Monday, June 18, 2007

Who's Representing Who

This recently showed up in Jacky’s inbox:

Subject: Agents for John Grisham and/or Dan Brown

Could you direct me in the right direction for these two pieces of information. If you know, I will send you $50 for the agents of the two names.


Since a quick Google search can get you this information, maybe I should take my $50 and run.

Truthfully, though, this is a question a lot of authors ask. How do you find out the name of someone’s agent? If your work is similar in vein to someone else’s, does it make sense to submit to that person’s agent?

Besides a quick Google search, I of course always recommend you read the acknowledgment section of an author’s books. Often she will list her agent’s name at some point or another. For those of you who have been down that road, do you have any suggestions of your own for the best way to search for agents?

As for whether or not you should submit to an agent who represents similar work, it really depends on how close the book is. For example, don’t send me another cozy mystery with a knitting, crocheting, collecting, supper club, rubberstamping, etc., hook. I’ve already got those covered. But if you have an idea that’s similar to one of those, but not the same, I’d be more than happy to take a look. Get it? I don’t want anything that’s going to directly compete with the work I already have on my list, but I’d love something to complement them.

—Jessica

10 comments:

Loreth Anne White said...

The 'Who Represents Who' search function on the Publishers Marketplace wesbite is also an excellent resource -- or even just doing a deal search in the authors' name can net you that information -- but you do need to subscribe.

LOL @ the letter :)

Linda said...

You can also just hit the Web sites for agents who take your genre--thriller, since it's Dan Brown--and look for familiar names. That's what I've done (which also tells me if the agent is a possible fit or not), and I actually do know who Dan Brown's agent is from doing that.

The Internet is your friend here. Use it literally! And make sure you check all agents out on P&E before submitting.

B.E. Sanderson said...

Send me $75 and I'll throw in the name of Michael Crichton's agent, too. I didn't realize there was money to be made offering this service. It's like those people who sit on the side of the road selling maps to the stars' homes.

Of course, having the names of those agents isn't going to get you closer to landing an agent. (Any more than having a map to Ben Affleck's home is going to get you invited to breakfast.)

--seriously though, don't send money for these things unless it's worth $50 to you to not have to do the work yourself--

B.E. Sanderson said...

Please understand that was an early morning joke from a gal on too little sleep.

Kimber An said...

This is a good topic. I've found AgentQuery to be adequate. Since each agent needs to be researched for tailoring the query, Google is still your friend. Besides finding out who their clients are, you can learn their reputations. Some writers may think I'm nuts, but I've actually wished for rejection because of this one. I've sent out queries and found out something about the agent later. I didn't want to be faced with the decision of declining my only offer of representation.

For the record, BoodEnds has an excellent reputation!

Stacie said...

Contact Subsidiary Rights at the publisher.

Reid said...

I like the concept. This person thinks simply knowing the names of two successful writers’ agents can guarantee success, and is willing to post a bounty on them to prove it. It makes me think this person has written the perfect thriller about a young lawyer on the trail of religious artifacts.

Why not just eliminate the middle man and offer a reward for Oprah’s phone number?

Isabelle Santiago said...

Well, I see where the person is coming from, thinking that the agents inquired about obviously did well for these writers. But I mean, there are a good selection of agents to choose from out there. And it really has a lot to do with your writing, whether or not you'll become the next Dan Brown, or whoever you want to be.

Did they really offer to pay 50 bucks? I'd take it. *shrugs* Haven't they ever heard of Google?

Dwight's Writing Manifesto said...

... or you can just enter the author's name in the search criteria box of agentquery.com. You stand a better-than-ninety percent chance of a match.

I've only whiffed on three authors out of maybe 40 names which I searched.

heyjudy said...

Heidi Lange at Sanford Greenberg Assoc is Brown's agent but she doesn't accept emails. I wonder why? Heck, i just wanted an stoopid signed photo of Ole Danny Boy.

Sigh.