View Full Version : Agent or No?

Dario D.
09-14-2006, 07:16 AM
I read Bob Mayer's "Fiction Writer's Toolkit", which stated that the only way to get published seriously is to get an agent. So, I've been going that route... but, just today, I bumped into a link to Predators and Editors (being that I just got an "accepted" email from New York Literary Agency... you know; the scam "pay for a critique" agency.)

Anyway, on that site, I found this line (at the very bottom of this page: http://www.anotherealm.com/prededitors/pubagent.htm ) that said:

For most new writers, an agent might not be practical or possible at first. Market instability or other factors might make agents reluctant to take on any new writers, no matter how well the writer writes. However, if you feel you must have an agent, then you must sell both your manuscript and yourself to the agent. A good query letter is your key to selling your work and yourself to an agent.

So, are they saying you don't NEED an agent? I wasn't aware of any other possibilities for finding a serious publisher. Am I missing something?

09-14-2006, 07:23 AM
Some publishers require all submissions to come to them from agents. Others accept submissions directly from the author. The key is to look at publishers' guidelines.

09-14-2006, 05:55 PM
If your goal is to sell fiction to an imprint of one of the large publishing houses (such as Random House), I believe you do need an agent. Here's why (http://www.sfwa.org/beware/whyagent.html).

For smaller publishers, many of which are willing to deal with unagented writers, an agent isn't so necessary--though if you get a contract offer, you should certainly get qualified advice before you sign.

- Victoria

09-14-2006, 05:58 PM
I received an offer from a large SF/F publisher without an agent. However, it took 2.5 years to get through their slush pile, and it wasn't the greatest deal in the world. When I signed with an agent, he turned around and got a better deal in less than 3 months, then turned around and made three foreign language deals as a bonus.

Dario D.
09-15-2006, 12:22 AM
Hmm, I see. Thanks for the insight.

So then, it really depends on what you're shooting for.

James D. Macdonald
09-15-2006, 01:45 AM
One thing I'm constantly saying is, "What are your goals as a writer? How will you know when you've achieved them? Is the path you're on likely to take you to those goals?"