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Publishers Where Agent Made Sales

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EmEllis

Hi, This is my first post so hope I'm doing this right! I received a positive response to a query I sent to an agent who is an AAR member, and whose agency received a "recommended" on Preds and Eds. However, I've read some threads that the sales this agency have made are to smaller publishers who don't require an agent. According to their website, they have made sales to the following publishers:
Flux
Bridge Works
Midnight Ink
Black Coral

Would this agent be a solid choice to go with if the agency likes the rest of my novel? Thanks so much, everyone!
EmEllis
 

Roger J Carlson

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Just because a publisher doesn't require an agent, doesn't mean that an agented submission is useless. Many publishers don't require an agent, but agented submissions are treated with more respect, that is, aren't put on the slushpile.

In addition, an agent can help you negotiate the best deal from the publisher, so gaining access to agent-only houses is not their only function.

Still, I'm not recommending them. You have to research them and decide for yourself.
 

UrsusMinor

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I've heard legends of books that were submitted by an author, rejected, and then submitted to the same house by an agent and accepted. I'm inclined to believe this.

Some very good agents sell mainly to small publishers--most of whom are open, in principle, to direct submission.

You have to ask yourself if the houses involved have the distribution you want, if they publish the kind of book you write, and other similar questions. Some top-notch, literary presses (MacAdam/Cage and Graywolf, for example) are highly selective, but still open to direct submission.

I'd advise checking out some books by the houses in question, stalking some titles in bookstores, and then seeing how you feel about the houses and their marketing, and whether you want to be part of it.
 

victoriastrauss

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EmEllis said:
Hi, This is my first post so hope I'm doing this right! I received a positive response to a query I sent to an agent who is an AAR member, and whose agency received a "recommended" on Preds and Eds. However, I've read some threads that the sales this agency have made are to smaller publishers who don't require an agent.
A good agent will make a variety of sales to a variety of publishers, including, often, smaller publishers (though if the publisher doesn't pay an advance, there's no incentive for the agent to place the book there, so you should be wary if many of the agent's sales are to no-advance publishers).

To decide if the agent is right for you, consider your goals as a writer. Do you want to be published by one of the large publishing houses? Then you should choose an agent who has made sales to these houses. An agent whose sales are exclusively concentrated on reputable smaller publishers may not have the contacts with the larger houses, or may have some other reason to prefer not to deal with them--at any rate, if the agent isn't selling other clients' books to large publishers, the odds are she won't sell yours to a large publisher either.

If you're happy with smaller houses, on the other hand, then this might be the right agent for you.

You should make sure not just that the agent is reputable, but that his/her sales list is compatible with your book and your ambitions.

- Victoria
 

hopeful

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Question about agents who focus on publishers who don't require agents

One of the comments I see frequently in this forum is that agent X is considered reputable, but that he works a lot with publishers who have a policy of sometimes accepting unagented work.

My question is: Do most of the publishers who sometimes accept unagented manuscripts for publication actually strongly prefer agented work? Or are they TRULY open to unagented work...as in they are just as open to unagented work as they are to agented work?

And on a related note, are there two slush piles at said publishers, one for agented work and another for unagented work?

Thanks!

-hopeful
 

James D. Macdonald

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The agent is trying to find the best fit for the book.

Many publishers, especially in the small press world, don't require agents. Even in the major press world, among publishers who don't require agents, having an agent can turn the response time from two years to two weeks.

One question is whether the agent has ever cracked the bigger agented-only markets. If not, there's a question of whether that agent is able to do so -- if the best fit for your book is there, is that agent capable of finding that fit?

It's all a judgment call, and in the end the author has to make that call. Whether the agent sells to major agented-only markets is a datapoint, but not a make-or-break.

And yes, there is such a thing as agented slush.
 

hopeful

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Thanks very much, James! I appreciate it.

-hopeful
 

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