The Problem with Agents

I am a writer…there I said it. I am a writer. Perhaps you are too. There are many people I have read or heard speak that believe everyone has a story. Therefore everyone should write, in my opinion at least. I self-published my first children’s book in 2014. So, I am not only a writer, but I am an author. The difference is that writers are not authors until their writing is finished and published. 

The world of self-publishing is daunting. The people who tell you anyone can get published are correct. What they fail to tell people is that just anyone can’t do it correctly. In fact, I have learned a lot in my brief experience. However, I haven’t learned everything I need to learn yet. So I will continue to make mistakes.

 

 

I believe that agents are the best possible solution to getting published correctly. There are some exceptions, but overall, agents are the best bet.

 

However, I want to share a lesson with you about agents. I have engaged the long, tedious task of finding an agent that would work with me. When I find one through an online search I will visit their website. Upon investigation I find out that they don’t want children’s books. That is okay, I can understand that. The book market is saturated with books for children. So I end up frustrated and forget about getting an agent.

 

 

I am not opposed to getting an agent. It would be better for my writing if I did. The problem is finding an agent that makes sense. Searching for an agent requires knowing what they want. Many times what they want is a mystery.

 

Following are examples of what select agents are looking for: timely plots inspired by the headlines, effortless magical realism, unreliable narrators, intriguing female voices and characters, strong hooks and modern themes, fiction that is impossible to put down, strong narrative voice and a protagonist with whom[this agent] (and others) can connect.

 

Perhaps it is because I’m an accountant by education and profession, maybe it’s because I’m a new writer, but what in the world does it mean to be an unreliable narrator? What makes someone’s voice and characters “intriguing”? How can anything magical be real, much less “effortless magical realism”?

 

Can agents not be more specific about what they want?

 

Some are specific. The ones who are will list the genres they want, as well as the ones they don’t want. I like those type of agents. I can clearly see what they want. If I need a Master’s in Creative Writing to understand the type of work an agent wants, then forget it.

 

I am a writer. I want to write. I am an author. I want to publish more. I want to earn an income from my writing. I would like an agent. I want an agent who makes sense. Until I can find an agent who makes sense in what they want, and who aligns with what I write, I will continue to write and self-publish my works.

 

If you have answers to my questions above please leave me an answer below. If you’re an agent who may want to work with me, feel free to leave a comment below, or contact me


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