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Ben Gruagach
January 21st, 2005, 08:36 PM
I have a question for the authors we have here at MysticWicks.

Agented or unagented?

Do any of you have agents? Do you feel the agent makes a difference in getting your work published? Is an agent something you would advise for those just starting out in publishing New Age/ occult/ Pagan books, particularly nonfiction?

I'm in the process of looking for a publisher for my first book, a nonfiction intermediate-to-advanced book about Wicca, mysticism, and mystery religions. Since I'm new to the business of getting published, I'm wondering if bringing an agent into the process would help or not.

If anyone has advice about specific agents (recommendations or warnings about them, for instance) please email them to me directly at ben@witchgrotto.com. I realize that mol and Semele might not want the liability of having specific recommendations or warnings about particular agents in the content of the board, so it might be best to keep the actual discussion on the board generic.

Thanks!

Yasmine Galenorn
January 22nd, 2005, 05:30 PM
I have a question for the authors we have here at MysticWicks.

Agented or unagented?

Do any of you have agents? Do you feel the agent makes a difference in getting your work published? Is an agent something you would advise for those just starting out in publishing New Age/ occult/ Pagan books, particularly nonfiction?

I have an agent--I would never again want to be without one. I sold all my nonfiction without an agent and ended up getting really bad contracts. My fiction has all been sold through an agent and she said she'll handle any future nonfiction I may do.

An agent can negotiate much better terms than an author--especially a first time author--can ever hope to. HOWEVER...a good agent is not likely to be looking for someone with just 'one' book in them, so you need to have more ideas on the back burner.


I'm in the process of looking for a publisher for my first book, a nonfiction intermediate-to-advanced book about Wicca, mysticism, and mystery religions. Since I'm new to the business of getting published, I'm wondering if bringing an agent into the process would help or not.

Unfortunately, if you're looking at smaller presses, an agent may not be interested since the advance and sales are usually pretty small (not always, but usually) and a good reputable agent makes their money off commission only. However, there are agents out there who do represent New Age/etc., and they are worth a look.


If anyone has advice about specific agents (recommendations or warnings about them, for instance) please email them to me directly at ben@witchgrotto.com. I realize that mol and Semele might not want the liability of having specific recommendations or warnings about particular agents in the content of the board, so it might be best to keep the actual discussion on the board generic.

Thanks!

What I recommend is that you check out Jeff Herman's Guide to Book Publishers, Editors, and Literary Agents, and the Writer's Digest Guide to Literary Agents. Go to your library and check in the reference section for the current year's edition of those books and start reading through. Pay attention to what each agent asks for and do not assume they don't mean what they say. If they ask to see 100 pages, you send 100 pages, not 50, not 150. And so forth.

Yasmine G. :colorful:

DebLipp
January 22nd, 2005, 07:20 PM
I was unsuccessful in finding an agent for my first book, which is part of the reason I ended up going with Llewellyn, one of the few good publishers that accepts unagented submissions. I had the advantage, though, of having a lawyer in the family who reviewed my contract, so that helped a lot.

I have since found several leads for agents that I am keeping on file should I choose to leave Llewellyn. You need an agent who knows your market. Look for an agent who has already sold in your genre; in your case, Wicca/Paganism/occult.

My agent for my James Bond book has been pretty useless, at least if you judge by the results; it's still unpublished. :(

Ben Gruagach
January 22nd, 2005, 11:56 PM
Thanks for the info, Yasmine and Deb!

I'm going to be doing more research on the issue and will see how it all works out for me.

If any other authors on the board here have experience or advice regarding working with agents or working without agents to get published, I'd love to hear it! (And I'm sure this info will interest other budding authors on the board too.)

copperbeech
January 23rd, 2005, 07:31 PM
i did not find an agent for my first book that i felt had any real interest or basis in pagan/spirituality books. i did the research to have that experience and see who was out there, but it wasn't something i felt comfortable with. i have run into a lot of snags with distribution and such, now that the book is out and do not have someone acting on my behalf in that regard, but i'm not really sure how effective an agent would be in ironing things out anyway... i also found that all of the inside people say agents should only work on commission, but i found few who actually do. it was more of a retainer structure, and it was very expensive.

best to you!

Yasmine Galenorn
January 23rd, 2005, 09:37 PM
i did not find an agent for my first book that i felt had any real interest or basis in pagan/spirituality books. i did the research to have that experience and see who was out there, but it wasn't something i felt comfortable with. i have run into a lot of snags with distribution and such, now that the book is out and do not have someone acting on my behalf in that regard, but i'm not really sure how effective an agent would be in ironing things out anyway... i also found that all of the inside people say agents should only work on commission, but i found few who actually do. it was more of a retainer structure, and it was very expensive.

best to you!

The majority of legitimate agents will be listed with the AAR. You should never pay an agent up front. It's okay if they charge an annual admin fee which comes out of any checks you get--but that's different and usually is under $100. My agent charges $75 a year for admin work (phone calls, copying, etc.) but that didn't start UNTIL she sold my series.

Yasmine