The Dead Thing on my desk (fondly known as Ignatius) and I are back with another round of lunch hour links for writers. Please forgive my darkling, he’s not overly chatty, but that’s one of the reasons I like him.
This week, we’ll have a focus on literary agents.
We’ll start with everyone’s favorite agent, Nathan Bransford, who now has an updated web page where he has added a forum. Always available with good advice and yes, he really does read all those posts, go visit Nathan’s new digs.
Smith is correct in stating there are con-artists, who are out there ready, willing, and able to take advantage of novice writers. So how can you protect yourself? With information. Author Linda Rohrbough has an article on Con Artist Agents. It’s a must read.
So let’s say you’ve finally managed to sign on with an agent. What now? Over at the Editorial Ass, the Moon Rat has an excellent post on what you can expect from your agent.
While looking for more links on the subject of author-agent relationships, I also came across two informative posts from Jessica Faust of Bookends, LLC, which will give you some perspective from the literary agent’s point of view. In Sell Yourself, Jessica responds to an anonymous commenter who claims that all literary agents do are submit materials and negotiate contracts. The anonymous commenter argues that agents don’t have to sell themselves to authors, and Jessica tells it like it is.
In another equally important post, Jessica talks about the mutual respect that should be involved in the author-agent relationship with her post Respecting Each Other.
The publishing industry is changing at lightning speed, self-publication and vanity presses are springing up everywhere, and we haven’t begun to discuss e-books or copyright. In the midst of all this confusion, the GalleyCat posted Literary Agents, bah! Who Needs Them?, which was rebutted by Miriam Goderich of Dystel & Goderich Literary Management with her post, Who Needs an Agent? You Do.
If you want to go it alone in the wild west atmosphere of publishing, go forth armed with the facts and travel carefully, because even publishers such as Harlequin are starting vanity presses for aspiring authors. Know your definitions and understand the differences between self-publishing and vanity presses.
Based on the Harlequin/DellArte brouhaha from last week, Jennifer Jackson from the Donald Maass Literary Agency has posted these helpful links regarding the Harlequin/DellArte issue along with definitions of self-publication versus vanity presses in her letters from the query wars.
Victoria Strauss gives a very detailed analysis of the Blurred Distinctions: Vanity Publishing vs. Self-Publishing. Both Jennifer and Victoria’s posts are must reads.
Does a writer have to have an agent? No. There are publishers who accept unsolicited manuscripts. (Note: if you’re not familiar with the phrase “unsolicited manuscript(s)” it simply means that the publisher will read manuscripts that have not been solicited by a literary agent.) If you are fortunate enough to be offered a contract for your novel, go back to Linda Rohrbough’s site and read her article, A Few Key Contract Negotiating Tips for Newbies. Even if you have an agent, you’ll want to read this article.
MORE NIBBLES AND LINKS
Jane Friedman at Writers’ Digest has must-read links at the Writers’ Digest Best Tweets for Writers this week.
If you didn’t get your writing craft fix from this week’s lunch hour links, head over the sunny blue pond and visit Andy Shackcloth’s Sunday Wash-up where you can find articles and the best links that he can find on the Internet.
Meanwhile, Ignatius and I have shopping to do so have a wonderful week!