The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Thursday, May 24, 2007

A is for Agent

I've been running a "Writer's Alphabet" series over on my Lifewriting mailing list. Thought I'd share it with you guys...

Q: How do I get an Agent?

My standard comment here is that you want to start
by writing and publishing Short stories. They don't
require an agent to sell, and your learning curve is
vastly sharper per word than with longer works.

After you've published a few stories, ask the EDITORS
who bought your work to recommend an agent. In
this way, you come to an agent's attention as a
published writer, not a wannabe. The quality of agent
you can get in this manner is much higher.

Another approach is to get an editor interested in your
book or project, and THEN approach an agent. Ask
her if she would be interested in negotiating a contract
for something you've already sold. Again, agents are
delighted to have clients like this, and you can connect
at a much higher level than those poor souls who go
from agency to agency, tattered manuscript in
metaphorical hand, begging for representation.

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