Thursday, October 23, 2008

Big fish in a small pond???

You are searching for an agent, but which one do you choose?

The question is surprisingly fairly easy. It goes back to the old question of...

Do you want to be a big fish in a small pond or a small fish in a big pond?

I think a lot of writers go out shooting for the moon. They think if they dive in with an agency that is huge and has the big power players, they will make more money. In some cases, they may. Those agents have established connections due to their experience. But here is the thing. Those big agencies are spending a lot of their time with those huge writers. This means that if you are a beginning writer, the time you get for you will (or I should say may) be limiting.

On the other hand, if you work with a smaller agency, the attention you get may be greater since the numbers are smaller.

Now, is there a right answer? Nope, it is still a matter of your personal preference. It is also a matter of how good your writing is. If the writing is just middle of the road, then frankly, the odds of you ending up at those bigger houses may be slim. Frankly, they just don't need another middle of the road writer.

Just think and choose correctly.



  1. I like your analogy. I'm not sure I care, as long as the agency sells my stuff.
    But it is interesting to think of and I think I'd definitely go with a smaller agency.

  2. I think the answer to that lies solely in what the writer plans for his/her career.
    Looking for instant fame and fortune? Get a grip. Kind of like the kid that plans to be a professional sports star. What are the odds? 1 in a boat load!

    But for those of us who want a steady career in writing, it really won't matter which, as long as you're able to find the one that is realy and truly excited about your projects.

    If I find the agent who likes my work - who finds it exciting and fresh - then I'm in the right place. They'll work with me to attain those goals - big or little.

  3. Yep. Check the sad story of Sam Barone. Says he got a 200,000 advance, dream come true, for his book, " Dawn of Empire," and then the book was just "thrown out there. with no support or publicity," and did not really take off. Still, he got the money, and it gave him a way to wrote the 3nd book.
    No way to know the truth of this, but I did think that it was absolutely standard procedure to throw new books at the wall and see who sticks-yes? It is the.same for everyone in the arts, too, toss 'em out and see who catches on, or not. I would not mind having had his chance, but can understand he is still disappointed. How can self-publishing leave one worse off?