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Agentry

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  • Joan Marie Verba
    ... I have to tell you, it s really, really tough to get agents interested in manuscripts nowadays. This isn t just my experience, it is the experience of
    Message 1 of 6 , Aug 1, 2003
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      Stolzi@... wrote:
      >
      > My pastor, who was sorry to miss the Mythcon, says he has a priestly
      > colleague whose son has written a fantasy story. Likely a full-length book ms; I'm
      > unclear on this. He (the colleague) wants to know of a literary agent, or other
      > way of getting this story out there.
      >
      > Any suggestions? They would be much appreciated.

      I have to tell you, it's really, really tough to get agents interested
      in manuscripts nowadays. This isn't just my experience, it is the
      experience of other writers (some with more credits than I have) that I
      have talked to.

      I've been trying to get my fantasy manuscript, Sword of Queens,
      published for years. I actually got an agent and she sent it around to
      publishers. ("Nice work, not for us" was the usual approximate
      response.) In fact, though this agent sent it around in 1999, I JUST
      heard from one publisher last month (even though that agent and I have
      parted). Right now I'm trying to get an agent interested in another
      fantasy manuscript of mine, but so far, I've had no success.

      One can get lists of agents and publishers from Literary Marketplace
      (found in almost every library) and send the manuscript around (or send
      a query). That's not the hard part. The hard part is finding someone who
      will be willing to read and represent a manuscript.

      In my quest for agents, I just happen to have made a set of mailing
      labels with the names and addresses of agents who represent f/sf. If you
      e-mail me privately, I can certainly forward this list to you to pass
      along. But when you do, I recommend adding that it isn't easy to find
      someone interested, even if one has previous publishing credits.

      Joan
      ******************************************
      Joan Marie Verba
      verba001@...
      http://www.sff.net/people/Joan.Marie.Verba
    • David S. Bratman
      Here s what the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America says about agents: http://www.sfwa.org/writing/agents.htm Bottom line: you don t need an agent to
      Message 2 of 6 , Aug 1, 2003
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        Here's what the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America says about agents:

        http://www.sfwa.org/writing/agents.htm

        Bottom line: you don't need an agent to get an editor to buy your book, and
        no agent can help you sell a book editors don't want to buy. A _good_
        agent can tell you what sorts of things editors, and which editors, are
        buying. But an agent's main function is to negotiate the contract, after
        the editor makes an offer. You can get one then. To try to sell a book,
        send it to editors, who keep insisting they're looking for good stuff in
        the slushpiles.

        - David Bratman
      • Joan Marie Verba
        ... On the other hand, there are many, many publishers who won t take unagented manuscripts nowadays. (They may take queries, but not manuscripts.) Joan
        Message 3 of 6 , Aug 1, 2003
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          "David S. Bratman" wrote:
          >
          > Bottom line: you don't need an agent to get an editor to buy your book, and
          > no agent can help you sell a book editors don't want to buy.

          On the other hand, there are many, many publishers who won't take
          unagented manuscripts nowadays. (They may take queries, but not
          manuscripts.)

          Joan
          ******************************************
          Joan Marie Verba
          verba001@...
          http://www.sff.net/people/Joan.Marie.Verba
        • David S. Bratman
          I suggest you inform SFWA of this, because that s not what they say.
          Message 4 of 6 , Aug 1, 2003
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            I suggest you inform SFWA of this, because that's not what they say.


            At 04:44 PM 8/1/2003 , Joan wrote:
            >"David S. Bratman" wrote:
            >>
            >> Bottom line: you don't need an agent to get an editor to buy your book, and
            >> no agent can help you sell a book editors don't want to buy.
            >
            >On the other hand, there are many, many publishers who won't take
            >unagented manuscripts nowadays. (They may take queries, but not
            >manuscripts.)
          • Jane Bigelow
            At 03:14 PM 8/1/03 -0700, David B wrote: http://www.sfwa.org/writing/agents.htm ... David, Surely SFWA knows that the number of editors who will read unagented
            Message 5 of 6 , Aug 3, 2003
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              At 03:14 PM 8/1/03 -0700, David B wrote:
              http://www.sfwa.org/writing/agents.htm
              >
              > Bottom line: you don't need an agent to get an editor to buy your book, and
              > A _good_
              > agent can tell you what sorts of things editors, and which editors, are
              > But an agent's main function is to negotiate the contract, after
              > To try to sell a book,
              > send it to editors, who keep insisting they're looking for good stuff in
              > the slushpiles.


              David,

              Surely SFWA knows that the number of editors who will read unagented first
              novels is very low. The last time I looked there were three major
              publishers in the sf/f field who would do so. This is one reason people go
              to the larger sf cons; they hope to meet an editor and get permission to
              send that person a manuscript. I've heard of people who went ahead and
              sent their ms to publishers who said they wouldn't read them and did get a
              reading after all. I sure wouldn't count on that.

              I wish Mary's friend's relative tons of luck--he'll need it.

              Jane
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