View Full Version : When should you look for an agent. Before or after your book is done?

03-16-2005, 06:55 PM
I have not complete my book, and I don't want to go through the painful process of finding an agent unless it is actually recommened to look for one while you are still writing.

Any advice?


03-16-2005, 07:28 PM
Most people here seem to answer "After the book is done." I'd have to agree. Suppose that you have a killer story, one that would make bestsellers lists the moment it came out. You query an agent, and they too are excited by it.

But then you tell them it's not done yet.

I'm sure most of the agents you ask (the honest ones anyway, dishonest ones will milk you for all you're worth) and then tell that too will not be as interested if your book isn't done. But if your book is finished, then the agents can start sending it out to publishers.

I'm in the same boat as you, I'm still revising my story, and was at one point interested in getting an agent. But people here have said that I should finish the story first, so that the agent will have something to work with. Don't rush it, or you'll end up with a bad work that even the best agent can't sell.

03-16-2005, 07:33 PM
Thanks for the help. Since I am already wary about agents, I was hoping that I could avoid getting one for a while.

03-16-2005, 11:56 PM
Definitely finish the book first. One agent I queried via email requested the full manuscript within two hours. I would have felt like an idiot without a book to send. :)

03-17-2005, 12:00 AM
Everything I've ever read suggests for fiction submissions, you must finish the manuscript first. It might be a different story for nonfiction, tho.

03-17-2005, 12:26 AM
Quite often is. Obviously, there are exceptions, but non-fiction usually requires a full outline and a sample chapter or something similar rather than a completed book. (That's if you're pitching one, obviously)

03-17-2005, 12:59 AM
There apears to be a concensus. I can avoid that dark path for a while yet. This is definitely fantasy... or scifi... kinda both, one way or anther it is definitely not non-fiction.

Thanks everyone, time for me to nap.