doesn't define that.

So I have no preference as to the size of the agency.
I find it VERY VERY helpful.... it really shed light! I definitely would like a close relationship. I wouldn't stand business like coldness and distance. Oh God...this is all so tricky!
I adjusted my thinking :)

May I ask you, would you recommend signing up with a NEW agent who's just building the list. I've heard good things...that they are hungry and may have more time for you and it may be easier to sign up with them?

AW Admin
02-03-2017, 11:31 PM
May I ask you, would you recommend signing up with a NEW agent who's just building the list. I've heard good things...that they are hungry and may have more time for you and it may be easier to sign up with them?

I suggest you start by reading this FAQ: [Business of Writing]: On Agents (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?245100-Business-of-Writing-On-Agents) — including reading all the links.

Carrie in PA
02-03-2017, 11:37 PM
May I ask you, would you recommend signing up with a NEW agent who's just building the list. I've heard good things...that they are hungry and may have more time for you and it may be easier to sign up with them?

As in all things, it depends. Would I sign with a brand new agent who had just hung a shingle and had no track record? Maybe, but I'm desperate. JUST Kidding, I would not.

Would I sign with a brand new agent who had just hung a shingle but had a several years of solid representation at a reputable agency? Sure.

Would I sign with a brand new agent who is fresh off the street with zero sales, but they've joined a reputable agency with a long track record and client list? In a heartbeat.

Old Hack
02-03-2017, 11:44 PM
I'm wondering what your views on this are..... What are the advantages and disadvantages of signing up with:

A. 1 Agent 'Agency'
B. Boutique Agency
C. Larger Agency


Which type of agency would you like to sign up with if anything was possible and why?, we know that hunting for an agent, any agent!, is quite a task in itself.

I am wary of single-agent agencies because there are often problems when that agent becomes ill (or worse). The other options are good.


I'd like to sign up with a boutique - to medium agency. I think they give more support to the author.


So much depends on the agent or agency. I've recently signed with an established agent at a huge agency and am getting so much help and support: it's lovely.


ALSO,

How do you select agents? What's your criteria? Apart from the obvious: the agent represents your genre.

I mostly looked for successful agents who were interested in books like mine, but who seemed a bit quirky and interesting and not too fixed in their ways. Also, agents who had a history of selling books which did very well, and had strong marketing campaigns.


I find this process difficult....there are so many agents...which one will be a good fit....which one would be receptive to the type of book I've written...

It IS difficult! But less difficult than writing a great book.


Would you recommend signing up with a NEW agent who's just building the list. I've heard good things...that they are hungry and may have more time for you and it may be easier to sign up with them

I also queried a few agents who had only recently moved from being editors. I made sure they worked on books I liked, and that those books were well-received, and sold well. I ended up with an offer from one of these agents and although I didn't accept the offer in the end I was very impressed by her approach.

Hope these questions are OK. Sometimes it's a bit overwhelming and navigating thru the publishing world a tad difficult :e2steer:

It is hard. But you can do this.


Regarding how much attention you get, I don't think the size of the agency matters so much as the individual agent. If you got an agent who has multiple household-name authors on her list, then as a pre-published author you aren't going to be her top priority. That's likely to be the case whether she's a one-woman band or has 20 co-agents. Then some agents are more involved and editorial, and some keep it distant and businesslike. Again, the size of the agency doesn't define that.

So I have no preference as to the size of the agency.

It's not true that an agent won't make a new writer her top priority. If you get a good agent then you will be a priority. I'm "pre-published" as far as novels go (I am not fond of that term) and my new agent (at a major agency) is being extremely attentive.


I find it VERY VERY helpful.... it really shed light! I definitely would like a close relationship. I wouldn't stand business like coldness and distance. Oh God...this is all so tricky!
I adjusted my thinking :)

May I ask you, would you recommend signing up with a NEW agent who's just building the list. I've heard good things...that they are hungry and may have more time for you and it may be easier to sign up with them?

Some new agents are great. Some are terrible. If you're considering submitting to a new agent only consider those who have a lot of experience working in publishing (as an editor, preferably). Do not consider new agents who don't have any experience working in publishing, or those who aren't being mentored by established, successful agents.

edutton
02-03-2017, 11:45 PM
I find it VERY VERY helpful.... it really shed light! I definitely would like a close relationship. I wouldn't stand business like coldness and distance. Oh God...this is all so tricky!
I adjusted my thinking :)

May I ask you, would you recommend signing up with a NEW agent who's just building the list. I've heard good things...that they are hungry and may have more time for you and it may be easier to sign up with them?I'm just at the beginning of this process myself, but my gut feeling (still uninformed by experience! :)) is to prefer an agent with at least a little history, and/or a solid agency behind them. I'm completely new to the publishing world, and would be apprehensive about working with an agent who's also new to the industry... but that's just me. :Shrug:

My ideal author/agent relationship would be, not necessarily close, but definitely collaborative.

Old Hack
02-04-2017, 12:13 AM
I'm just at the beginning of this process myself, but my gut feeling (still uninformed by experience! :)) is to prefer an agent with at least a little history, and/or a solid agency behind them. I'm completely new to the publishing world, and would be apprehensive about working with an agent who's also new to the industry... but that's just me. :Shrug:

My ideal author/agent relationship would be, not necessarily close, but definitely collaborative.

An agent who is new to publishing? Nope.

An agent who is new to agenting but not new to publishing? Perhaps.

edutton
02-04-2017, 12:44 AM
An agent who is new to publishing? Nope.

An agent who is new to agenting but not new to publishing? Perhaps.I'd have to take a close look at their history. If they'd been, say, an editor in my field for donkey's years and had a lot of contacts, it could be a really good fit. I have a partial out now, in fact, with an agent who used to be an editor in a field close to mine, and recently switched over to agenting. We'll see what happens!

Isa_Halley
02-04-2017, 02:31 AM
Thanks SO much for all replies! :Hug2: It's much appreciated. I'm learning a lot from this thread. Thanks again for taking the time to reply.

Aggy B.
02-04-2017, 05:42 PM
I'm with an agent who is a single-person agency. (I think he does have an assistant, but it's just the two of them as far as I know.) As Old Hack points out, that can be risky if he gets sick or should pass away. I signed with him because he and I seem to work well together on how we approach revisions and where to send each MS. (He is also a former Big 5 editor so he came to agenting with lot of industry experience.)

Although he reps some NYT best sellers, I have never felt like he doesn't give me and my work careful attention. Now, I have had a few times where he's had to push back giving me notes or discussing other business because he's in the middle of contract negotiations for someone else. But it's never been for more than a few weeks, and when he gets back to me he's prepared.

New agents can be great, especially if they are working for a large, established and well-connected agency. But they can also be a little chaotic as they settle into the rhythm of signing and maintaining their own list of clients. They may also be less practiced in how to be supportive and insightful at the same time (in a relationship where they offer editorial advice). But a lot of that has to do with how you and the agent click in correspondence. It's totally possible to find someone who looks great on paper, but their "in-person" interaction rubs you the wrong way. And vice versa.

Best of luck with your search.

stormie
02-04-2017, 06:34 PM
Also, keep in mind that agents can and do move between agencies. One agent I know had moved three times before he was thirty. His first agency was a boutique agency, the second was a mid-sized agency, and the last one I heard he was at is large. All three agencies were well-known. He brought his clients with him each time.

Rumelo
02-08-2017, 09:42 AM
It depends on the individual agent, not the size of the agency they are with. Make sure to search AW forums. You can get some amazing insights into a specific agent and what to expect.

Putputt
02-08-2017, 11:10 AM
I'm wondering what your views on this are..... What are the advantages and disadvantages of signing up with:

A. 1 Agent 'Agency'
B. Boutique Agency
C. Larger Agency

Believe it or not, I've been with all three options before. *laughs* *weeps* My experience is as follows (pls note that this is just my own experience and what I've taken away from it is that it mostly depends on the individual agent and not so much the agency they're with).

A. When I got together with my first agent years ago, he was a one-man team. He was attentive, very quick, but also had limited contacts (he was only just beginning to venture from non-fic to fic). Ultimately, my novel did not sell and we parted ways amicably. We stayed in friendly contact via Twitter. Since then, he's made some very respectable sales and has expanded his agency. It is now a boutique agency with a handful of agents working there. I'm back with him and he's just as attentive, but not quite as quick due to the fact that he has more clients as well as interns who he sends my MSs to for second and third reads. Mind you, when I say "not as quick", I mean he takes anywhere between 2 to 6 weeks to read my stuff, so it's still a reasonable time frame. He's also expanded his contacts list considerably. So all in all my experience with him is very positive.

B. When I parted ways with him years ago, I signed with a boutique agency in London. I was repped by two agents (a senior agent and a junior agent). I mostly interacted with the junior agent, who was quite quick with all the editing (got back to me within 1 month every time I sent my revisions) and when we went into subs, the senior agent took over. I guess she was the one with all the contacts. Again, my experience was very positive, but the book unfortunately did not sell and they didn't like my next book. They suggested that I move on to a different book, but I believed strongly in my second book and decided that I wanted to query it to other agents. We parted ways amicably and still keep in touch via Twitter.

C. I then queried my second book and this time, signed with a very well-established agency, one of the oldest in the biz. Again, I was handled by two agents. My experience with them was quite frankly terrible. Each round of revisions took them months. I had to keep nudging every month, and they'd reply with excuse after excuse and promise to give me notes soon, but it would be months before they actually delivered. I stayed with them for 1.5 years and we still were nowhere near done with revising the MS they signed me for! So I parted ways with them and that was when I decided to go back to my first agent. I feel like my bad experience has more to do with these particular agents than the agency they work for though, because like I said, the agency itself is well-established and has a very impressive client list, so...yea. Just bad luck, I guess.



Which type of agency would you like to sign up with if anything was possible and why?, we know that hunting for an agent, any agent!, is quite a task in itself.

I'd like to sign up with a boutique - to medium agency. I think they give more support to the author.

It really depends on the individual agent.



ALSO,

How do you select agents? What's your criteria? Apart from the obvious: the agent represents your genre.

I find this process difficult....there are so many agents...which one will be a good fit....which one would be receptive to the type of book I've written...

When you are ready to query, get a subscription to Publishers' Marketplace and look up the agent's sales. I think this is the most important information you can dig out about agents you're interested in querying. I actually found out that my previous agents (the ones from the impressive agency) had dismal sales despite working for a large agency.

Check out the Bewares and Recommendations forum on AW. If/when you do get an offer, contact a couple of the agent's clients to ask them about their experience with the agent.



Would you recommend signing up with a NEW agent who's just building the list. I've heard good things...that they are hungry and may have more time for you and it may be easier to sign up with them

Hope these questions are OK. Sometimes it's a bit overwhelming and navigating thru the publishing world a tad difficult :e2steer:

Sure, but only if the new agent is with a respectable agency or has had significant experience in the publishing industry.

Hope this helps!

Thedrellum
02-08-2017, 09:40 PM
Seconding the recommendation for a Publisher's Marketplace subscription, if you can afford it. It helped me immensely in terms of figuring out which agents on my larger list were making sales, and making sales recently.