Should I get an agent before submitting to a small press?

Submission protocol, query etiquette, and strategies that work
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mtlogan
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Should I get an agent before submitting to a small press?

Post by mtlogan » September 23rd, 2010, 2:00 pm

Hi Nathan,

I'm an aspiring mystery writer. The other day, I ran across a post on David Morrell's web site about the current state of the publishing industry.

http://www.davidmorrell.net/whatsnew/dsp.whatsnew.cfm

He advises new authors to submit to small presses. Should I try to get an agent first?

Many thanks for your time,
Marianne

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sbs_mjc1
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Re: Should I get an agent before submitting to a small press?

Post by sbs_mjc1 » September 23rd, 2010, 2:32 pm

http://sb-writingtheother.blogspot.com/
FORGOTTEN GODS is out September 17th 2011! Check the blog for details.

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steve
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Re: Should I get an agent before submitting to a small press?

Post by steve » September 23rd, 2010, 3:13 pm

No
Read one of the best stories by Borges.

bcomet
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Re: Should I get an agent before submitting to a small press?

Post by bcomet » September 23rd, 2010, 7:44 pm

Hi mtlogan,


Best of luck! Let us know how it goes.
Last edited by bcomet on September 24th, 2010, 12:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Mira
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Re: Should I get an agent before submitting to a small press?

Post by Mira » September 24th, 2010, 12:58 am

Well, at least you're getting some clear answers here.

I have no idea, actually, but I wonder - why not do both? Look for an agent, and a small publisher? Seems like if you find either, it's a good thing. Win-win?

mtlogan
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Re: Should I get an agent before submitting to a small press?

Post by mtlogan » September 24th, 2010, 12:47 pm

sbs_mjc1,
Many thanks for referring me to the article, why you should never submit unagented to publishing companies, by Editorial Ass. I'm convinced. When I finally get ready to submit, I'll definitely first get an agent. It's said that a lawyer who represents him- or herself has a fool for a client. It looks likes the same can be said of authors.

Again, many, many, thanks,
Marianne

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TigerGray
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Re: Should I get an agent before submitting to a small press?

Post by TigerGray » September 24th, 2010, 2:08 pm

I am curious if Moonrat's advice applies to very small presses, like Candlemark and Gleam. They're only E book at the moment and their terms seem quite straightforward, whereas EdAss seems to be talking about working directly with the NY big guys.
"Who knows themselves better than the blind?' - for every thought becomes a tool." --Luis Borges

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Nathan Bransford
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Re: Should I get an agent before submitting to a small press?

Post by Nathan Bransford » September 24th, 2010, 9:16 pm

My feeling is, it depends. If your project is very niche-oriented and if you're planning to go directly to a university press or a publisher that offers very small and/or no advance, the odds that you're going to land an agent are small enough that you may not judge it worth your time to go through the whole query process. I would advise that you have someone who knows about publishing contracts take a look before you sign, but realistically agents probably aren't going to go for a "small" book (no judgment there).

However, for all the reasons Moonrat mentions in that post linked to above, when in doubt I'd try and query agents.

longknife

Re: Should I get an agent before submitting to a small press?

Post by longknife » September 25th, 2010, 4:52 pm

What if you get a publishing contract with a small or niche-oriented publisher?
And then, your book does well and other, bigger publishers show interest in it? {Like Clancey?]

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Nathan Bransford
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Re: Should I get an agent before submitting to a small press?

Post by Nathan Bransford » September 25th, 2010, 5:23 pm

lvcabbie wrote:What if you get a publishing contract with a small or niche-oriented publisher?
And then, your book does well and other, bigger publishers show interest in it? {Like Clancey?]
I think you answered your own question ;-)

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