For MA Fat Woman: Agent or Editor?

>> Tuesday, June 23, 2009


MA Fat Woman asked: I'm been shopping around trying to get an agent to represent me and my proposed MA Fat Woman book, should I continue that or try what you are doing, perhaps to find an editor? What do the cards say?

There's an element of uncertainty in every question like this. Some people are successful without the "middle-man," many people aren't. But that's true of those with an agent as well.

I don't write non-fiction and I know the markets are different. I'm also unpublished (at least with books), so I'd take anything I say with a grain of salt. I urge you to get advice with some of the folks down at Agent Query or Writing World or Writer's Digest. I'm a relative amateur.

I think there is a distinct advantage, when trying to sell an idea or a finished work, to having an agent. Publishers tend to see you as prescreened. Some editors won't even look at unagented work, so you have more options. But there are still editors out there that will look at unagented work, or so I've heard. Marketing is sadly not my strong suit.

I will ask the cards for their opinion, though. Since this is a specific question, I'm changing things a bit.

Where you are now - 0 The Fool - Don't be fooled by the name. This card is all about beginnings, naivete rather than stupidity, innocence, great potential. It's a card that talks about taking chances and making changes, starting off on an adventure. Really, a propitious card.

Best course of action - Coins VIII - Coins VIII is all about craftsmanship and skill, building your work effectively. It also clarifies with leadership and career knowledge. What this argues to me is that searching for an agent is a good course for you, not only for their expertise in marketing but to provide you with the tools you'll need to write your best book.

End Result - Wands III - trade negotiations, agreement, travel, contracts. Clearly, the cards are thinking this path is the path that is most likely to lead you to what you seek. It's a path you're already on.

Ironically it mirrors my own advice (that should be taken with a grain of salt, remember) - keep looking for an agent, use reputable information and, when you find one, you'll have your best possible chance of success.

4 comments:

  • Aron Sora
     

    I'm also unknowledgeable about this, but maybe you could publish it on the kindle yourself. If you have success, you can prove to a publishing company that your book is worth it.

  • JD at I Do Things
     

    I agree with Stephanie. Editors tend to ignore unsolicited manuscripts unless they know you or know someone who knows someone who knows you . . .etc. But take that with a grain of salt too. I've not had any luck yet getting my stuff published.

  • flit
     

    One of the things that we've talked about in class is that in some cases, given effective marketing (which authors are mostly required to do these days anyway), authors are making far more income by publishing on places like LuLu.com than they are through more traditional publishers. They keep a much larger share of the income that way.

  • MA Fat Woman
     

    Thanks for the information and the reading!

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