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Author Topic: How do I find out who represents a specific author?  (Read 582 times)
DrBob
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« on: May 19, 2017, 08:41:58 AM »

My book is non-fiction of a rather specific category (mathematics/philosophy). Query Tracker returned 279 agents for "Science", which seems like the closest category. Rather than going through this entire list and querying them one by one, I'd like to find out who is the agent for some authors of similar books. Any suggestions on how to go about doing this?
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« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2017, 09:19:34 AM »

There's a Who Reps Whom option on the QT site. If your author isn't on there, I would check their website, or maybe publisher's marketplace, or check the acknowledgments in the author's books. Usually agents are thanked first or second.
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skribbler
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« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2017, 10:52:49 AM »

I've googled "[author] literary agent" and sometimes gotten results.
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Tabris
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« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2017, 11:47:36 AM »

In quotes I've gotten results with the author's name followed by "is represented by"
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jcwrites
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« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2017, 01:16:08 PM »

Call the publisher and ask what agency handles the rights to the book.
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miawinter
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« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2017, 01:36:00 PM »

In addition to the above, Publishers Marketplace is very helpful. Also, some authors put their rep in their Twitter bios! If you have a specific author's book, almost all authors thank their agents in the Acknowledgements  Smiley
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Grinder
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« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2017, 10:44:02 AM »

If you have specific expertise but a limited social media following, you may have difficulty attracting a first rate non-fiction agent. You may have better luck contacting niche publishers directly. I wasted a lot of time chasing agents, found one that didn't do much, and found a publisher on my own. Just a suggestion.
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skribbler
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« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2017, 12:17:05 PM »

Actually, I'd cautiously second this. I have a friend who wrote a memoir that by its subject matter I'd have thought would be perfect for a New York trade publisher. But his approach and his style weren't what trade publishers were looking for. Though he eventually found an agent, she really didn't help him much, and he finally got his success by winning an award from an indie press (to whom I believe he'd submitted himself before he got the agent).

I also was coming close to submitting on my own to smaller, independent presses. And though I've finally just found an agent interested in my own strange book, the jury's still out, I guess, until we've sold it someplace.

This discussion, though - of whether an agent is even the right avenue to take for publication - is of course discussed exhaustively in other threads.
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Tabris
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« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2017, 02:00:10 PM »

If it's a niche topic and the presses who deal with that subject matter don't require an agent, then it might be a good thing to submit directly and then take the contract to a literary attorney. Get the book proposal as good as you can beforehand, though, which might mean paying a freelance editor to look it over.
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DrBob
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« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2017, 10:47:47 AM »

Thanks for the suggestions. Oddly, most of the popular science books I have on my shelf don't mention an agent in the acknowledgements. (Pop sci seems to be the closest generally recognized category to my book.) Or else the agent is out of business, not accepting submissions, etc.

I did look into contacting publishers directly, but the search here at Querytracker only returned 3 publishers that accept unagented submissions. That doesn't seem to leave much room for the odds to work in my favor. Also, I've heard that agents don't like it if you've already submitted directly to publishers. 
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skribbler
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« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2017, 04:14:34 PM »

Dr. Bob,

For $25, you can sign up for Publishers Marketplace, which is kind of the gold standard for data on agents, editors, and other publishing stuff. You can find out which agents did deals on which nonfiction books, and often for how much (or at least a ballpark). You can do searches on specific words and phrases, so if you've got a controversial new take on, say, newts, you can search on "newts," or "amphibians," or, probably with more success, "natural history" or "witchcraft," going back a number of years.

Now, I said $25. That's actually $25/month. But what I've done is sign up, do intensive research for thirty days, and then cancel my subscription. QT is great for record-keeping and anecdotal information (and of course for collegial encouragement). PM is the data mine. Just use it judiciously, because you can end up spending lots o' $$ if you forget to cancel after you've gotten the information you need.
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