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finding an agent/publisher

edited September 2015 in - Talkback Help Pages
We all know that when looking for an agent you're supposed to check the work of authors they already represent to find a 'match'. This is a long and arduous task - first you've got to find the authors and their books. I went to the library, managed to find only 2 out of 20 of the books. Then I hit on the idea - and I expect the whole world already knows this, but some may not - of going to Amazon where you search either the author or title and whoopee! up comes the 1st 2 or 3 sample chapters of their books. So now I can sit on the comp with coffee and chocolate and search to my hearts content.


  • edited September 2015
    Good Luck and wish you all the success. "God loves a trier" :x
  • It depends on the agent. I've seen some saying (on social media) that they hate authors claiming they're a new (insert name of author here). Also if the agent represents one person on a fairly niche genre, they may not feel it's fair to represent a rival.
  • edited September 2015
    When I was at an author event earlier in the year, Mark Lucas explained that agents will have a cut-off for similar books - he didn't feel an agent could bring anything new to the deal, if they'd represented more than a certain number. He was referring, in that instance, to SAS-type work. But he said the same was true of any theme.
  • Yes, Carole Blake said something similar back in March at the conference I attended. It was basically , why would I take on someone who would be competing against an existing client...
  • That isn't what he meant - he said that after X-number of authors/books on a similar theme he couldn't push it in the same way. A new agent would have a fresh approach and on that basis the book would be passed on (by him). He actually suggested that competition is good because it generates a new interest in old work.
  • Ah, I see.

  • Which shows that they don't all feel the same way. It might be a good idea to do a search for the agent on social media and see if they express strong views.
  • I have spoken to a number of agents and publishers over the last year, which is kind of ironic considering I couldn't get any of them to reply to my emails & submissions at one time. What struck me is the amount of networking they all seem to do. Everybody seems to know everyone else like it's a very small and exclusive club. I always had this image in my head of an agent sitting in a darkened room poring over manuscripts looking for the next JK Rowling - shows you how wrong I was. The thing is Jillmac is that if one of them feels they've got too many of a similar type of writer on their books but they like what you do they'll maybe pass you onto someone else.
  • edited September 2015
    I Hope not, just written about a horse that had sex,hmmm, "50 shades of hay" but does not smoke after sex, in case of fire in barn!
  • Yes an agent can have too much of 'the same thing' but I'm talking about style, and other similarities; hard to say exactly what, it's all done on a kind of sixth sense basis. For eg, some authors that I looked at who were represented by the same agent all wrote in the 1st person, others all opened the book with description...I guess at the end of the day it's pot luck.
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