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Friday, November 26, 2010

Secret Agent Man...or Woman

It's November 26th~the day after Thanksgiving~a day otherwise known as Black Friday. While most of America is out searching for sales and deals in hopes of saving a few bucks on their holiday shopping, I'm at home in the comfort of my office, searching the Publisher's Market Place and Predators and Editors for the names of agents.

My publisher, kNight Romance Publishing, has decided to change their submission guidelines, and going forward will only accept work submitted by accredited Literary Agents. Thankfully, this doesn't apply to me since I'm already one of their authors, but it did get me thinking.

For a publishing house it's a terrific idea. It eliminates the slush pile, and the countless man-hours spent reviewing poorly written, poorly edited manuscripts, that eat up an editor's time and a publishing company's revenues. But for the unagented author, it's not such great news.

So what's an unagented author to do? I logged on and started wading through the names and agencies online, hoping at some point in my research that a few names would resonate with me. Both Publisher's Market Place and P&E are reputable sites, but needless to say my head was swimming after only an hour.

My question to all of you on this day dedicated to the hunt is..."What is the best way to query an agent (after you've done your research, obviously) and is acquiring one really necessary?"

Times, they are a changing. The New York Times just announced that they will begin reviewing eBooks for their bestsellers list come January 2011. I've read articles that claim that this alone ends the war between eBook vs. traditionally published camps...that eBooks will no longer be viewed as the proverbial red-headed step child in the publishing industry. Thank God for small favors...

But, will this new attitude impact the unagented author as well? Most eBook publishers do not require agented submissions at this time. Will this change as well with their newly found and hard won legitimacy? As eBook publishers become vetted in the eyes of the publishing industry, will they become as exclusive as some of the bigger, traditional publishing houses, and where will that leave us?

And the questions and well as the hunt continue....

Marianne Morea


  1. Well, being a reader rather than an author, it doesn't matter to me if an author has an agent or not. But I can see how this new requirement will add so-called legitimacy to the ebook industry. Given the potential future growth, it would be beneficial for all authors to have an agent.

    I am a traditional reader preferring the paperback book in hand but I do have some ebooks loaded into my computer. I doubt that I'll invest in an ereading device anytime soon. That said, I believe it is about time the larger book review venues take sincere notice of all the ebooks published by small houses as well as the publishing giants. Maybe then it will afford better legislation to stop ebook piracy and aid the growth of the industry.

  2. I think many authors would be better off self-publishing. But then, I'm an indie author and that works for me because I'm the independent sort. Back in the days before an author could get her work out there without an agent, I did some querying. I think you're better off targeting agents trying to build a list or still growing a small agency.

    One romance agent that I have a lot of respect for is Scott Eagan of Greyhaus Literary. If you're not familiar with him, you might check out his blog. He keeps (or used to keep) a pretty detailed list of what he's looking for on his web site.

    But again, I think there's a lot to be said for going indie because you can make your own rules and set your own pace. The ultimate judges are the readers and more and more I believe they are giving indie work a shot.

    Quacking Alone

  3. Thankfully there are still publishers who take unagented submissions ... most notably Harlequin. So, you can get a foot in the door there. Still, it can be frustrating.


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