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  1. Lovelina

    Lovelina Member

    May 12, 2012
    Likes Received:
    Toronto, Canada

    On Getting an Agent

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Lovelina, Jun 17, 2012.

    This will probably come across as super naive, but bear with me. :D I'm nowhere near the submission stage, but following a brief research on the web, the issue of getting an agent got me thinking.

    Hypothetically, if you have a great friend who makes a comfortable living as a salesperson and is willing to learn the ropes of representing authors, what is to prevent him from becoming your (albeit independent) literary agent and submit queries on your behalf?
  2. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

    Mar 9, 2010
    Likes Received:
    I fear that it sounds a bit like needing an operation, and finding a friend who's willing to learn the ropes from a medical dictionary. I realize that a doctor probably has to study a good deal longer than an agent, but I don't think that either one is a profession that you can just pick up on the side as a favor to a friend.
  3. Trilby

    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

    Jun 21, 2010
    Likes Received:
    NE England
    I agree with ChickenFreak,

    When looking for an agent, see if you can nab one with a good track record. A one that is we known and trusted in the industry.

    As to an agent appearing from nowhere, you'd be as well representing yourself and saving the fees. A good established agent, is well worth his/her 15 per cent.
  4. lex

    lex Contributing Member

    Jun 6, 2012
    Likes Received:
    His lack of experience in the industry, lack of contacts, lack of track record, lack of acknowledgement/respect from publishers, lack of knowledge of "who's looking for what, and why", lack of ability to negotiate contracts, and lack of awareness, education and experience in all of the areas in which agents need their expertise.

    That's why people eventually, gradually, become agents after some years of working for an agent, learning and becoming familiar with all of this stuff, and acquiring the necessary contacts.

    That said, of course it's not completely impossible that such a person might just get very lucky, if the book's outstanding (just as an author might, without an agent at all). But it would clearly be stacking the deck pretty firmly against yourself.
  5. Cogito

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    May 19, 2007
    Likes Received:
    Massachusetts, USA
    The value of a good agent is not just the get-up-and-go of a good salesman, it is the knowledge of publishers, their preferred genres and subgenres and their rates, and most important, the personal contacts in the publishing companies.

    It may go without saying, but don't try to approach agents until you have a completed manuscript.
  6. mammamaia

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Nov 21, 2006
    Likes Received:
    Coquille, Oregon
    to answer your actual question, nothing can prevent him from doing that...

    however, the reasons why he shouldn't and why you shouldn't let him do that for you are laid out by lex and cog...

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