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Thread: Your Questions

  1. #1
    a "real" agent in New York

    Your Questions

    I work at a highly reputable agency in New York who handle about 60% non-fiction and 40% fiction. I am more than willing to give real answers on any publishing topic. I am willing to do this not because I'm desperate for clients, but because I am human and I know how tough a process it is to get published.

    So fire away....I will check back once a week. "R"A

  2. #2
    Anne Whitfield

    Re: Your Questions

    Ok, "real" agent, can you help us all by telling us what really goes on behind closed doors in an agents office? Some insight would help us novices a great deal.
    Tell us things like;
    what captures your attention?
    what are the things an agent looks for?
    what are the things that agents reject straight out?
    The list is endless, but that's a start!
    Thanks Anne.
    By the way, I write Historical fiction, want to look?
    ( I thought I would get in first before anyone else did! )Ha-Ha!)

  3. #3
    Jenny Hilton

    Re: Anne

    Good start Anne!

    Did ASA get back to ya yet? We got some snow last night! I even start writing about it. First time I've ever seen it!


  4. #4
    Mary M.

    Re: Mr. Real Agent

    Thanks for offering your services, but can we establish your credibility, please? How long has your agency been in business, how many titles has it published in the past two years, how long have you been with the agency, and what is your literary background. Also, do agents really do more business over lunch than in their offices?! Again, thanks for posting here.

  5. #5
    Mary M.

    Re: Ms. Real Agent

    Pardon the gender error if so ...

  6. #6
    J. Casey

    Re: Ms. Real Agent

    Hi R A.

    When a query comes in, does a reader read them first?
    Or do they go straight to the agent?
    After an agent dediceds they like a manuscript, does the owner of the agency and other's decide if the agency should sell it, or is this the sole decision of the agent.

    When an email querry is made to the owner of a large agency, is the owner responding or are people in the office trained to act in the owners behalf?

    Thank you for coming on the board and for your time.


  7. #7
    Mitch Redden

    Re: Ms. Real Agent

    Like the others who have posted regarding this, I'd be very interested in getting information about agents direct from the source but I agree with Mary that you need to establish your bona-fides first. I woudn't want to converse with you and then discover that you're having a grand joke on all of us. We all are working too hard at writing and trying to get published to be played with. You wouldn't be Don Ray up to your old mischief again would you?

  8. #8
    William Haynes

    Re: Ms. Real Agent


    No thanks, I'll continue to use my imaginary one.


  9. #9
    a "real" Agent in New York

    Re: Ms. Real Agent

    I have been an agent for seven years at an independent agency in New York. Our agency has been in business for three and a half years. Prior to starting the agency, my partner was a VP at one of the big agencies and I was at another independent. I studied writing for five years in school before getting into publishing. Though having abandoned my own misguided ambitions to write, I am still sympathetic to the plight.

    We are an AAR member agency, my partner has been on the Board of Directors. We charge no fees of any sort. We represent National Book Award winners, Pulitzer Prize winners, PEN/FAulkner finalists, and so on.

    I am out of the office for four weeks (August is dreary in New York) and have some time on my hands. I've always wanted to do something like this and throw the curtain back on the process.

    I don't want to use my name because I want to be able to be frank and honest and if there are questions about colleagues- agents or editors- I have to protect my relationships and could be as helpful if I had my name out there.

    I am also not here looking for authors, but an not opposed to it either, but I take on very few new people at this point and don't handle anything category. Literary fiction and a variety of non-fiction.

    I understand your suspicions: why would I want to do this, what am I trying to get out of it. I promise I'm just trying to be nice.


  10. #10
    A Real Agent in New York

    Re: Ms. Real Agent

    I do more business in the office than at lunch. Lunch is important in terms of building relationships- and in supporting Manhattan's gym industry!- but it's not that often that you do a deal over lunch. Most editors and agents are uncomfortable negotiating in person because you don't have the "my author said no way- he needs more money to write the book" or the "let me talk this over with my client" out to buy time, and to call other editors to take their temperatures before talking to one person.

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