Big Agent/ Little Agent

Submission protocol, query etiquette, and strategies that work
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Robin
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Big Agent/ Little Agent

Post by Robin » May 20th, 2010, 1:20 pm

Is it a waste of time to query the larger, more popular agents whose inboxes are always flooded? Or is it better to research new agents, who've just started or just moved to another agency?

What are the pros and cons? Do the more popular agents have more connections to editors and publishers? Will the newer, less popular agents just waste time because they don't have the right contacts?
Robin
"A glass slipper is only a shoe. Dreamers who only dream never have their dreams come true."

http://www.RobynLucas.com/

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Mira
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Re: Big Agent/ Little Agent

Post by Mira » May 20th, 2010, 3:07 pm

Well, I'm not an expert by any means, but I'll tell you what I've picked up from reading blogs.

If an experienced agent is accepting submissions, that means they have space, so it's worth querying them. What's the worst thing that can happen, really?

I've heard that the pros of an experienced agent is their track record brings clout, their experience (of course) and being a part of an impressive booklist. The cons - well, I've read alot of stories of people who got a high-powered agent who was too busy to be available. Some people felt lost in the shuffle.

I've heard the pros of a newer agent are they are very invested in your particular book, they tend to be available and hands on, and you can build a career together. I would imagine there are pros to being one of that agent's first clients down the road in terms of loyalty and relationship. The cons might be that the agent is proving themselves as well - so less clout.

Personally, I find a newer agent more appealing, but when/if I ever query, I think I'll look mostly at who the person is. Do I want to work with that person? do I trust them? Trust - that's probably the most crucial point for me, if I'm going to place my work in someone else's hands.

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FK7
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Re: Big Agent/ Little Agent

Post by FK7 » May 20th, 2010, 3:42 pm

I would still consider submitting to bigger agents... Meyer submitted Twilight to Jodi Reamer at Writer's House, arguably one of the most prestigious lit agencies in New York, and got picked up. It's reported she was lucky, because it was in fact an assistant who read the MS and because of the assistant's inexperience, it got to the hands of Ms. Reamer (the original MS was 118k, a big word count for a debut novel... had someone else read it, it could have been a form rejection).

Rowling's got picked up by a small publisher after the 8 year old daughter of the CEO begged her daddy to publish the first Harry Potter.

My point is, there are success stories with both big and small agencies, new and more experienced agents. To make sure you're not missing a chance, do the smart thing: submit to everyone, big or small!

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Robin
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Re: Big Agent/ Little Agent

Post by Robin » May 20th, 2010, 4:52 pm

FK7 wrote:I would still consider submitting to bigger agents... Meyer submitted Twilight to Jodi Reamer at Writer's House, arguably one of the most prestigious lit agencies in New York, and got picked up. It's reported she was lucky, because it was in fact an assistant who read the MS and because of the assistant's inexperience, it got to the hands of Ms. Reamer (the original MS was 118k, a big word count for a debut novel... had someone else read it, it could have been a form rejection).

Rowling's got picked up by a small publisher after the 8 year old daughter of the CEO begged her daddy to publish the first Harry Potter.
I didn't know that. Thanks! You've been doing your HW haven't you ;)

I guess that brings up another question: should you send you ms to an assistant agent?
Robin
"A glass slipper is only a shoe. Dreamers who only dream never have their dreams come true."

http://www.RobynLucas.com/

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FK7
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Re: Big Agent/ Little Agent

Post by FK7 » May 20th, 2010, 5:41 pm

I would respect the submission guideline word for word. I wouldn't try to get around the guidelines hoping to get the assistant instead and "get lucky". it could backfire.

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Robin
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Re: Big Agent/ Little Agent

Post by Robin » May 20th, 2010, 9:43 pm

Thanks! Thats what I thought.
Robin
"A glass slipper is only a shoe. Dreamers who only dream never have their dreams come true."

http://www.RobynLucas.com/

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