Tuesday, April 25, 2006


To agent or not to agent?
That is the question.

I read an interesting interview with Scott Eagan by Jan Conwell (a fellow Triskelion author). Scott is the founder of the Greyhaus Literacy Agency and he's the agent who gave me my PRO badge, which was a blessing and a curse because a) I got a request for my manuscript off a query letter, but b) ultimately, I got a rejection.

Well that's OK, I can live with rejection, if you want to be a writer get used to humility and a few jabs to your pride/ego/heart--it is part of the territory. So thank you Scott for my now redundant PRO badge (he seems like a very nice man BTW).

So I sold Venus' Slipper to Triskelion on my own (for millions, in case you haven't heard ;-)) and it became Her Sanctuary, my first ever novel. But now I have this second story, and I know I want to write a third, a fourth, a fifth--in fact the fifth could be a murder mystery series, but from a romantic angle (Inspector Morse meets The Thomas Crown affair), so ultimately I see myself needing an agent.

Which is a bugger because a good one is hard to find.

And I'm also a slow writer (that would be having kids underfoot LOL), but once they're in school I will speed up. So what I'm asking is...shall I go for it again? Or just carry on with my submission plans to editors as is?

I think I already know the answer but what would YOU do?


  1. I have no idea. I know - me without an opinion. *g* But if you already know the answer ...

    I would assume that if you want to get into the big publishing houses you would need an agent. From what I've read in the Writer's handbook a lot of those publishing houses won't even take a MS without an agent.

    So I lied - I did have something to say.

  2. Snort! Nothing to say :)

    Some houses will look but it takes longer I believe :)

  3. This is such an individual decision, Toni, and one that depends on your long term career goals -- can you do both? Getting an offer could pique the interest of your dream agent :)

  4. Well, what I would do is what I am doing now. Agent searching. I think if I want my manuscript in front of a major publishing house, that is the only route. BUT, I'm not stopping from submitting on my own either. I'm hitting them from all angles! :-)

  5. I'm not in search of an agent right at this second, but it's something I keep in the back of my mind so that I'm prepared to act when I need/want to.

    Let us know how it all turns out!

  6. frankly right now I can barely find the time to send to publishing houses so... I don't know though I think eventually I will need one ...

  7. I am thinking of submitting to an agent as well as an editor.

  8. I've felt the sting of the slush pile so I've been doing the agent route. The only problem is that it takes forever. I've had 8 requests for a full and 5 rejections (one I declined to send, it just didn't feel right) and two still out with agents.

    I will continue to go with agents for the next MS. That's just my thing. I think it depends on who you are targeting. If you are writing category, I wouldn't bother with an agent. But I think ST's are different. One of my WIP's is targeted to category and I will send it directly to Sil. But my ST's will keep going to agents.

  9. I never felt like I needed an agent for category, but for single title, I found it critical. Couldn't have done it without my agent. Just my .02 ...

  10. Jill-and very experienced .02! Rene, I know what you mean, totally.

  11. No matter what decision you make, I'm sure you will be well known and loved as a favorite author.

  12. I have no idea either, but when you figure it out, some of us will benefit from your wisdom, right?

  13. Brandy that is such a sweet thing to say.

    Scott. Well. Not sure about any wisdom I may have. What I intend to do is target a few agents that have asked me to submit more work to them, but to be choosy. The biggest lesson I learned in Reno is not everybody is compatible with everybody else. I need a career focused person who will help me find a niche, not someone who is just signing clients for the sake of it. So bottom line is I'm going to do both. I have a couple of publishing houses in mind who accept non-agented material and have said I can submit a full manuscript. And I have a hand full of agents I'll approach, including one in the UK. I think an agent CAN make your career--but only if the story is up to scratch and you have luck on your side, and a ton of perseverance.

    A little magic spell might do the trick too :)

  14. Julie S6:52 am

    a little input from me - with my little knowledge of UQP...an agent is a good thing, as even our little publishing house won't look at unsolicited fiction...however, if you have published before, though, they'll definitely look twice. But the choice of agent will be very difficult. Where do you start? ;-)

  15. Julie--hi there!! How are you hon? Cooling down? I think you start (as an RWA member) with RWR, and then the internet, predators and editors. Then see if the agents have a blog, then if possible get to see them up close and personal at a conference. In Reno I saw lots to cross off the list (it was scary, some of these people looked GREAT on paper), I only saw a couple I wanted to pursue!

    Just got to find one I like--who also likes me and my writing. Yikes.