Author Topic: Agent responsibilities  (Read 2438 times)

Offline Drad

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Agent responsibilities
« on: May 28, 2007, 08:50:12 PM »
My friend's agent has a tendency to keep him in the dark about the progress of his agency's process...

As a new author, should he just be totally at his agent's mercy,  or should he be able to ask for occasional updates without it implying a lack of faith in his agent's efforts?

Please advise from any and all viewpoints
« Last Edit: May 28, 2007, 08:53:58 PM by Drad »
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Offline thatollie

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Re: Agent responsibilities
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2007, 08:59:03 PM »
I don't know anything about having an agent. I would like to know what was happening if this were my situation.
Never make a decision standing up.

Nadine L

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Re: Agent responsibilities
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2007, 04:35:54 AM »
It is well within a writer's rights to politely ask for updates on: where the ms is planned to be shopped, when it is shopped, what rights are being offered, and the response.

A monthly update is not too much to expect. How else can an agent and writer work as a team?

Better yet is to set up these expectations prior to signing to be represented.

Nadine

Offline thatollie

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Re: Agent responsibilities
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2007, 11:20:18 AM »
Thanks Nadine, once again you've come through for us.
Never make a decision standing up.

Nadine L

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Re: Agent responsibilities
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2007, 04:53:24 PM »
Thanks. You ask good questions.

The contact will be more frequent when the agent and publisher's buyers (usually Editors) are talking seriously. It may feel like you're being ignored (and maybe you are), but most things are very slow moving in this industry. Not all things, but more than one would expect.

(Don't think I for a moment I was that smart with my agent in the beginning...we have parted company now.)

Nadine

Offline Drad

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Re: Agent responsibilities
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2007, 09:53:27 PM »
Thanks. You ask good questions.

The contact will be more frequent when the agent and publisher's buyers (usually Editors) are talking seriously. It may feel like you're being ignored (and maybe you are), but most things are very slow moving in this industry. Not all things, but more than one would expect.

(Don't think I for a moment I was that smart with my agent in the beginning...we have parted company now.)

Nadine

with the highlighted portion of your quote being the central focus,  would you say that a person should not step out on faith with their project unless money is no object.  what about timeliness of the subject? what say you about self-publishing if you think your project is HOT and "they" are cooling off your internal fire by unexplained delays
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Nadine L

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Re: Agent responsibilities
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2007, 11:56:34 PM »
Drad,

The general rumor on most forums (MWC is not most forums) is that anything other than traditional publishing is taking the easy way out. It isn't easier or harder than traditional publishing, it is simply different. The books on my website are POD printed (technically not, but for now let's forget the technicality that they are actually short runs).

I can say that one must knowledgeably select the best printing process for their work.
These are the choices as I see them: (no particular order importance) 1) major publishing house (there are six in the US) and their imprints (there are hundreds of them); 2) small presses and university presses; 3) POD companies; 4) self-publish; 5) print them off on your printer or go to a copy center...(only halfway kidding on this ~ it might be perfect to spiral bind a workbook for a seminar).

The nice thing about a traditional publisher is that many of the hard parts of getting a book out are either done for the author or the author is guided through that segment by pros.

I'm happy with the decision I made. But, there is a lot to learn before going indie. If you are the type of person who is willing to do the work to produce a good book, then go for it. (Totally) self-publishing is where you select the paper and everything through the process to purchasing an ISBN.

Indie is fine if you are willing to learn the details and take the time to do them; if you are willing to market; if you can define your audience ("everyone" is not your audience); if you are patient; if you are a self-starter; if you can weather the lean days...

The whole thing is complicated...it is very important to do your homework...it can be rewarding...I wouldn't do it ONLY because you are in a hurry. Money is always a factor when starting a business and that is what you do when you indie produce a book. But, if you are careful, it doesn't have to be ridiculously expensive. Selling indie fiction is usually more difficult than selling indie nonfiction.

Hope this helps...I know this is very general and may not have answered your question.

Nadine
« Last Edit: May 30, 2007, 12:34:14 AM by Nadine L »

Nadine L

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Re: Agent responsibilities
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2007, 12:24:16 AM »
I haven't asked these people if I could post this info, however if you were to read through MWC posts you would learn this info anyway. I have a copy of Kip, June, and Phil's books, so I know they really did produce a book...if you were wondering.

Kip (Kipton) has self-published a children's book in the US.
June (Talisman) has POD'd a nonfiction book in the UK.
Phil Harris (Philip Harris) has POD'd several books and eBooks in the US (fiction and quasi nonfiction)
and me (Nadine L), of course, fiction US.

You might look up their profiles (MWC name in parenthesis), go to the bottom of the page and read through their posts to get a feel for their thoughts on the routes they took.

I'm sure there are others here who have a lot of similar or additional info. Please add your names to the list.

Nadine
« Last Edit: May 30, 2007, 12:29:22 AM by Nadine L »

Offline Drad

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Re: Agent responsibilities
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2007, 10:54:26 PM »
please forgive me for my ignorance... what does POD mean?
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Nadine L

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Re: Agent responsibilities
« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2007, 11:12:58 PM »
POD is the acronym for print-on-demand, which is the name used for the technology that allows one book (or many) to be printed at a time, in a few minutes.

The term has been generalized to refer to companies who will set up your book, for a fee, within their system to generate the book through the use of POD technology.

Due to patents and other such things, POD is used more commonly as industry slang by writers, than it is used by the companies I mentioned above.

Good question, Drad.

Nadine

Offline Drad

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Re: Agent responsibilities
« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2007, 11:20:37 PM »
Thanks once again for your help Nadine,...

I apologize for waiting so long to ask this question, I thought I would be able to figure it out... I was wrong.   

I feel educated now.

Thanks
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Nadine L

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Re: Agent responsibilities
« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2007, 02:03:17 AM »
Drad,

You are so funny. Just ask away. There are no dumb questions at MWC. Trust me, I have tested that boundary a couple of times myself.

We are all in this together and help each other where we can. Also, this is a good way to pick up the industry lingo (or make up some new stuff!).

Cheers!

Nadine