12.12.2005

Nitwit of the Day...before noon yet!

How the heck do you find out who agented what? After all, I don't think I've seen the agent's name written on the copyright page, correct me if I'm wrong.


You just have to look very very hard. It's in teeny tiny letters in the upper left hand side. It says "all evidence to the contrary this book really IS the property of Dewey Cheatham and Howe Literary Agency".

See this whole blog is really just a way to lull you into thinking agents represent you. In fact, we want to own you, copyright your work and make millions so we can retire to the South of France and loll on sandy beaches toasting each other about our successes.

I mean, why settle for the acknowledgments page when you can copyright the whole damn thing if you're smart.

18 comments:

Sandra Ruttan said...

I contacted one publisher I was particularly interested in and asked them which agents they preferred working with.

They sent me a lovely letter, including the names of four agents that they deal with regularly, and thanked me for asking. That might not work with every publisher, but in that case it helped.

Incidentally, on one rejection letter I got, the editor liked the concept so much, she wrote me a personal letter and suggested three other contacts to try. Once you start querying as a baby writer, sometimes you get lucky and people point you in the right direction.

And there are other ways... but that's the only one I'm sharing for now.

Maya said...

You can subscribe to Publishers Marketplace, which permits you to search by author to see who's done negotiated deals for that author. Whether you find the author/agent's name(s) can depend on whether the author/agent/publisher submitted an entry to the PM database.

Anonymous said...

Go to your local library and find a magazine database that includes publisher's weekly. Search for the name of an author with books similar to yours. The PW entry will usually list the agent.

Laraqua said...

Thanks Sandra, that's pretty helpful. I don't mean being snarked but it's good to get an actual answer, particularly since a lot of novels don't have acknowledgements pages and I'm sure the wide majority of publishers are far too busy to deal with giving me information and no agent alive would answer a phone call about their past. Still, it's good to hear that some people aren't too busy to help.

Anonymous said...

Also, do deal searches in Publishers Marketplace. If you don't subscribe to PM, you're missing out.

Anonymous said...

She doesn't mind being snarked. LOL LOL.

I love it!

Sandra Ruttan said...

laraqua, you do have a valid point. Not all agencies even have websites, and those that do don't always list their clients. Those people I wonder about a bit, because do they not simply increase the likelihood of getting random slush?

When I do author interviews I always ask. I actually always ask their 'off the record' advice. Sometimes, they go 'on the record' - I recently did an interview with Laura Lippman and she has a lot of good things to say about getting published, and things that don't just apply to us mystery/crime writers. You can check it out for free at Spinetingler Magazine in the winter issue if you want.

Stacy said...

Is snark American for mean-tempered b*tch? And I mean that as a compliment!

Nicely done!

imp (Iva-Marie Palmer) said...

If you have the dough, I recommend joining Media Bistro's Avant Guild (www.mediabistro.com); think it's maybe $68 for two years. They offer How to Pitch an Agent profiles that lists recently sold titles and also features an interview with one or two agency employees on what they're looking for at the moment or in general. It's not insta-representation but it gets you a step closer so long as you've got talent to back up your hunting abilities. (As if we haven't heard that before....)

Jenny D said...

The internet is useful for this too: now that so many authors have blogs, they're a lot more likely to mention their agent's name if you do a search; and Amazon's "search within the book" feature will also let you run an agent's name and see where else it crops up in the acknowledgments of books you haven't read. Then you can go and take a look at those and see if it still looks like a suitable choice.

Sal said...

You can have some luck searching Agent Query with an author's name.

For example, pop /grafton/ into the search field and you'll find yourself at Molly Friedrich's profile, which includes the fact she's part of the Aaron M. Priest Literary Agency. The writeup has a list of some of her high profile clients (which is why the search for 'grafton' found her) and some of the books her clients have published. Contact information and other useful information like "This agent does not currently accept unsolicited queries"

Not all agents are listed and your author's agent might not list him/her as a client.

You can't find Laura Lippman's agent, f'rex. Still ...

Miss Snark said...

Miss Snark is listed at AgentQuery herself in fact. Not exactly as "Miss Snark" and sans reference to Killer Yapp, but present nonetheless.

Anonymous said...

Miss Snark is listed at AgentQuery herself in fact. Not exactly as "Miss Snark" and sans reference to Killer Yapp, but present nonetheless.

I gave up looking when I couldn't find an agent who represented my genre: Sci-fi/Romance for NitWit's

Miss Snark said...

You ARE going to be Nitwit of the Day if you keep mispunctuating the word NITWITS.

Anonymous said...

Ooops, don't know how I managed to make a NitWit possessive. Go figure!

Laraqua said...

Thanks everyone. You've been a lot of help. I don't mind doing legwork but everyone seemed to take it as simple fact that you do your research that I thought there might be a shortcut to it. Thanks for your time.

snarky little vegemite said...

I've heard Jennifer Enderlin at St Martin's say you can always ring up the publisher and say you're interested in the film rights (to whichever author's book) and they'll direct you right to his/her agent. I thought this was pretty funny, actually.

Anonymous said...

the cat claws come out when it comes to actually helping each other. oh, but i'm really a nice person. yeeow