Author Topic: AGENTS NOT REQUIRED  (Read 9857 times)

Offline violet

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« Reply #30 on: August 31, 2010, 05:21:24 PM »
Agreed, of course, Violet. But I think that the original intent of this post was someone saying that an agent is not necessary to get a sale, not to debate whether or not traditional big six publishing is better than indies or self publishing.

They're interlinked, though. Hence the link I posted. It states that traditional publishers may not be necessary with the advent of e-publishing and what have you. And in that regard, agents become unnecessary.

The second point was to iterate that again, traditional pubbing, by way of an agent, is not always a bed of roses.

As for what's right--whether an agent is necessary or not, I agree. It's up to the individual. Obviously I have an agent so there's no need to state my opinion. But there are always two sides to every coin and I think looking at the other side is always worth examining.


Offline Aiala

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« Reply #31 on: August 31, 2010, 06:09:32 PM »
The truth is, you're probably more likely to get struck by lightning while collecting your lottery winnings.

Ay-uh. And the same is true of debut novelists who go with old-style publishing. Unless you're King, Patterson, Stephenie Vampira or one of their clones, your book is likely to be thrown out with tepid or no promotional support, where it will languish for three months before being remaindered to pulp mill oblivion.  :)

"Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'intrate" ~ Dante Alighieri, Inferno

Offline eallen99

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« Reply #32 on: August 31, 2010, 06:44:51 PM »
Had I not self-published nearly two years ago, I would not be having the fun and joy of book readings/wine tastings, nor would I have met so many wonderful people associated with the process. I would not have the warmth and pleasure of knowing my book is making a difference to so many people and helping women find their inner strength.

I would not have been able to reanimate a childhood friend ( I was told he was dead) who found me because my maiden name is in the title.

That's my case and I'm sticking to it!

Offline MarvaD

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« Reply #33 on: August 31, 2010, 06:53:31 PM »
We've all heard stories about the person who skipped finding an agent and landed a six figure book deal with a big six house on their own. We've all heard stories of the person who self published and then got their book picked up by a big six house to be traditionally published. The odds are slim, but hey, why shouldn't it be you.

Trouble is, I have friends who think that sort of thing is common. 

The truth is, you're probably more likely to get struck by lightning while collecting your lottery winnings.
Well, I know one author personally who self-pubbed through iUniverse, got a movie contract offer, then her book was picked up by SourceBooks, where it's now doing quite nicely. That's a little better than the lightning/lottery chances. She just had a good book and a full-time career and family, so skipped the whole agent search deal. She could have waded in the muddy swamp for months or never been deemed worthy at all.

Me? I've self-pubbed, small publisher pubbed, and I still toss the queries to the agents just in case that lightning strikes (but I don't buy lottery tickets). I just do whatever my mood leads me to do. What I have learned is that ebooks are the future. If you're doomed to being mid-list be sure you have your e-rights in order in your contract. Best if you keep them for yourself 'cause if your print book doesn't sell very well, your big publisher will just let your e-rights languish and you'll be stuck with no sales and no way to move forward. Agents are becoming savvy about that now, but many authors are stuck in dead end contracts with a "big" publisher.

Offline bodwen

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« Reply #34 on: August 31, 2010, 07:19:13 PM »
Right, you three ladies made sure you had a quality product, explored your options, and did your homework before making an informed descision to self publish.  And you all know I'm neither unsupportive nor unsympathetic. 

But that's not the same as stating that we all might as well avoid the meat grinder since the only difference between having an agent and not having an agent is 15%.

Offline Locke

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« Reply #35 on: August 31, 2010, 08:11:44 PM »
We've all heard stories of the person who self published and then got their book picked up by a big six house to be traditionally published. The odds are slim, but hey, why shouldn't it be you?

There's always the exception to "the rule," even though in this case, it's not as much of a rule as it is a market which is constantly inundated with material.  Sometimes it's really good material, but it's like trying to pick a specific needle out of a pile of similarly sized and colored needles.  Paolini is one such success story, who was published on his parents' own small press before it got sold to a larger house.  His progression was so insular that you may as well relate it to self-publishing, but he got to hitch a ride on the YA Fantasy train with the Eragon series which is, let's be honest, pretty good.

This context, however, is "making it big."  Not one of us is deluded enough to think that there is any direct correlation between the skill of a writer --thus, the quality of their work-- and their popularity.  Every single one of us has picked up a well-received book and thought to ourselves, "I can do better than this."  Because the established process of writer to agent to publisher to market isn't based on skill alone.  If you've managed to pay attention to high school level English courses and perhaps taken a creative writing course in the process, you can write just as well as many well-established authors.  No, those agents and publishers are choosing from a pool of available manuscripts based on the current market trend.  Right now, that trend is YA and Urban Fantasy, so if you're drumming up some Cyberpunk and want attention from some form of "the big six," you'd better be ready to sit on it for a little while, or accept a mid-line deal.

The fact is that not everybody even wants to be financially successful.  People see debut books spring onto the NYT list and think that it's just that easy.  They don't see the years of wrestling with a manuscript, toiling over queries, and pondering antidepressants.  But, sometimes, somebody just wants to write a book, and they don't particularly care if they're well-received or not.  Ayn Rand would be proud of them, I think.

QT does, apparently, have a contingency of people who endorse skipping on the agent, or even on the publisher, on their way to the market.  I very recently used to think poorly of that route, which led me to a rather pointless argument.  Some people may argue that Query Tracker is, in the end, about queries, and thus people that have no intention of writing a query shouldn't bother sticking their nose anywhere near it.  After some self-analysis of the situation, though, I'd rather invite them in.  There's more to these forums than queries and agents.  I can speak from personal experience that it's difficult to find a forum of writers who are serious about what they are doing.  From what I've seen, the people who constantly remind us that there's an alternative to querying agents are just as dedicated as the rest of us are, and because of that, I still value their input.  As a person who once doubted the validity of self-publishing, I'm glad that they're here.
"There is more than one way to burn a book.  And the world is full of people running about with matches." Ray Bradbury, "Coda"

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Offline longknife

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« Reply #36 on: September 01, 2010, 07:58:45 PM »
There are only about ten agents who deal with such things

I know for a fact that there are at least 26.    :wink:

Where??????? Who?????????
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