Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Importance of Agents

Dear Dead Beat,

How important is it to have an agent for works of fiction?
- worn out writer

Dear Worn Out Writer,

It clearly has become very important to have an agent for novels. Short stories are a hard sell, and usually agents are reluctant to represent them. Besides it is often the smaller independent publisher who will take the risk on short stories, and the smaller publishers are not as dependent on working with agents.

So if you have a collection of stories, you can by pass the agent and approach the publisher directly with a query letter, short sample and list of publishing credits.

Even with a novel the same approach would be okay with the smaller publisher.

The bigger publishers deal almost exclusively with agents. However if you had a very strong publishing history, the query letter etc may bypass the agent again.

In truth it is almost as hard to get an agent as it is to get a publisher, but you may as well begin there.

Dead Beat wishes you well - be brave!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Dead Beat,
you said that as a writer you always explore uncharted territories. Do you sometimes feel that your stories take on a life of their own, that in the process of writing, there are things you may not control?
(I hope my English is good enough)

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