Tuesday, December 9, 2008

No Thanks, But Buy My Book

I found another literary agent capitalizing on writerly desperation with products  aimed at helping you get published.  Maybe I'm too cynical; maybe his books are genuinely meant to be helpful. I wonder if this guy also promotes his book with every rejection.  I think it's a bad trend. What about you guys?

1 comment:

John said...

It's generally considered unethical for an agent to promote editing or similar services along with agenting, or to bait-and-switch with rejections. However, Preditors & Editors simply lists this one as "Whalin Literary Agency, LLC: A literary agency located in Scottsdale, AZ" without the usual "Not Recommended" you would see if it were pushing services. It might be worth contacting P&E about this. It's possible that pitching a book on how to write is somehow kosher, but selling editing services is not.

My sense of things is that for most aspiring writers, agents are an unnecessary complication and should probably be avoided. Think of all the agents that now run "how to write a query letter" blogs and sites, which strike me as on odd use of the agent's limited time and maybe not a good use of the aspiring writer's time -- why not polish your short story instead of writing a query letter over and over just the way Agent Bob says he wants to see it?

We're talking in some ways about the ineffective narrative on how to have a writing career: first win a prize; that gets you an agent; then all your problems are over. Right.