Precious Cargo

Refreshingly Bitter And Twisted Observations On Life's Passing Parade.

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Location: Valley Village, California, United States

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Separated At Birth

I was watching writer Michael Wolff on Chris Matthew's pundit panel last weekend when it hit me. Wolff is Balok's (of the Fesarius) unacknowledged twin. See for yourself.

The Sun Will Still Rise and Set If You Don't Have an Agent

Michael Allen recently wrote about literary agents.

"But for most writers, getting an agent even to read something, let alone agree to try to sell it, is a pretty major achievement.

Arthur Klebanoff, in his book The Agent, says that agents 'typically get their clients by referral or by soliciting [previously published] authors or celebrities. It is a rare agent who finds his opportunities from the slush pile.'"

Well, I had two agents (seriatim, not repping me at the same time) and it wasn't hard to get their representation.

At least here in the US, there are dozens of agents, many directories of them, and most will read at least a query letter and then might ask for your proposal.

Getting a good agent-now there's the rub. Most agents are bottom feeders. If they're even moderately successfull, they're making lots of deals for relatively small advances since they don't have stables of star names. They're approachable.

I think Klebanoff has a vested interest in perpetuating the myth of the difficulty of getting an agent. He purchased the Scott Meredith Literary Agency a few years ago. And the Meredith agency was notorious for running a very expensive fee-based reading service. I don't know if they still do.

It's in the interest of most agents to make naive writers think getting an agent is such a big deal. Makes the agents seem special. It also keeps writers from questioning the agent's judgement.

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