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Thread: For once--

  1. #1
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    For once--

    --I'm in total agreement with Wesley Dean Smith...at least about agents.

    http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/?p=7697



  2. #2
    Senior Member Lea Zalas's Avatar
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    I agree. I know there are writers who still dream of going the traditional route, but I'm not one of them.

  3. #3
    Senior Member L C's Avatar
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    I've been agented and un-agented. I have concluded that the only thing an agent does is provide access (which isn't even needed for most non-fiction work) and points out opportunities you may not have known of (but which you could have approached directly had you known).

    And the negatives outweigh that.

  4. #4
    Senior Member John Oberon's Avatar
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    I intend to self-publish.

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    I look at it this way..through self-publishing, I may not get a big advance --the amounts of which are shrinking exponentially, anyway-- but the time I spend (or waste) going the traditional route could be better spent doing it myself...in the same amount of time, I'd make about the same money as a standard advance anyway...without the stress and the BS.

    I've had three agents...only one ever managed to get a deal.

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    I totally agree with a lot of what is in that piece.

    The major one - an Agent is YOUR employee, not the other way around. Your talent earns the money and they get a cut of it for opening some doors (it's all very silly really, because yeah, it's true: you could open them yourself). So if YOU are paying THEM for their services, they work for you. And yet all the time you hear of agents dictating this or that, saying things like don't you dare send that submission to anyone else, and blah blah. You have to court THEM.

    How absurd! If they want to be hired they should turn up at the goddam interview appropriately dressed, answer YOUR questions and hope like hell that you hire them.

    Sadly, for some twisted reason, this aint so.

    It's madness I tell ya!!!

    Debbi

  7. #7
    Senior Member John Oberon's Avatar
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    If you win success as a writer first, THEN it would work as you say it should, Debbie. But then, you don't need an agent, lol.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Oberon View Post
    If you win success as a writer first, THEN it would work as you say it should, Debbie. But then, you don't need an agent, lol.
    Not necessarily.

    Since Black Wednesday, agents act more and more in the rolef as the contract employees of publishers--or rather, certain editors with whom they might have a relationship.

    Here's an example which I've heard variations of over the last few years--

    An editor casually tells the agent of a multicredentialed writer that their literary novel about a dysfunctional Jewish family would work better if the family were Lithuanian vampires.

    The agent, maddened by the possibility of a sale and a percentage, essentially ORDERS the writer to change the book to fit the editor's off-the-cuff remark or lose them as their agent.

    So the intimidated writer makes the changes, the agent takes the altered manuscript back to the publisher--only to learn that the editor who made the initial suggestion is long gone...which isn't surprising since the rate of attrition among editors is roughly the same as the life-span of Mayflies.

    That editor's replacement says the Lithuanian vampire novel would work better as a literary work about a dysfunctional Jewish family and the agent essentially ORDERS the writer to change book back--without so much as acknowledging who insisted the writer turn it into a vampire novel in the first place.

    So disabuse yourself of the misconception that the agents are working for anyone but editors...who sometimes deliberately screw with them for laughs.

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