Friday, April 25, 2008

No Agent? No Sweat...New Trend?


Our new friend, Dave Clapper, editor of SmokeLong Quarterly, offers us this article about Steve Almond's experience going agentless, which another commenter has disputed, saying Almond has had an agent for years, but I think he says as much in the article. But anyway, perhaps a new trend is born! Shall we all go boldly forth into the world of books without an agent? (Frankly, I've been doing it on and off for years, but, you know, this time it would be planned because I'm a winner, not a loser.)

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Do we have a choice? Apparently none of us can even name a younger top-notch agent for serious fiction along the Wylie/Urban lines, so if there's no one to even shoot for, who the heck are we supposed to hook up with? I could name names to point out examples of idiocy but I don't want to make fun of anybody specific. But needless to say, today's agents as a rule do not seem to fit the bill. Unless your book is "a modern day retelling of the Waltons ... as vampires", that is.

Are today's young editors much different? After all, they're the ones buying this crap.

Anonymous said...

What about Nathan Bransford?

Anonymous said...

"What about Nathan Bransford?"

Yeah, and Jonathan Lyons + Rachel Vater.


"a modern day retelling of the Waltons ... as vampires"

Cut to daybreak as the gothic farmhouse is in silhouette. Offscreen, a voice: "Goodnight, John Boy" -- the creaky sound of a coffin shutting for the day.

I bet someone at Folio would look at that proposal.

Dave Clapper said...

Well, whether it's a good idea or not, assuming I can get to a point where I feel I have something marketable, going agentless would be my own preference.

Anonymous said...

If you go agentless, aren't the major publishing houses pretty much closed off to you unless you have personal contacts?

I'd assume that houses that allow unsolicited submissions would be less concerned, but still concerned, about marketability (I'm thinking of the respectable presses like Soft Skull, MacAdam Cage and Akshakic, etc).

Anonymous said...

**Akashic**

Dave Clapper said...

Quite probably. For a first book, I'd probably try to go with someone like Dzanc or Rose Metal.

Anonymous said...

There are so many young and dedicated literary agents out there. Those celebrity agents we've mentioned previously didn't start their careers that way--for a time they were unknown, just beginning their professions. I've met a number of young and smart agents who are all about being advocates for their writers. Nina Collins, for instance, and someone mentioned Dorian Karchmar in the previous agent post. I have a friend who's in contact with Ayesha Pande, and she seems really dedicated to her job and her clients. People on this blog are always asking the publishing world to take a chance on unknowns, and yet, you're all clamouring for a bigshot, household name agent. Seems contradictory.

Anonymous said...

Actually, all I think we're clamoring for is a list of names of the young agents who might be the next power agents. It's different. We're looking for the people on whom we might take a chance, not the other way around! Thanks for these names, though. I"ll check them out. Do you have any others? Anyone?

Anonymous said...

B. Baker-Baughman is representing literary work with clients like Andrew Madigan...

www.bakersmark.com