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how to stand out in the slush pile

How I Found a Literary Agent – the Irene Goodman Agency

How I Found a Literary Agent Irene Goodman AgencyHere’s how I found and signed with a literary agent at the Irene Goodman Agency in NYC. I divided my experience into 12 steps that can help all writers find their own agents…

First, I gotta share a quip I found from Irene Goodman herself:

“Writing is your job, just like your postman has a job,” says Goodman. “He delivers the mail every day, rain or shine. Successful authors sit down and face that blank screen every day. You don’t actually have to do it every day, but you do have to do it on a firm schedule…If you write only when the muse strikes or when you feel like it, you will have a very hard time finishing a book.”

These are unverified words – I found them on the internet – but boy do I love them! At a writer’s conference recently, bestselling author Bob Mayer said something similar: he can’t afford writer’s block. He has bills to pay and a family to feed…no time to wait around for the voice of the muse.

Regarding agents: check out the Guide To Literary Agents if you’re seeking representation, and read on to learn how I found Special Agent Jon Sternfeld of the Irene Goodman Literary Agency….Read More »How I Found a Literary Agent – the Irene Goodman Agency

Do Writers Need Literary Agents? Tips From a Bestselling Author

Yes, writers need literary agents (in most cases). These tips are from bestselling author Maeve Binchy, who says writers can’t get published without agents. But, happily, there is an opposing viewpoint! At the end of this article is a link to a another bestselling author’s perspective — Lionel Shriver, who landed a publishing contract without an agent (her own agent didn’t think her manuscript would sell).

Having an agent isn’t all moonlight and roses…

“In an agent-author relationship there’s plenty of room for a minefield of misunderstanding,” she writes in The Maeve Binchy Writers’ Club. “The agent thinks the author should be speedy in the writing and the rewriting, yet endlessly patient regarding waiting for responses and results. The author thinks the agent who is, after all, getting money for old rope, like 10% of everything here and 15% of transatlantic deals, should be back in 20 minutes with news that the Hungarian rights have been sold for a fortune.”

Despite the potential for a rocky agent-writer relationship, Binchy argues strongly in favor of agents — and even says that successful writers can’t live without literary agents. If you’re looking for representation, check out Chuck Sambuchino’s Guide to Literary Agents.

And, read on for Binchy’s reasons writers need literary agents… Read More »Do Writers Need Literary Agents? Tips From a Bestselling Author