Monday, November 9, 2009

To Agent or Not... To!!!

Almost every author I know is in some sort of relationship with an agent. They either have one, want one, or are looking to change in the old for the new.

Why?

True story. Think back to the 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz. Not hard to picture the cast having agents. Well, guess what. Even the dog had an agent. Toto earned $125.00 per week. The Munchkins, on the other hand, earned $50.00 a week.

The difference: Toto had a better agent.

So, back to my original question. Which comes first? The sale or the agent?

I think at one time, maybe a decade ago, when I was new to the fiction writing trade, you'd get a 50/50 response. I don't think that's true anymore. I think, now, with traditional press, it's more 90/10. I can only think of one prepublished author I know who's still sending faithfully without thinking agent. Everyone else I know wants an agent.

Last month, at my RWA meeting, an agent came to speak. We had a full meeting and the whole atmosphere was very "When E.F. Hutton speaks, everybody listens," only, of course, we had the agent. (Side note, in real life E.F. should have been listening to himself because talk about a collapse of a brokerage firm). I have an agent and I was hanging on to her words. I wanted to know what was hot, what was not, how many queries, the process, what works, what doesn't. And, of course, the topic no one is really willing to talk about: money.
I was going to list my three top reasons for having an agent, but the Toto and Munchkin story says it all.Here's a picture of me and my agent Steve Laube just a few minutes after he won Agent of the Year at the American Christian Fiction Writers' conference.

7 comments:

Debby Giusti said...

Pam,
When Steve Laube speaks, I always listen. Lucky you to have him as your agent!!!

Congrats again on the BOTY!!! Such a great picture of such a special night!

PamelaTracy said...

Isn't it amazing that Toto made more than the Munchkins! I almost fell off my chair when I read that. And, yes, I pinch myself often that Steve is my agent.

Project Journal said...

WOW! That's crazy about The Wizard of Oz! Actually...it's kind of sad : ( It almost makes you wonder if it was strictly having a better agent that allowed the dog to get better pay than "the munchkins" : (

Anyway(on a much happier note!)...woohoo! Congrats again on your accomplishments! I have no idea who your agent is, but he MUST be great! Keep up the good work, Pamela! I haven't read any of your books yet, so when do you have a new release? Can't wait to try it!!!
Hannah

PamelaTracy said...

Hannah,
I owe you books. Give me four titles. I'll send them to you.

~PakKaramu~ said...

Visiting your blog

Edna said...

Hope you had a good meeting with your agent, you sure write some good books.


mamat2730(at)charter(dot)net

PamelaTracy said...

Edna,
Thank you so much. You made my day!

Pak,
Glad you stopped by.