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Mar 20, 2009

Abe Lincoln's Advice on Querying

5 comments:

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...

Amen!

Alex Moore said...

brilliant advice, and I'll take it.