Do agents really want new clients

Questions for the resident (former) agent
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Dora
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Joined: June 20th, 2012, 3:42 pm
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Do agents really want new clients

Post by Dora » June 20th, 2012, 3:54 pm

I know that most agents note on their websites that they are looking for new clients, but I wonder. I am just curious - when an unsolicited query comes in, what they do with it, if anything? The reason I ask is that recently, my publisher informed me that they would be closing shop and I needed to find another publishing house. I have previously published three books (unagented) all of which have won national awards - one Benjamin Franklin and two IPPY's. All have been finalists for ForeWord Magazine's Book of the Year Award. They have all received fantastic reviews from national reviewers - 4 and 4 and a half stars from RT Book Reviews among others - but yet, I can't seem to get anyone interested. Is there a stigma from being with a small house? Or do agents only take on works they already have a ready sale for? It is very frustrating from an author POV. Any light you could shed would be most appreciated.

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Nathan Bransford
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Re: Do agents really want new clients

Post by Nathan Bransford » June 24th, 2012, 5:54 pm

Dora wrote:I know that most agents note on their websites that they are looking for new clients, but I wonder. I am just curious - when an unsolicited query comes in, what they do with it, if anything? The reason I ask is that recently, my publisher informed me that they would be closing shop and I needed to find another publishing house. I have previously published three books (unagented) all of which have won national awards - one Benjamin Franklin and two IPPY's. All have been finalists for ForeWord Magazine's Book of the Year Award. They have all received fantastic reviews from national reviewers - 4 and 4 and a half stars from RT Book Reviews among others - but yet, I can't seem to get anyone interested. Is there a stigma from being with a small house? Or do agents only take on works they already have a ready sale for? It is very frustrating from an author POV. Any light you could shed would be most appreciated.
Yes, every agent is open to new clients. Some have more stringent requirements of who a new client would be. Some very established agents are only looking for the surest of sure things, younger agents who are looking to build their list might be more open to diamonds in the rough.

I think the most important thing for you to remember as a previously published author is that it's not your past books that are going to sell your next one, especially if you have an uncertain sales track. It's the next book. Here's a blog post that reminds previously published authors about the landscape they're facing when they're approaching agents: http://blog.nathanbransford.com/2009/09 ... thors.html

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