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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

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I've had two agents. They never sold a book for me. I haven't read the article yet, but I will.

My experience: until extremely recently, writers have been desperate to get an agent. Now, with the epublishing boom, things are changing. My agents treated me well at first, but when my books didn't sell easily, they became difficult to reach. And I made a lot of contacts with publishers without them. My agents weren't in it for the long haul. IMO, they were in it to make a fast buck. I dropped both of them.

Would I work with an agent again? Yes. If they are well connected and innovative. I'd want an agent if I were negotiating a trade publishing deal, working on foreign rights and/or movie rights. I'd also want a lawyer. If my sales explode, I'd probably want to work with an agent. Right now, publishing on my own, I've made more money, and I've been more productive than I've ever been--and I'm making more money than a lot of traditionally published writers.
 

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I've had mine for a whole two weeks and already I'm frustrated. It's not the agents fault, it's mine. I have a 3rd book ready to release that could've been earning me money by now.

But I've promised the agent I'd hold off and give him a chance to find a three book deal. It's so easy to e-publish, I'm not sure if I have the patience required for trad publishing.


Only time will tell. I'll give him a couple of months and then release it as an ebook. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
SuzanneTyrpak said:
I've had two agents. They never sold a book for me. I haven't read the article yet, but I will.

My experience: until extremely recently, writers have been desperate to get an agent. Now, with the epublishing boom, things are changing. My agents treated me well at first, but when my books didn't sell easily, they became difficult to reach. And I made a lot of contacts with publishers without them. My agents weren't in it for the long haul. IMO, they were in it to make a fast buck. I dropped both of them.

Would I work with an agent again? Yes. If they are well connected and innovative. I'd want an agent if I were negotiating a trade publishing deal, working on foreign rights and/or movie rights. I'd also want a lawyer. If my sales explode, I'd probably want to work with an agent. Right now, publishing on my own, I've made more money, and I've been more productive than I've ever been--and I'm making more money than a lot of traditionally published writers.
Thanks, Suzanne. Mine is very much in tune with what's going on in the publishing world at the moment, which makes for a nice working relationship.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Mel Comley said:
I've had mine for a whole two weeks and already I'm frustrated. It's not the agents fault, it's mine. I have a 3rd book ready to release that could've been earning me money by now.

But I've promised the agent I'd hold off and give him a chance to find a three book deal. It's so easy to e-publish, I'm not sure if I have the patience required for trad publishing.

Only time will tell. I'll give him a couple of months and then release it as an ebook. ;)
I know what you mean. I have my fourth (of the PC) nearly done. Then it will be a struggle trying to decide whether to hold it back or not. My gut says that I should just go ahead and publish it.
 

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I've had several agents and have one now. Aside from my first agent, I have been the one to initiate the deals, but I did let my agent(s) follow through on the contracts. Based on what Kris Rusch (who, along with her husband, Dean Wesley Smith, is writing some of the most lucid, informative, and perceptive blogposts on the changes in the industry these days, so thanks for posting the link, JEanne), I will always have an IP lawyer go over my contracts line by line from here on out. That's not to say that agents don't provide a service... they do, and I'm glad I have one... but I think they're just as flummoxed and confused about the state of the industry as everyone else.
 

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I had a very good agent a while back (this was before the Kindle really got going-- I had a lot of small press books out, and was interested in making it into New York again).  She had rejected me once before, but she took me on mostly on the strength of one of my small press books-- we had "met" via our blogs, she grew interested in one of my books, and I sent it to her.  She then shopped around a partial for me.  It seemed to take a very long time for her to get responses (considering what a big agent she is, I admit I had expected the process to be quicker!), and in the end, everyone rejected it.  

Around that time I ran into enormous family and health problems and quit writing for a while.  When I contacted her after a year or so, she was trimming her list (because she'd become a writer too, which took up a lot of her time) and was no longer interested in representing me.  I didn't blame her for that, since I had not been at all productive for her, though I did wish she'd just switched me over to another agent in her company.  But she didn't, and that was that.  At this point I am happy enough as an indie writer, and have no interest in seeking out another agent-- though if one desperately wants to represent me, s/he is certainly welcome to contact ME. ;D
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
libbyfh said:
I've had several agents and have one now. Aside from my first agent, I have been the one to initiate the deals, but I did let my agent(s) follow through on the contracts. Based on what Kris Rusch (who, along with her husband, Dean Wesley Smith, is writing some of the most lucid, informative, and perceptive blogposts on the changes in the industry these days, so thanks for posting the link, JEanne), I will always have an IP lawyer go over my contracts line by line from here on out. That's not to say that agents don't provide a service... they do, and I'm glad I have one... but I think they're just as flummoxed and confused about the state of the industry as everyone else.
How did you go about finding an IP lawyer?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
EllenFisher said:
I had a very good agent a while back (this was before the Kindle really got going-- I had a lot of small press books out, and was interested in making it into New York again). She had rejected me once before, but she took me on mostly on the strength of one of my small press books-- we had "met" via our blogs, she grew interested in one of my books, and I sent it to her. She then shopped around a partial for me. It seemed to take a very long time for her to get responses (considering what a big agent she is, I admit I had expected the process to be quicker!), and in the end, everyone rejected it.

Around that time I ran into enormous family and health problems and quit writing for a while. When I contacted her after a year or so, she was trimming her list (because she'd become a writer too, which took up a lot of her time) and was no longer interested in representing me. I didn't blame her for that, since I had not been at all productive for her, though I did wish she'd just switched me over to another agent in her company. But she didn't, and that was that. At this point I am happy enough as an indie writer, and have no interest in seeking out another agent-- though if one desperately wants to represent me, s/he is certainly welcome to contact ME. ;D
Yes, the contact me is definitely the way to go, at least then you know that they are coming to you because they are already interested in your work.
 

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I don't have an agent, but if/when I decide to try NY publishing, then I'd definitely consider one. Depending on the place/genre, some publishers won't even look at your MS without one--especially, from the places I've checked out (though it has probably been a year), YA.

For indie publishing, I don't think one is really needed unless you've got offers for foreign sales or movie rights--something like that.
 

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I don't currently have an agent, but I wouldn't be against it. 

I've dealt with agents coming to me and they make things easier than dealing with an author directly. Much so that I'm likely to give better terms knowing things will be smoother.  (And I'd hope that would be the same effect when I'm coming from the author side.)

I know several agents that are providing extra editing/brainstorming stages with their authors long before the material gets to the publisher.

I know agents that will actively search for foreign rights deals. And make more money off them that the US deals. 

Of course I also have a little bit of background understanding contracts. So with the ebook explosions, agents really need to offer more things than they were before.

 

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I have never had an agent.

I sent out over 300 queries, and got as far as the phonecall twice.

One agent said he adored my book, and wanted to represent me. He never responded to a single email after that.

I have been on the receiving end of too much unacceptable behaviour (the above, plus multiple agents requesting manuscripts then never ever responding to emails again).

I decided a while back that I would never ever query an agent again.

If they want to represent me, they can chase me. Although they should be aware that I only respond to emails if I am interested, and if they don't hear back from me within two weeks, they can assume that it's a rejection.

:)
 

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The article linked at the start of this thread is both fascinating and SCARY. I've heard lots of things in the comments of author blogs and elsewhere about agents becoming e-publishers or closing for submissions and chasing successful indies as the next "sure thing."

If we can do it successfully on our own, why give away the 15%? I can definitely see situations where an IP lawyer would be super handy, but I'm not so sure about an agent at this point.

I blogged about it today: http://rebeccaknightbooks.blogspot.com/2011/06/literary-agents-working-for-you-or.html
 

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Agents have not been worth it *for me* so far (have had 2). Agents work great for some folks, though, and there are a couple agents I would love to sign with. They have dynamic personalities, seem very savvy, and head up a lot of satisfying deals for their writers.

I really think, with agents, like with most of publishing these days, different things work for different people.
 

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So true, and it definitely seems to differ depending on one's goals.

My goal is to make a living as a writer, and the way things are shifting, I'm not too keen giving 15% of my rights away for life, especially if I don't need a deal negotiated.

However, if my goal was to be published by one of the Big 6, I'd definitely still want one, as they have industry connections, can lunch with the editors, etc. 

It just depends.
 
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