What's this all about

Chronicling my steps to becoming a published novelist, and the randomness of my life.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Free Agent - Rerun

I'm laid up in bed trying to sleep through a terrible stomach ache that feels not unlike a baby alien trying to burst through my abdomen, so no new post today. I thought instead I would re-post a previous thing I wrote about finding literary agents, since that is the step I am stuck on right now. So please enjoy, and pay attention to sell by dates.

I've been researching these fantastical little people known as Literary Agents. Who are they? Where do you find them? And what do they do?

I consulted The Guide to find out. Literary Agents rub elbows with editors and publishers and develop strong contacts at publishing houses. They know what's selling and what's not. They can hook you up with the best publisher for your book. They'll help you tweak your title, refine your bio, scheme your marketing and whip your writing career into shape. The can be "your people."

A good place to find Literary Agents are Literary Agencies. I know, who'd have thought it? Many Literary Agencies are in the mystical land of New York City. When you type  "literary agencies" into google you will be slammed with advertisements promising to "get your book published now!" or "find the right agent for you in 5 seconds!" Listen peeps, nothing is ever easy and you can't ever get anything done now. Results like these are either scams or they are "vanity sites" and you'll have to shell out a whole bunch of money just to get your book bound into a cover that will impress your mom and your friends but it won't make you money or get you an interview with Matt Lauer. And we play for keeps, so ignore those sites.

I went ahead and composed a short list of literary agencies and linked their websites here.

Levine Greenberg Literary Agency (found out while reading their site that one of the authors of The Guide works for them as a lit agent. What a crazy, random happenstance!)
Dystel and Goderich Literary Managment
Irene Goodman Literary Agency
Prospect Agency
Nelson Literary Agency
Harvey Klinger, Inc
Loretta Barrett Books Inc

Literary Agents generally take a commission off of your book's profits - 15% seems to be the usual, however if they help you get published in other countries/languages or get your book turned into a movie/TV series they will take a little more. Apparently there is a code of ethics legit agents adhere to, and part of that code is not ripping off a client by charging them for erroneous expenses or stealing all their money.

After finding out all the things a Literary Agent can do and what they expect in return, I have decided to not go free agent. I think a Literary Agent is exactly what I need in my life, and I am going to do everything I can to entice them to represent me. This is going to be difficult, because Agents get hundreds of submissions a day, and they obviously all can't be winners.

I think I am a winner.

The Guide offers a "nearly foolproof" way of landing an agent, which is why if you're an aspiring author as well you should seriously consider getting The Guide for yourself. I'm not gonna go spilling their secrets all over this blog - that wouldn't be right. So if you want details (and I know you do) spend a little money and invest in this book.

I'd like to leave you with this video so that you may get your weekend off to the right start. Thanks for reading! =)


  1. Have any leads on an agent? Whats with the random 3 toed sloth video? They creep me out.

  2. Not really any leads yet, I'm still compiling my list of agencies. It takes a while because I have to read through every agent's bio just to make sure there is someone at the agency who would represent my genre. Also I'm going to have to send out a TON of query letters (which I haven't even written yet) so this step is going to take a minute.
    As for the sloth video...I randomly came across it last week and laughed my butt off! I watched it like 5 times. Just watched it again. Still funny.