OK, I may be painting a target on my ass, but here goes...

Every agent's blog or website or article that I come across seems to be geared toward knocking the wind out of a writer's sails. I find myself thinking dark thoughts about agents, and am interested in hearing peoples' experiences with them.


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You are a remarkable resource, Karen. We're very glad to have you.
Thanks, I.J. - I was about to pull the above post - it sounds kind of boastful, don't you think? - but I appreciate your taking it in the spirit in which it was intended. I just wanted to establish that my circumstances have put me in a position to have learned a few things about agents beyond my own personal experience, that's all.
No, don't pull it. We have lots of folks looking in who need information and some pointers.
+1. There's a difference between being self-aggrandizing and sharing valuable info. You do the latter.
Not boastful at all Karen. As one of the ever-hopefull horde of scribes, I'm sincerely grateful for any and all information. Thank you.
Thanks so much for all this information. The past agents I have had have all been a mystery to me. Both were very highly respected and both buggered off when they fell into selling movie rights to their books. 6 months passed and I was without an agent and well onto another book and then had little interest in searching out a NEW agent. Now this is not the case. With the books I am writing, the first one has to come out first.So my energies will certainly be focused on getting an agent. Does Publishers' Marketplace list non-US agents as well?
minerva, i know exactly what you're talking about. i've been appalled by some of the online behavior. when i split with my agent of twenty years and started looking around... wow. i was ready to self publish in order to avoid working with an agent. but i did find a WONDERFUL, WONDERFUL agent who is perfect for me, and I've come to the conclusion that the snarky agents are not that many in number. they just have a large internet presence. ridiculing struggling, unpublished writers on public forums is unprofessional. can you imagine if we were to talk about agents the way some of them talk about writers?
Public on-line disrespect to anyone is unacceptable. I've encountered a few very condescending blogs by agents. I don't encourage them with my presence, just move on asap. I've also encountered some highly-informative and useful agent-blogs. Twitter is a great place to discover the good, the bad and the just plain ugly. I always support the 'good' ones by reading, trying to learn from them, and publicly thanking them.

There's disrespect everywhere, even, egads, on- line. Focus on the good, let the others sink themselves with their attitudes.
Most novels tend to be about 70,000 words.
The Great Gatsby is more like 50,000 words, and that is on the short side. 40,000 words is way on the short side.
Most publisher won't look at anything less than 80,000 words these days. Because with books being as expensive as they are, they want buyers to look like they're getting some meat for their money.

40,000 words is way too short for most publishers.

As for the importance of agents, I don't think my novel would be going through the hassles it's been going through for so long if I had an agent willing to fight for their 15%.
This applies to all 3 of the previous posts. The industry standard minimum full length book is 65,000 words which at 250 words/page = 200 pages.

If you want to write shorter long works then there's a bunch of stuff on e like that.


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