Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Agent or No Agent That Is The Question...

I'm feeling a bit crabby and confused today. I've been reading agent blogs and author blogs and have no idea what the right route is. Do I work on finding an agent? Do I keep submitting what I write to different publishing houses? Jany Yolen writes in so many genre's. I asked (through her journal page) her how she managed to do that. She said that her agent took care of finding homes for her work so she can concentrate on her writing. I'd love to not have to worry about where to put my work.

I've heard rumors that authors who write for children shouldn't get agents, but after reading Jane's answer to my question I think I want to look for an agent. My SCBWI Publication Guide arrived today. Perhaps the perfect agent for me will be in it.

What do you think, agent or no agent? What did you do? How did you find an agent? Would you do it that way again?


  1. Where did you hear that chidren's authors shouldn't be agented? I disagree. You may not want to, and that is fine, but I disagree that they 'shouldn't'. Unless you choose to write articles only..no need for an agent there. And many, many authors enjoy writing articles exclusively and do quite well at it. But novels? Or picture books? That's different, in my opinion.

    I can only speak frome experience...I worked with two editors closely for two years. Both ended up leaving their houses (one was laid off the other left for a pregnancy) and my work was orphaned. Square one after two years. An agent gets you into houses that you wouldn't otherwise even have access to. Their response time on submissions is 2weeks to 2months (as opposed to four to six months working w/ the editor directly).

    Each person must choose. There is no right or wrong answer. But, I am grateful for a partner with connections that I would never otherwise have. The trick is to find a good agent, with a solid reputation who wants to sell your writing. A bad agent or one that isn't excited about your work can be worse than not having one at all.

    Just my personal two cents.

  2. Thanks, Tess! I think I heard it at a conference a few years ago. I love what Jane said. "I just want to write...not worry about where to send it." I want an agent that thinks I'm a lovely person and believes in me. I've been looking, but not sure how to approach the subject. I want an agent that represents me, not a book. I'm one of those touchy feely people. I guess I'm wishing a fairy will sprinkle dust over some agent and he/she will show up at my front door with open arms...I guess I have to do some foot work.

    Thanks for your input and for reading my blog.