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Marketing Tactics > Looking for an agent

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message 1: by Michael (new)

Michael Bronte | 1 comments I have written eight novels, all self published. Does anyone have any hints on how to find an agent or a legitimate publicist?

message 2: by Scott (new)

Scott Prill | 13 comments I would appreciate anyone's else's ideas as well. It seems publishing houses won't look at you unless there is a referral from an agent and an agent won't look at you without a referral from a publishing house. A true Catch- 22.

message 3: by Kaylee (new)

Kaylee Dolat | 91 comments I haven't been to one, but I've heard that Literary Conferences are the best way to get agents. You can enter contests, have sit downs, attend classes for what agents are looking for...pretty much the whole shebang.

message 4: by R.J. (new)

R.J. Gilbert (rjagilbert) | 34 comments I'm using to track my submissions. It is a database of agents who are currently accepting. So far I've had a few requests for manuscripts, but nothing long-term successful.

I'll try to post an update if anything comes of it.

message 5: by L.V. (new)

L.V. Werneck | 1 comments I am very new to the writing business. Never thought there'd be agents for this sort of thing. Is this someone who does the marketing for you? Because if so, that is a dream come true.

message 6: by Tomas, Wandering dreamer (new)

Tomas Grizzly | 658 comments Mod
L. wrote: "I am very new to the writing business. Never thought there'd be agents for this sort of thing. Is this someone who does the marketing for you? Because if so, that is a dream come true."

Not really, they are pretty much a middle-man between an author and a publisher. If you got a traditional publishing deal, then the publisher would do some marketing but, these days, a lot of it is still on the author (especially social media).

message 7: by Eileen (new)

Eileen Iciek | 114 comments I agree with Kaylee - literary conferences are where I've pitched to agents. I write historical fiction that takes place in an era that is not popular right now, so I haven't gotten great responses. Some will ask for a submission, but most don't. Even when I've sent in a sample, the response is "thanks, but no thanks".

The publishing industry is in turmoil (IMHO) so they aren't going to take a chance of something that won't make them a lot of money. If you want a traditional publishing contract, you have to write whatever the market is looking for.

Sometimes, the worst thing that you can do is actually get a contract. The editor who bought your book can quit, or your book does badly, or at least not great, and the subsequent books in your contract don't get the marketing support they need for success. Your contract ends and they say "bye-bye!".

Sorry if I sound cynical, but I am. Still, I do recommend attending literary conferences to meet and pitch to agents if that's the route you want. They are your best bet.

message 8: by B.A. (new)

B.A. A. Mealer | 809 comments As Eileen wrote, if you aren't writing to market, forget traditional publishing unless you have a really, really, really great book and the agent looks at it and says're in, even then you will still have to do most of the marketing, and that isn't just on social media. You will have to take that money they give you to buy ads on the various platforms and book stores, you will need that mailing list of at least 5,000, etc. Part of a publishing house taking you can giving you an advance is because you have everything there and they don't have to do much. You'll need to create the buzz, not them. So...with that said, you need to suck it up and learn marketing. by the time you're done, you can earn more self-publishing because that publishing house won't keep you around unless you sell over 5,000 books...oh and they keep the rights to your book for 7-10 years or longer, so you can forget about them if you leave them unless they are real nice and give you back your rights.

message 9: by Tomas, Wandering dreamer (new)

Tomas Grizzly | 658 comments Mod
My very biased personal opinion is that the insistence of traditional publishers to push print books over e-books is a part of the reason marketing is shuffled to the author - print has ~50% of the price in production cost (printing itself, transport, storage) while self-published print-on-demand cuts storage from the equation and e-books take ALL of that out of the equation.

Despite the fact e-books (due to the absence of production costs) have the biggest percentage of profit, there are far too many people involved in the business resisting the e-book evolution and stubbornly insisting on DRM (which does nothing at all) and then funneling customers to Amazon which has exclusive rights on kindle DRM (but not kindle e-book format so the publishers could sell Kindle e-books themselves if they did not insist on DRM).

The cost of a paperback and the preference of this format then means the publishers need to be very picky because if a book fails, there's a lot of money going to waste because you just can't un-print a book. E-book, on the other hand, just sits on a server and can do so forever with a minimal cost (because the file size is minimal)

So, with the cost of producing a paperback being pretty much fixed, the simple way to cut costs is to shuffle some of it to the author and the easiest way is to let the author do the marketing (especially social networks) because that's something that takes both time and money. Again, my personal biased opinion: I think this is shooting yourself in the foot because this move means losing one of the very few advantages the traditional route historically had. If you need to do the selling of books yourself, then why would one go for a traditional deal (which gives the author ~10% royalties) when self-publishing gives you much more and you need to do the marketing either way...
And, with self-publishing, you have much more freedom in approach and creativity.

message 10: by Eileen (new)

Eileen Iciek | 114 comments B.A. and Tomas are 100% correct.

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