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Sunday, July 23, 2006

More on Literary Agents

I know I've posted a lot on the subject of agents lately, but I feel it's important to share this information as I find it.

If you've ever thought like I did once--that ANY agent is better than no agent, or at least an okay-but-not-great agent is better than a superstar agent, read this blog. This is how editors think.

I had NO idea.

No, it turns out, an okay-but-not-great agent is NOT better than a superstar agent. Agents are not on equal footing. A agent who is a nobody is no better than none at all.

Wow. I was so clueless, thinking that editors would give at least *some* special treatment to submissions from agents, even those they'd never heard of. My submissions wouldn't sit in slush for months at least. Right? After all, the envelope and cover letter had the words "Literary Agent" on them. That meant something, didn't it?

Not necessarily.

Want editors/publishers to take you seriously? Then you'll need a powerful agent who has a proven track record of sales and a solid reputation. Don't settle for less. You will regret it.

Wow. He really lays it out there, doesn't he?

Bottom line: Don't think for a minute that even if you are:

1. Able to get an editor to read a manuscript you'd submitted to the slush


2. Able to gain an offer from said editor

...that your contract will look anything like one an agented author would get. It won't. And it's also very likely a contract "negotiated" by a newbie agent will look no better.

Happy agent hunting! Shoot for the top!

posted by Tawny Taylor at 11:56 AM |


Commented by Blogger Nonny:

Yup. Cause a submission coming from an agent they have pegged as "idiot" is going to be worse than a slush submission. (Unless, of course, they've got you pegged as an idiot.)

I feel like I'm the only person who never made the assumption that any agent was good ... because not all doctors or lawyers or mechanics are good, right? Why should agents be any different?

3:10 PM 
Commented by Blogger Jen:

This is good, Tawny. I subbed to an agent that isn't a superstar, but is well known in publishing circles. They have a "stable" of romance writers who are doing very well, so I've given them a try. Two r's from them though. LOL.

7:31 PM 
Commented by Blogger Bernadette Gardner and Jennifer Colgan:

Thanks for the link, Tawny. It's a greaet article.

The truth is editors DO NOT rely on, or even read, slush submissions.

I learned my lesson the hard way. No chapter submissions to editors. Queries only. Who needs to spend two useless years in a slush pile?

8:24 PM 
Commented by Blogger Babe King:

Yeah, I've always thought this- stands to reason. I want Deidre Knight. She's rejected me twice but in the nicest way and she keeps saying she'd love to see what I do next and that I'm someone to watch- so I feel encouraged. I'll just keep digging at her knees until she caves. Though my CPs want me to sub to others. Ugh- what to do. Can I help being so anal? Probably they're right I guess, but it won't be to just anyone if I do cave first.

4:27 AM 

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