GOOD AGENT, BAD AGENT, NO AGENT AT ALL

Posted by: Genene Valleau
Currently working on: promotion for STARS IN YOUR EYES
Status: Joyful

Since I blog late in the month, it’s always interesting to look back over blog posts on our monthly topic. By the end of the month, I wonder if there will be anything witty and enlightening left to say on the topic.

Right up front, I will say that I don’t have an agent and don’t plan to look for one in the near future. I’ve sold three books to an e-publisher–including today’s release, STARS IN YOUR EYES–have a novella in the works for another e-publisher, and have plans for a series of books also targeting an e-publisher.

I will also say if I wanted to sell a single title manuscript to a traditional print publisher, I’d probably look for an agent.

If you are searching for an agent, there are many good suggestions from previous bloggers. In addition, you might want to check out these Web sites:

–The well-known Preditors and Editors which lists, among other things, the names of agents with recommendations for or against signing with them.

–Writer Beware, which is maintained by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Inc. This site includes warnings about literary fraud and other schemes and scams, as well as links to case studies of unscrupulous agents. Among their warnings are agents who require a reading fee with a submission, require an evaluation fee with submission and promise a detailed critique, run a contest that funnels writers into a fee-charging agency or an editing service, refer writers to a freelance editor or editorial service. In other words, Writer Beware warns about agents who charge fees other than their commission for selling your book (not including some office fees for postage and copies they should reveal upfront).

Writer Beware also suggests what to look for in a good agent: a professional background as an agent or in publishing, membership in a professional agents’ organization, no upfront fees–his/her income should come from commissions on sales, a Web site and correspondence that are free of grammatical errors and typos, as well as enthusiasm about your work without making extravagant promises.

There are other Web sites and blogs with suggestions on what to look for in an agent and what to watch out for. And, by all means, talk to other writers. As you can see from previous blog posts, each writer has a slightly different perspective on agents and most are willing to share their experiences to help you avoid any disasters that could damage your writing career.

If you are at a point in your career where you don’t need an agent, your energies can be focused on writing. 🙂

If you’re looking for an agent, I wish you luck. Just be careful out there–I don’t want you to end up as a case study for a bad agent!


Comments

GOOD AGENT, BAD AGENT, NO AGENT AT ALL — 3 Comments

  1. Thanks, Genene. Good info. My agent has to close down her agency due to health problems, so I find myself orphaned. Just getting ready to start the agent hunt again. Heavy sigh. And so it goes . . .

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