Monday, July 21, 2008

Going Commando

I'm back from an extended stay in Catatonic, a little known resort in the Catskills.
I'm less crabby for sure, and there are a bunch of people going to a writing conference this coming weekend who are going to be damn happy to hear that.

I'm offering a class there titled Going Commando: Working Without A Literary Agent.

It seems counter-intuitive I know, but frankly there are a lot of people out there who are published sans agent, and as the number of e-book publishers grows, so will the number of unagented authors.

I have my syllabus, but I thought I'd avail myself of your advice is you have any. If you've been published without an agent, I'd be glad to hear from you: what you learned, what you wished you'd known, mistakes you made and how you fixed (or didn't!) them.

Drop me a line at janet @

And thanks for not remodeling the blog or covering it with graffiti while I was gone.

Who did this?!?!


Julie Weathers said...

Don't look at me. I didn't do it.

However, I was concerned about you and sent you a gift.

Did you get my graffiti guy?

Eric said...

No agent?

Think of all the fun I'd miss out on.

And the big paydays. The next check I'm expecting will be worth around 27,455,996.97 Indonesian Rupiah at today's exchange rate. And I can enjoy Janet's sage advice, hard work and entertaining companionship for a mere 4,118,399.5455 Rupiah of that.

Mags said...

You were missed!

Eric's math is awesome. I don't want to know what a Rupiah comes to in USD, it's more exciting looking at all the commas before the decimal.

He carried your 15% out to the fourth decimal place!

Welcome back.

Maria said...

I think this is a superb topic!!! I know I'd make a beeline for it. For one, not all authors CAN get an agent before they sell a book. For two, we're always wondering what an agent does--what snags does she handle? What are the things that crop up that need attending?

I think it's a great way to really impress an audience with your experience--as well as act as a teaching tool! Bravo!!!

Do post and let us know how it goes!!!

Robin said...

I'm not sure this counts, because I have an agent - Liz Trupin Pulli at Jet Literary - but I wrote a humerous child psychiatry book called Shrink Rap - An Irreverent Take on Child Psychiatry. Liz shopped it out to tons of publishers who had no idea how to market such a weird entity. She advised me to self publish, and I went with Authorhouse.
I'm doing readings, signings, and promoting it myself. I have a publicity agent who got me an article in the Phila. Jewish Exponent, and a news video on decreasing the stigma of child psychiatry.
Promoting the book myself is a lot of work, but I think I'd have to do it anyway, because I've "created my own genre". The book is doing pretty well, and I'm having fun. Luckily, I haven't quit my day job. I think the secret is not putting your ego on the line, and enjoying the process. Everytime a parent tells me they loved the book, it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.
Who knows? This sucker could really catch on one day! Mwahahaha!

Pepper Smith said...

Okay, let me get my thoughts together on this. I'll probably send you an email tomorrow. (Hopefully that's in time to be useful to you.) Three books sans agent. Some things I wished I'd known to ask beforehand.

Interesting topic. I hope you'll tell us how the class goes.

kitty said...

Mark Terry said, If publishers have a significant investment in a book (read: big advance) then yes, they will do everything they can to earn back that advance. If they have little or nothing invested in a book--which is most of them--then they do little or nothing except cross their fingers.

This is the best argument for having an agent.


Creative Clusterer said...

I should probably know this, but what writer's conference?

Pepper Smith said...

Okey doke. Sent it. Who knows which file it will end up in, though.

Carla said...

I've had over thirty romantic suspense novels published without an agent. In the catagory romance genre, agents can't get writers much more than what is already in the standard contract, or so I've been told by several agents, themselves. Now that I'm writing something else, I've definitely gotten an agent, but it's obviously possible to make a living writing without an agent, if you write catagory.