PDA

View Full Version : A Post for Agents



edfrzr
02-25-2005, 01:55 AM
Let me start by saying that I am not one who wants something for nothing. I only want to work smarter not harder.

Having said that, here is my question. Is there a site, a forum, a chat room, anything or anywhere writers can place their query letters or synopsies so that agents may visit and view without us having to go through the grueling process of copying, sorting, mailing, etc.?

I realize the mentality is to send it in and wait wait wait and then wait some more. However, my test market tells me that my story is as good as anything they have read and is very timely. Keep in mind these people have read this story (manuscript) not knowing who wrote it. I send it in visa email or snail mail and I keep getting the same letters and responses (just like most of us I'm sure). "No thanks, not for us--keep your head up." I also realize it is a numbers game and that 98% get rejected, so this is what we have come to expect.

From what I have read and the instructions I follow, my MS seems to fit most catagories that agents are currently marketing. So, someone tell me where I am screwing up.

Wouldn't it be great if there was a tiny little room where agents could come to "pick and choose"? Yes, it would Virginia.

Okay, if there are any agents out there reading this, keep this in mind; two manuscripts completed. 1. Identity theft in the real estate finance industry (it happens daily)--murder, revenge, intrigue, action. I am being told by my peers that it is as good as anything they have read in quite some time. (Hey you can't make this stuff up) 2. In an area where high school athletics is the choice of religion for the region, a high school hazing gone terribly wrong and the retribution that follows many years later; also getting good reviews. Keep in mind these are everyday people reading these manuscripts--not professionals.

All I really want is for someone to give them a FAIR shot. If they are good, tell me. If they suck, tell me that too.


Looking for a little help from my friends.

thanks guys.

triceretops
02-25-2005, 05:44 AM
Ed, are these short stories or novel length? Keep in mind agents are primarily interested in book length fiction or non-fiction.

Triceratops

edfrzr
02-25-2005, 08:43 AM
Both are novel length. One is 115,000 words and one is 103,000 words. Both are FANTASTIC!!!!

Thanks for asking.

triceretops
02-25-2005, 09:09 AM
Okay, short of trying to track down an agent watering hole or drawing them to one, I would shotgun out several email queries with a 1-page synopsis for each book to the agencies that accept email queries. I did nine this way and got four "yes" votes to see the manuscript. Go that far--come back to the board with a solicitation, and we can take it from there. Understand?

Good luck. And let er' rip!

Triceratops

aka eraser
02-25-2005, 09:24 AM
I'm going to move this to the Ask The Agent board. Our resident (visiting) agent may or may not reply, but chances are other folks will and it definitely doesn't belong in Paying Markets.

victoriastrauss
02-25-2005, 09:07 PM
Is there a site, a forum, a chat room, anything or anywhere writers can place their query letters or synopsies so that agents may visit and view without us having to go through the grueling process of copying, sorting, mailing, etc.?
There are a number of such sites. The more active ones--Authorlink (http://www.authorlink.com/) is the largest--are fee-based, and not cheap. A colleague and I did an article on these sites (which we call "display sites") a couple of years ago and came to the conclusion that they were mostly a waste of money; even where agents and editors did visit, they weren't likely to be top-flight. There's no real reason for an agent or editor to be interested in such a site; they're already drowning in paper submissions, and have no need to go online to look for more. Most of the success stories listed by sites like these involve marginal agents and publishers.


From what I have read and the instructions I follow, my MS seems to fit most catagories that agents are currently marketing. So, someone tell me where I am screwing up.
There are several possibilities.

First, your query letter might not be up to snuff. Have you tried reworking it? Sometimes if you aren't getting results, this can make a difference. Here are some good articles on writing query letters:

http://www.sfwa.org/writing/query.htm
http://www.writers.net/articles/writers/query_letters.php
http://www.jennybent.com/letter/

Second, are you sure you're approaching only agents who sell the sort of books you write? Forgive me if this is not a relevant question, but you'd be surprised how many writers think that they can send off queries scattershot to just any agent, no matter what the agent's stated interests. Agents do specialize, and querying an agent who isn't interested in your genre is a waste of time.

Third, maybe you haven't been at it long enough. Sometimes it takes a long time and many, many queries.

Fourth, and this is the hard one--it may be that, no matter what your readers' assessment of your work, it isn't of marketable quality. It's true, as you say, that most of what's submitted is rejected--but this isn't because of some random numbers game, but because most of what's submitted isn't publishable. A writer whose work is marketable, and who is persistent, has a better chance than not of breaking in (which is why you should be writing your third novel. If the first two don't sell, the third one might).

You might also consider reputable independent publishers, many of which don't require authors to be agented. For your identity theft thriller, Bancroft Press (http://www.bancroftpress.com/) might be a good one to try.

- Victoria

triceretops
02-26-2005, 12:10 AM
Victoria just gave you the more complex but accurate account of the submission process. It's dead on, whereas my was a bit hasty. The submission process is more than just blasting agents--newbies have to take a more thougtful and slower approach. This is time of great frustration also. Learn to temper your feelings, and look at things very objectively.

Triceratops

edfrzr
02-26-2005, 02:40 AM
Thanks guys for all your insight. Unfortunately, patience is my virtue. It's just that there are so many possibilities for representation out there that it is very difficult to decipher. I would love to have the ability to analyze all the "agent" info and select the correct avenues.

Oh well, the almighty computer calls...I'm sorry what was that--you've printed any query letter.