The Insider's Guide to Getting an Agent

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9780898799095: The Insider's Guide to Getting an Agent

A literary agent provides advice for authors seeking representation and discusses such topics as what is expected of an agent, how to build a good working relationship, and the protocol for handling book deals

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Review:

Very little of The Insider's Guide to Getting an Agent is devoted to getting an agent. A more apt title would have been Your Agent: A User's Manual. It's common knowledge that, as author Lori Perkins states here, "The essential task of agenting is matchmaking between editors and authors." We know as well that agents spend all day on the phone (minus two hours for lunch) and all evening poring over proposals and manuscripts. But there are questions about agentdom that beg to be answered: Is an agent a salesperson, editor, legal advisor, or all of the above? What goes on during those mysterious agent-editor lunches? How can you help your agent help you? And what exactly are all those rights and options that your agent is busy negotiating for you? Perkins uses her 15 years of experience as a literary agent to answer these and other ponderables.

At bottom, though, an agent, she quotes author Robert Weinberg here as saying, should be like "a good Jewish mother.... Pushy, annoying, constantly questioning, and wanting the very best for you." And a writer, Perkins reminds us, should let her writing do the talking. "While I remember getting a query with a blood-dripping plastic axe," she cautions, "I don't remember the book." Finally, in case you think all those New York agents are just a bunch of heartless dealmakers, guess again. "There is no bigger accomplishment," says Perkins, "than seeing one of the books that I have sold in a bookstore or in the hands of someone reading it on the subway." --Jane Steinberg

From the Author:

I imagine that all of you reading this book are like me. You have always written. You've always known that some day you would write a book, and everything you've done until then has somehow been grist for the writing mill within you. This is not a how to write a book. I assume you already know how to do that. This is a how to get your book into the right hands and sell it book, so you can share your writing with all those who love to read. This is a guerilla guide to getting published, a sort of no holds-barred look at the inner workings of the publishing industry, a naked literary lunch. Once you've read this book, and taken its advice to heart, you should be well on your way to getting an agent who get you published. This book will show you beyond a reasonable doubt that without a literary agent, you will not be published well. And, without the right literary agent, you will not continue to be well-published. So finding the right literary agent for your work, career and personality is the second most important thing you can do in becoming a writer - after writing the book. I want to you get published, and to be well-published, which is why I wrote this book.

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