On Literary Agents

In this very interesting blog post by Alan Rinzler in The Book Deal, four top literary agents share their thoughts on the future of publishing and the role of literary agents in a fast-changing environment. The four, all veterans and eminently successful literary agents themselves are: Candice Fuhrman, Andrea Brown,  Andrea Hurst and Bonnie Solow. Though admittedly the role of literary agents has been less known or appreciated in India, where I work and live, I am sure in the years to come things will change dramatically here too. India had a burgeoning market and the time will soon come to distinguish better writing from just any kind of writing. Readers will become more discerning over time . There will be a premium for better writing and I won’t be surprised if literary agents will play a major role in getting you and your work noticed amongst the hundreds, if not thousands of writers.

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2 thoughts on “On Literary Agents

  1. Interesting article–yes, but what Mr. Rinzler failed to point out is that not all agents are equal. Since there are no agent licensing requirements, anyone can become an agent. Many are, if you dig deep,are college graduates who have failed at other careers and drifted into agenting. Sure, having a top proven agent is an asset, but the likelihood of securing a top agent for a new author is less than 1%. (Don’t believe me? Try it yourself.) At the end of day, it’s better not having a lack luster agent who may lock you into a worthless contract for at least a year. Unless you’re a proven star with a strong following–think self-publishing.

    1. David, thank you for your comment. There is no denying that very, very few new authors get a good literary agent. Also like many other professions, consulting for one comes to mind, there are prescribed qualifications so to say, which results in good agents and indifferent ones! Having said that, the article does point out the many advantages of having a good one.

      As a matter of fact, I have tried it myself. As a new author, I got nowhere but things seemed to have improved somewhat after the success of my debut novel.

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