If you were an agent....

Submission protocol, query etiquette, and strategies that work

If you were an agent....

Postby Mira » 17 Sep 2010, 09:17

Okay, fantasy time. Just for fun. If you were an agent, what type of agent would you be? What books would you represent? How would you run things?

For me, I would represent commercial all the way. YA, chick lit (I would call it chick lit, because I was an agent and who could stop me. I'd probably use the term fiction novel all the time, too, just because I could.) fantasy, sci fi. All the books I love to read.

I would banish the query, and only look at pages. I would be super-duper nice like Nathan. I dont' know if I would run a blog, though, because I can't always trust myself to show....decorum. But if I did run a blog, I'd talk about BIG questions, deep philisophical things and drive everyone nuts. I'd go to conferences, and write long inspirational speeches, and force everyone to listen to them.

Oh, and all the books I represented would become bestsellers and win awards. And my writers would adore me and think I walked on water, and do anything I said.

the end.

anyone else have any thought?
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Re: If you were an agent....

Postby stephmcgee » 17 Sep 2010, 09:35

I'd rep YA in fantasy, urban fantasy, and possibly paranormal. I'd also rep adult fantasy, maybe some sci-fi just to get some steampunk in there.

As for how I'd run things, I'd probably only be open to queries part of the year to keep sane. (If I used the query at all.) I'd hire a business manager to help with the numbers stuff though because I didn't get my dad's head for accounting/numbers.

I'd work close with all clients to help them bring their books to the best version possible of the vision the author had when they set out to write that story. And of course they'd all debut on the NYT list.
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Re: If you were an agent....

Postby Regan Leigh » 17 Sep 2010, 11:58

If I were an agent, I'd rep YA and Lit. I'd also take forever cause I'd want to read them all. :D
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Re: If you were an agent....

Postby Margo » 17 Sep 2010, 12:42

I'd rep adult fiction only (nothing against YA or MG, I'm just not the right person for that...unless you'd like to emotionally scar children and young adullts): fantasy (any flavor), romance (historical and paranormal), and thriller (any...maybe not legal....have to think on that). That sounds very 'boutique', doesn't it?

I'd keep the query process and close to submissions around the holidays and when my inbox hit a predetermined saturation point. My rejections would be a polite form rather than 'no response means no thanks'. If it proved feasible I'd consider using a form like the one the magazine Absolute Magnitude used to have. There was a checklist of the reasons they might have passed on the story, a checklist of good things they saw in it, and four or so lines at the bottom in case the editor wanted to jot a handwritten note.

I'd prefer a creative client relationship where we brainstorm ideas, discuss edits and options, plan out a career strategy long-term. All that considered, I probably couldn't handle very many clients.
Urban fantasy, epic fantasy, and hot Norse elves. http://margolerwill.blogspot.com/
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Re: If you were an agent....

Postby Melyn » 17 Sep 2010, 19:08

I'd rep MG and YA fantasy, paranormal, contemporary, mysteries, urban fantasy, and horror novels. I'd ask for the query and first five pages, and I'd use a form rejection for queries, but if I requested a full and rejected it, I would personalize the rejection with a reason why. I'd try to respond as quickly as possible.
My blog, Hills and Corkscrews: http://www.hillsandcorkscrews.com/
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Re: If you were an agent....

Postby Heather B » 18 Sep 2010, 02:25

I'd have one author, she'd make me a billionaire and then I'd retire.

I honestly don't know why Nathan hasn't thought of that yet...
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Re: If you were an agent....

Postby Erica75 » 18 Sep 2010, 17:41

I'd represent Heather B. Because obviously she's brilliant!

Okay, for realsies (as realsies as fakesies can be): I'd require the synopsis. As much as I hate it, as an author, I totally get it. And I'd ask for anything that had an interesting (not necessarily wonderfully written at that point but interesting) synopsis. Go from there. Probably a lot of contemp. YA and MG. But you never know...a good synopsis can convince you to read anything!
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Re: If you were an agent....

Postby J. T. SHEA » 22 Sep 2010, 15:59

If I was an agent I’d retire and become a writer. Oh, wait…
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Re: If you were an agent....

Postby arbraun » 26 Sep 2010, 06:03

I'd sign all those Leisure Horror authors who should be making a lot more money than they are. Very talented people deserve to reap rewards (if they didn't already have agents). I'd do the same for the thriller authors on Dorchester. I'd also take on authors in other genres, if they were as talented as Elmore Leonard and Raymond Chandler. I don't know if I'd dispense with the query--I think they use that to save time--and I'd go to tons of conference and all the "--cons."
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Re: If you were an agent....

Postby Guardian » 29 Sep 2010, 15:19

I'd rep fantasy, sci-fi, paranormal and detective novels in general. I'd ask for the query and the first fifteen pages as sometimes the first five or ten is not enough. And I'd try to respond to everyone within 24-72 hours (Nathan is the #1 in response time. I can't beat him. :) ). Oh, and I would pay for my cousin to create a general response software, the "Response-O-Matron 2000" for the letters where I can pinpoint the problems and the reasons of my rejection. So... reply, personal or form reject, then I just need to click on the points which describes the failures of the MS and the Query (i.e. format, style, technique, general storyline, character intro, grammar, etc, etc...). With this the response time would be fast, especially with hotkeys, plus the writer also would get some general feedback. I would send personal feedbacks per request. Oh, and I would make a Query stop for few days in every two weeks.
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Re: If you were an agent....

Postby Anobile1 » 05 Oct 2010, 08:24

I feel like being an agent would be quite fun, but I would also be horrible at it because I'm so darn picky about what I read. >_>

I'd rep all types of fantasy, YA (though nothing that could be called a 'teen novel'), some soft and speculative sci-fi (or any kind if it includes dragons), and maybe some paranormal and romance that is crossed with other genres. My special interests would be "Novels where dragons are the good guys, or novels where the story is told all or in part through the point of view of a dragon".

I'd ask for queries and the first ten pages, and the pages would be just as important as the query. I'd have a form rejection, but I'd try to always add at least a few words about how the author could improve their work.
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Re: If you were an agent....

Postby ShadowFlame » 17 Apr 2011, 12:34

if iw as an agent id represent middle grade YA,fantasy and paranormal.
And of course all my clients books would be bestsellers and id have a mega bestseller that was as big aS harry potter and twilight(which are both really good)
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Re: If you were an agent....

Postby Falls Apart » 20 Apr 2011, 11:49

I would have so much trouble saying no to people. I'd just keep thinking, this could have been my hopes getting crushed :( Except pompous people. Anybody pretentious, condescending, better-than-you, I would delight in crushing. Evil laugh.

. . . Yeah. That is my pet peeve.
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