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Wouldn't it be a good idea to start a list of agents?

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Old 02-09-2010, 01:12 AM
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Default Wouldn't it be a good idea to start a list of agents?


I was just thinking, wouldn't it be a good idea to start a list of agents for various genres in the publishing section?

We could all keep adding agents that we have heard of, and start a list there. I search for agents on agentquery.com, and the like, but I'm sure I miss a lot of them.

Kind of like the list of publishing markets run on this forum already, but for agents.

Plus, would it be possible to get one of the agents to come and talk to writers on this forum, like done so on other forums like absolutewrite.com's forums?

I've been to that forum, but somehow, love this site even more. The people here are friendlier, warm, and seem more positive than those on that forum. Not to mention this site looks a lot better.

So just wondering if we could make something like that happen here. It would benefit a lot of the writers here already.

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Old 02-09-2010, 06:12 AM
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That is an interesting idea. We do have an agent who hangs around the board--you know who you are!--and he's a great help, especially in the Getting Published section. The staff is definitely going to consider this; thanks, urntme!
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Old 02-09-2010, 09:47 PM
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There are so many lists out there already it would be fairly pointless trying to maintain another.
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Old 02-10-2010, 03:06 AM
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I agree that there are a lot of lists, and websites that have pages of information on agents of all genres. Creating another would, as said, be a bit pointless.

However, if WB were to make an effort to compile information on agents, we could do it so that it were useful in a sea of already-maintained lists. Maybe a sub-forum, where members could discuss the latest news on certain agents, ask for suggestions on who they might have the best luck with, and share their experiences ("So-And-So really didn't favor the grass-eating aliens. You might want to avoid him if you're going down that road ...") It could also be a place just for general help on how to approach agents, generally or specific to an agent they found. General discussions about various and sundry things would also be entertaining.

While there are many existing sources, having a place to actively discuss agents (rather than reading reports and making a decision based only on what you read, rather than the opinions of others) would be useful, IMO.

(The only reason I would love to see this is because I fail horribly at finding any current information about anything in the publishing world. XD)
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Old 02-10-2010, 05:55 AM
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Originally Posted by El902 View Post
...I fail horribly at finding any current information about anything in the publishing world. XD)
What do you want to know?
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Old 02-10-2010, 06:08 AM
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The most reputable houses, for one (Harper Collins is really the only house I can name off the top of my head), not that I foresee myself getting picked up by a top-notch house. Agents that have wide networks (a cousin of mine is having her manuscript looked over by a t.v. network, thanks to her agent). What genres are selling best (my mom is constantly telling me what the "new things" are -- how does she know!) and which authors are writing these new things the best. Which agents like to take chances on authors who are unpublished, scarcely talented, and unlikely to provide a second manuscript....
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Old 02-10-2010, 06:14 AM
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Originally Posted by El902 View Post
However, if WB were to make an effort to compile information on agents, we could do it so that it were useful in a sea of already-maintained lists.
No, it wouldn't, really, unless we had a bunch of people knowledgeable enough, and with enough time and inclination, to keep it maintained. Agencies come and go on a fairly regular basis, and agents move from one agency to another, or start up oin their own, or form partnerships, etc, and uhnless you keep on top of that, you have a list that's as out of date in 6 months time as anyone else's. For example, from my mailbox recently:

After serving ten years as cofounder and literary agent with BookEnds Literary Agency in Gillette, NJ, Jacky Sach will be retiring from publishing to seek new opportunities.

Jacky began her publishing career in 1985 at Berkley Books, now a division of Penguin Group.

Fourteen years later, in 1999, she left her position as senior managing editor to start BookEnds with Jessica Faust. Since opening its doors, BookEnds has established itself as an agency representing commercial fiction and nonfiction including a number of bestselling authors in both
romance and mystery.

BookEnds will continue business under the ownership of Jessica Faust.

Other agents within the agency include Kim Lionetti, also a former Berkley editor, and assistant Katelynn Lacopo.


and

Knox Burger, founder of the literary agency Knox Burger & Associates in 1970 with his wife Kitty Sprague, has died.

His $1 million deal for Martin Smith’s "Gorky Park" in 1980, unheard of at the time, helped make him one of the book industry’s most renowned literary agents. Kurt Vonnegut dedicated a book to him.


In 2000, Burger merged his agency with Harold Ober Associates. The agency, among the more successful and respected today, is located in Burger's beloved Manhattan.

and...

Women and YA authors will be interested to hear this, from their website: Elizabeth Evans joined the Jean V. Naggar Agency in January 2010. Previously, she worked for six years with Kimberley Cameron & Associates (formerly the Reece Halsey Agency). On the fiction front, she represents select titles in “up-market women’s fiction, mysteries and young adult novels,” and novels that hit that sweet spot between commercial and literary fiction.

And a mail-out from Kate Epstein, at Epstein Literary:

Hello Everyone,

I am pleased to announce that I am now accepting submissions for representation of YA fiction and nonfiction.

I’m so excited about this. YA books are fantastic these days. In YA, serious literature has accessible writing and impressive pace. Speculative novels are astonishingly creative without neglecting character and plot. Even romance novels that I might find a little trashy are damned fun in this area—they’re not jaded and depressing. Humor is wry and wet and honest--I don’t just titter, but really get to LAUGH. My favorite books in this area all have great pace and plot.

I want to be a part of working on these novels, and serving this passionate, exacting audience. I’ve been doing a fair amount of research over the past few months in this area, and coupling that with the experience of 4 years representing nonfiction, I know I can do well by these authors.

Nor do I plan to neglect nonfiction. The pleasures and rewards in that area have not faded by comparison. Memoir, narrative, and exposition for adults is truly entertaining and enlightening, and representing practical nonfiction gives the rich reward of feeling it directly improves people’s lives. But I’m excited that I may be able to offer more full-service to writers already in my stable, and looking forward to meeting new ones.


That's a small selection of what's happened in the last couple of weeks. If you can't maintain a list so it's up to date you may as well just hit the library for last year's Writers Market.
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Old 02-10-2010, 06:21 AM
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Originally Posted by El902 View Post
The most reputable houses, for one (Harper Collins is really the only house I can name off the top of my head),
Irrelevant, really. None of them will look at you unless you're represented, so you need to be hunting a good agent, and leave the publisher to him/her.

Originally Posted by El902 View Post
What genres are selling best (my mom is constantly telling me what the "new things" are -- how does she know!) and which authors are writing these new things the best.
Just check the best-sellers lists. Then ignore them. If the hot potato this week is Elf Wizards in Drag, by the time you're written one, so will everyone else have and they'll be old news. Write what you want to write, not for a perceived market.

Originally Posted by El902 View Post
Which agents like to take chances on authors who are unpublished, scarcely talented, and unlikely to provide a second manuscript....
Most of them. Some will have closed lists, because they're earning enough from their stable of writers not to have to worry, but most are hungry for new talent. Check their websites, they'll tell you what they're looking for, and check at the same time who they represent, and if you think your book would fit in well with the others.
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Old 02-12-2010, 12:25 AM
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The problem is, a lot of people are from America and the UK - add other countries into the mix, it'll be long and unruly. How many of you know the major publishing and smaller but reliable ones in Australia?

I'd think not too many.
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Old 02-13-2010, 09:18 PM
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Agents as in Bond... James Bond?
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Old 02-14-2010, 07:42 AM
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It would only use up more space and time on an already busy board.
There are many places to look up and find agents, among them:

Querytracker.not
Agentyquery
Predators and Editors
etc.
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Old 02-17-2010, 10:56 PM
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Originally Posted by SW View Post
The problem is, a lot of people are from America and the UK - add other countries into the mix, it'll be long and unruly. How many of you know the major publishing and smaller but reliable ones in Australia?

I'd think not too many.
For aussies, what happens in the rest of the world is quite important. It's a global market. For the rest of us, the aussie publishing market is irrelevant; it's a small, remote market and it's also (unless things have changed in the last couple of years) a closed shop. Non-aussies don't get much of a look in which is why the Australian book market has a less than great reputation.
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Old 02-18-2010, 01:42 AM
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Mike, there's a difference between publishing and books. Publishing isn't really a global market - it's rare for an Aussie to publish overseas... so, no, it's not exactly relevant in that way, but I was making a point.
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