978-0-89879-909-5 / 9780898799095

The Insider's Guide to Getting an Agent


Publisher:Writer's Digest Books



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About the book:

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

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