Thursday, February 16, 2017

Bigger Isn't Always Better

Along with working as an agent, I help out with Writer's Digest and their 2nd Draft Editing service. This is a chance to help out writers drafting query letters, or putting together their synopsis. I recently read a query where the author was targeting an agent at a pretty large agency. This particular agency has locations all around the world and handles everything from screenplays, to novels, to television shows and movies. This is BIG!

As I read this query, I was really trying to figure out why the author had chosen this agency. Was it the size of the agency and the fact that it looks as if there are connections all over the place for the story? Was it the reputation for making big deals? I don't know. Sure, on the surface, it would seem that if this author works with this agency, there are more resources available, but that does not mean this author's writing is going to have access to all of these services.

What authors need to consider is not necessarily the size of the agency, but what that agency can do for the author. Along the same lines, authors need to consider what their personal needs are as an author and whether or not the agency is going to meet those needs. Although all agencies offer many of the same services, the approach each agency takes will be different.

I think it is all about deciding if you want to be a big fish in a small pond, or a small fish in a big pond. Sure the agency is large, but if you are a new author and they have nothing but the big authors in the agency, where do you think the agents will be spending their time? With the people who make the big money. Until you get tot he point that you are showing you can earn money, you will probably not get all of that attention you want.

This is also an issue of knowing where your writing belongs. Your story does not fit with every agency out there. It also does not belong with every publisher out there. Your writing has a voice and style that will limit your market. You need to know that market and send that story to the place that fits the story the best.

As far as that author who wrote that query? I really don't know if he will get the response he wants. It would be great if he did? But, from this angle, it looks as if he may be shooting for something that is too big for his story and his writing career.

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