Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Dec. 15

A special thank you to Rosalind Adam for awarding me with the Laid Back Literary Ladies blog award. Thank you! If you get a chance check out her blog.

I am thinking about agents as gatekeepers and stories that don't sell. I belong to NINC-a multi-published author association. Many of the old timers who have twenty, thirty or more books under their belts and who wrote in the 80's and 90's heyday grumble that agents should not be gate keepers. They should not be able to deem a book unworthy of their attention and tell the writer they won't rep it, or simply ignore it and let it sit on their desks. In my heart I agree with these authors. The agent's job, after all, is to sell your work. But here's a clue, an agent won't work to sell a book if they think a higher paying publisher won't snap it up. Agents want commission not $50 a year. Fifteen percent of $50 is not worth the work that goes into selling. But this leaves authors watching books-good books- sit. Some come back with great news that they found a new agent who took on the book and sold it-poof! Others sell it themselves to small press and e-press. I don't know what the solution is- finding a new agent who will sell old books is more difficult than people let on. Selling to small press and e-press means books are not available in bookstores, and most books will struggle to find their audience. There is no simple answer in this changing publishing world. No simple answer in these hard economic times. Perhaps the real answer is to keep writing so when opportunity appears you will be ready. What are you thoughts on agents?


  1. Agents are good if you can land one, but that takes a history of success - starting with a smaller publisher is most writer's best option.

  2. I feel sorry for them right now. With the way the publishing world is going, more and more people will be skipping the agent route all together. But, I think they can really benefit the writer.

  3. Hi L. Diane, in my experience agents don't want you if you published small. They want to make a big splashy debut with you. It earns them more money. I'm on my fourth far I've sold all my own books, but yes they are all small press. My current agent hopes to sell me bigger.
    Hi Clarissa, I have seen and heard rumblings that it is harder to be an agent these days- what with e-books and with the market so darn tight. So, yes, I feel for them, too, and understand their hope to make the most money for their work. It doesn't make it easier for writers, though.Cheers~