Literary Agents


#104

Yes, and no. Everyone has an opinion. Not all opinions are good ones. The skill comes in knowing which to implement and which to ignore.


#105

No longer participating, have fun guys. Words are being put in my mouth and I’m not into the whole ‘let’s turn this into something that wasn’t even intended’ thing. Though I have said over and over again that it wasn’t my intentions.

And I eat quite well with or without a book deal.

So nope. Positive vibes only over here.

Stay blessed.

And enjoy the thread. :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:


#106

There’s excellent advice being shared here. I’ve been writing for years and I’m still grateful for it. I’ve seen writers trad published for decades still admit they have lots to learn and that learning never stops.

But I guess you can lead a horse to water…


#107

Totally agree with this and you see it over and over with inexperienced writers who haven’t had much experience with the industry yet.

I queried for a couple of years and the thing I found hugely beneficial about the querying process was learning about the industry and the business side of how decisions are made. I made connections with critique partners and learned how to give and receive critical feedback. I matured to have distance from my manuscript so I could view it objectively. You learn not to have public meltdowns and trash-talk published books as those heated words thrown on the internet are there to stay and can come back to haunt you in the future. Querying gives you time to understand that rejection isn’t personal and that either the project isn’t ready for prime time (the most likely cause and I queried book 6 that I had written) or it simply wasn’t a good fit for that agent.

Learning doesn’t stop, it’s a process of continual improvement and making each book better than the previous one.


#108

So, here’s the thing that many don’t realize. No matter which route you take, the amount of marketing the author is responsible doesn’t really change. It’s a fallacy to think, “Well, I’ll go traditional so I don’t have to market.” The truth is if you get a standard advance ($5,000 - $10,000) you get next to no marketing. And even if you get a six-figure advance, the marketing you get will be very short-lived (about 6 weeks around the release date). Marketing departments are heavily overworked, and each month there is a whole new set of titles that need their attention.


#109

10 rejections is NOTHING. Few books get picked up after so few queries. The fact that HP did, shows that it was (a) a great idea (b) well-written and © a good potential for income.


#110

Saturation is not why the reason why publishers don’t market. For titles they are taking a risk on, they don’t market because they are limiting their risk. For titles they are investing heavily on, they DO market, but they are always new titles coming out each month so even a title they ARE marketing, only has a small amount of time for the marketing department to do much. Only the author is going to be 100% dedicated from the start, and they have only their titles to worry about. You have to keep in mind that 90% of the sales will be determined in the first 2 weeks on sale. It’s pre-sales that make or break a new title.

Most authors don’t have a platform before being signed. And for those that do, it MIGHT affect the advance offered, but the decision to publish or not is based on the strength of the story not the strength of the brand (except for celebrity books).

The marketing budget isn’t based on how much they love the book or luck. It is based on whether they think the title is likely to sell well. Those that have high-expectations will have high advances, and books with high advances get marketing.

Each book is treated separately. Whether future books do or do not get marketing is based on their advance, not on the length of time the author has been with the publisher.

Yes, and no. It’s still the “book” that makes the deal, but if an author also has a big following that’s a bonus to the publisher and it may make for a higher advance.


#111

The equation doesn’t change from book to book or author to author. Agents are looking for compelling, well-written books, which they feel have marketing potential. That’s universal. There may be a few (very few) that have a different process, but if you ask the vast majority of them, it’ll come down to those three things.


#112

That’s fine. I was just trying to give some context to @AWExley’s comment. I felt you to took her question in the wrong way, so I was trying to clarify.


#113

To be honest I don’t know if the % of new authors being signed has changed over the years. I’m sure there are some studies somewhere. My “gut” tells me it’s about the same as it’s always been. Now what DOES seem to be happening is that the midlist is shrinking. This can be from two sources (a) midlist authors who aren’t getting their “next book” picked up and (b) new authors who have “borderline” titles that are being passed. over.

I’m not 100% sure what your question is. Are you asking why don’t the agents use teenagers to read through the slush pile? It’s an interesting idea. But ultimately what “resonates” is a very personal (and subjective) experience and so the agent has to do their own slush reading. I guess they could pre-screen with teenagers…but they’d have to find ones that align well with their personal reading tastes.

I’ve actually been published in all kinds of ways:

  • 2 books with small presses
  • 9 books through self-publishing
  • 8 books with the big-five

I haven’t had a failure yet, so it lets me see the pros and cons of BOTH traditional and self-publishing.


#114

Jenna Moreci is self-published: 2 books

The number of reviews or each would indicate she’s had some decent sales in the past here’s some datea from goodreads:

2,382 ratings · 755 reviews · shelved 10,671 times

Those are very respectable numbers. Currently, her sales aren’t that great.

  • The Savior’s Champion: current rank: 63,111 = approx. 53 sales a month
  • Eve: The Awakening: current rank: 119,223 = approx 26 sales a month

But that’s a snapshot and you’d have to watch her sales over a long period of time to see how well they are performing now.


#115

Not trying to pop any balloons, just trying to make sure people are well informed about the publishing business. There is a lot of misinformation, speculation, and bad assumptions running around.


#116

Nothing wrong with not liking things. The point being made is when you want to be published, you may want to be careful about what opinions on PUBLISHING you make in a public space.

Now, that said, I have, and continue to, point out the pimples that exist in publishing…for instance bad contract terms…but I’m established, and my future work will be self-published. So what I say about the industry won’t affect me, financially…but for someone who is just starting out? Well, if you DO want to go traditional, you don’t want to get a reputation of saying the ones in charge often make bad decisions.


#117

It’s a good point. Especially in a business that is changing as much as this one. It’s good to keep up with what is going on in the industry, and the Industry Insider has a wealth of information from a number of authors who have a great deal of real-world experience.


#118

Very true. Most authors aren’t self-aware enough to properly judge the quality of their own work. That’s why beta readers and critique partners are so helpful. You need others to show you things that you are blind to.

Without question. I’m currently writing my 31st book (my first 13 either "weren’t good enough or had too small of a potential audience). I learn something new, and get just a little bit better with each book I write.


#119

Thanks for detailing everything that I said :slight_smile: I wasn’t being too literal or picky with my words because I didn’t know how much information they wanted.

Essentially the easiest way to put it is that publishers want something that will be a smart investment for them. (Numerous variables dictate what that is)

I have heard from a lot of authors that with marketing (specifically in fiction with fantasy/romance/paranormal) that unless the publishers think it’s marketable, they will leave it up to you to see if you can sink or swim. As in, they like the book and think it’s worth something, but sometimes they can have their marketing and budget tied up with other titles. That’s what I meant about having your own platform prior to finding an agent. If you got one, it can only help you make a sale to impress the publishing company.


#120

I’m back, I’ve gotten something to eat and I tend grow a bit irritated when a girl is hungry. My apologies, I’m also dramatic at times, so forgive me.

Let me go back and re-read some things here. And please note, I will never insult the industry as a whole. Never. That was not my intention whatsoever.


#121

True story. I’m back. Let me edit that post, spelled or’ like our’ yep, I was hungry.


#122

You’re comparing Wattpad readers to book buyers, well traditional book buyers. Honestly, I wish I could keep most of my resources at hand, but I once read an article where the two were said to be very different. Readers on Wattpad. And readers that go out to buy books, or order them online, etc.

I, myself, am a book buyer. I read only what interests me on Wattpad, but I don’t read a lot of books on here either. Only a selected few. The number of books I have at home would never compare to stories I read on here. And I’ve found some good ones on here, too.

But you are correct with one thing, most of the readers here on Wattpad want a free story. I understand that. But quite a few authors came here, including me, to share their work because, why? We are either one, looking for a fan-base. Two, having the possibility of having our books read by the ‘right person’ that can make something happen. And three, well, what else is there to do when writing is all you know?

Anyone else can add more to what I said, I don’t want to ‘put words’ in anyone’s mouth. I am going by myself, and authors I know personally.

Now, back to my point. Teens would be a good choice to go through the slush pile for a specific target audience when regarding to their age group. Why? Because they are the ones coming to the bookstores buying most of the teen books. Hell, I’ve even seen a few dipping in the adult section/

At least in my area, they are. When I walk into a bookstore, I see mostly teens. Ages range from tots to college kids.

I barely see the middle-aged or old folks. Let me rephrase that, I’m in no way separating ages here, I just don’t see much of an older crowd, like I see teens.


#123

There are a billion books in the bookstore, I pinpointed none of them. I mentioned no gender, nor genre. I said ‘some’ of the books give me a headache. Some out of a billion could be like a good seven or ten.

Hell, I could be talking about a cookbook, a history book, a math book. I would never in my life insult an author on a public forum, especially for no reason whatsoever. That’s not the person I am and I will never be that way.