Guide to Literary Agents

Rachel Vater, Editor Writer's Digest Books $23.99 (393p) ISBN 978-1-58297-146-9
Aspiring writers who aren't lucky enough to have a relative in the business should find this book enormously beneficial. There's no lack of writing how-tos out there, but this one, in its 12th edition, delivers the practical goods: in addition to detailed listings of reputable literary agents, there are guides to script agents, independent production companies and independent publicists. An agent specialties index ensures that aspiring John Grishams don't waste their time sending manuscripts to an agent who focuses on historical nonfiction. In addition to the listings, there are informative articles and interviews that offer, for instance, advice from real, live agents (e.g., don't sell yourself too hard, because it's the manuscript that counts). Other tips include how to know when you're being scammed, how to find the right agent and how to assess what fees you should be charged. Perhaps most helpful are the examples of actual query letters--for fiction and nonfiction--that either work (the ones that""tell it like it is"") or don't (the ones that read like ad copy, e.g.""Corporate espionage. Now. A field alive with ex-agents, remnants of the Cold War...A race against the clock""). This volume won't teach aspiring scribes diligence or craft, but if they've got that part down, they might want to reach for this next.
Reviewed on: 11/01/2002
Release date: 11/01/2002
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 394 pages - 978-1-58297-075-2
Paperback - 978-1-58297-113-1
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