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Mar 20, 2009

Abe Lincoln's Advice on Querying


SunTiger said...

Do you feel there's a big advantage to having an agent? {I've never used one -- but then I'm not writing full time; sometimes I wonder if I should do it full time instead of doing art and psychic readings, etc.} I never have trouble marketing my own articles on a PART TIME basis . . .

Kasie West said...

Abe, you are so wise. Please, I demand more advice. Which agent will accept my one? Oh, wait, you're not a fortune teller are you? Okay, sorry, carry on with your deep wisdom.

Tara Maya said...

SunTiger, I think it depends on what you're writing, to whom you are submitting and what your writing career goals are.

I once wrote and illustrated a children's picture book for my sisters. I never tried to publish it. (It was an illustrated ecumenical hagiography for children, which would have made for an amusing pitch! I can just imagine what agents would have had to say had such a query crossed their desks during #queryFAIL, lol.) In fact, I printed and bound it myself, made only two copies and gave one as a gift.

That was fine for that book.

My first two novels were sold directly to the editor of a small press that accepts unagented submissions. I sold a novella and a short story to an anthology the same way.

That was fine for those books.

However, for the long term, since I would like to take my writing from craft to career, I feel I need someone who specializes finding books their homes, and this is what an agent does. I don't have the many, many skills of an agent; if agents didn't exist, I would still want one.

It also depends on whether you are talking fiction or nonfiction. If you have a strong platform and marketing ability you might choose to not only forego an agent, but even a publisher, and sell your own ebook from your website. On the other hand, if you have a strong platform, you will be more appealing to agents, so it still might be worth looking into getting one.

Windsong said...


Alex Moore said...

brilliant advice, and I'll take it.