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The Agent who gives guidelines versus the undisclosed agent

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#1 Rimbaud


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Posted 07 March 2018 - 11:55 PM

First, I hope I don't offend anyone.  I am a bit bumbed out because I keep hearing contradictory things.  But PLEASE don't try to soothe these ratttled nerves or mock me for getting bent out of shape. If you can answer my questions with ACCURACY and PRECISION I will want

to do great favors for you.


Initially, I was very hung up on the form and process of getting an agent, eg.  Do I send a query letter or a book proposal and different people were saying different things (perhaps they were using language differently).  


Then I had an epiphany:  Hell, why don't I go to the Agent's web site and see what he wants one

 to submit.  (Please don't tell me that you are supposed to convince them that your book will sell widely.  I have heard that incessantly; I am concerned about formal issues) The agents'web sites

will probably have guidelines telling me  if I should

send a query or a proposal and if I should enclose sample chapter(s), etc.


But then I had another thought;  Maybe the best agents don't advertise their existence and hence don't inform us of what they want or don't want in a query. (or proposal)


Question:  Should I, in large measure, simply follow the agents' guidelines re the submission of proposals or queries. 


Question:  Should I try to search for elusive agents that don't advertise their existence and hence don't promulgate their guidelines.


#2 Springfield


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Posted 08 March 2018 - 12:01 AM

Always follow submission guidelines to the letter.


There are no elusive agents who don't advertise their existence. If they don't have guidelines posted, they are likely not open to queries. 

#3 smithgirl



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Posted 08 March 2018 - 04:26 PM

I'm not aware of agents who don't advertise their existence. There are some more elusive agencies, like WME, that don't list their agents on a website (they're such a huge company). In cases like that, you have to use alternate resources, like QueryTracker or AgentQuery, and you can usually find the agents and their submission requirements. I have seen a few instances of agents (usually at super big agencies) where I honestly could not find their submission requirements. In those cases I would send a query and few opening pages. I never heard back from any of them.


There are agents who are closed to unsolicited queries, but querying them anyway will not get you anywhere.


I would focus on querying agents who are easy to find and have clear submission guidelines (that's pretty much all of them). They are more likely to be seeking new clients from queries. There is no reason to focus on the supposedly elusive agents. There are many many great agents with very clear websites and submission guidelines. 

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