New Agents

In your opinion, is it often a better fit for an unknown novelist to sign with a newbie agent at an established agency or with a veteran agent.

I've been signed with a veteran before. My novel didn't sell and I got lost in the shuffle of her more lucrative clients.

But how does a newbie agent at an established agency send mss to editors? Do they even know editors?

Yes, they know editors. And if they work in an established agency they have access to the collective brain of the people who work there. And they have the name of the agency to open the door.

"Hi this is Newbie Doobie-Do at ICM" is a phone call that gets answered.

I think you should sign with an agent who loves your work, and has red hot enthusiasm for it and a couple of good ideas on where to send it and can hardly wait to get started. Age and experience are helpful but there's not a lot that beats excitement and willingness to work.


Anonymous said...

Thanks...I didn't send that question, but it's pertinent right now as a new agent at an established agency is beginning to take interest in my writing...I've been wondering this very thing, and it's good to hear that if she does take me on (miracle of miracles) that I needn't worry about her newness...gotta say, Miss Snark, you make my day almost every day -- thanks!

Anonymous said...

That's great to hear from an established agent, too. It reinforces what others have told me as well, including a fairly well know published author. Basically she said an agent who is enthusiastic about your work trumps just about everything (assuming she is competent).

Anonymous said...

A new agent at an established agency didn't just answer an ad in the paper after realizing a career in astrophysics wasn't what they expected. They were acquisitions editors, agent assistants, first-readers, managed subrights or publicity for a publisher, etc. In addition to the tools that Miss Snark mentioned, they also come with a Rolodex, though it may be smaller than their more established peers.

Anonymous said...

" Nothing great is ever achieved without enthusiasm." Thoreau? or maybe Emerson.

Anonymous said...

I submitted the question and agree with reprehn that MS's answer is very helpful.

The universal word appears to be that enthusiasm is key. That's the answer I got from my writer's group but it's good to hear from the agent's side of the board.

Linda said...

It's important to note that the new agent the person asked about is with an established agency. For a different take on new agents, head over to the Writer's Beware blog and read Victoria's post about clueless new agents. The blog is at http://accrispin.blogspot.com/


Anonymous said...

On top of that, newbie agents are likely to have less people to represent, resulting in more time to spend on representing you.

Veterans often have a lot of clients, and there's only so much time such an agent can spend on each individual client.