Monday, September 19, 2011

Giveaway - The 2012 Guide to Literary Agents

The 2012 Guide to Literary Agents is out, and I have a chapter in it! It's called "Researching Agents," and I used every bit of that advice to find my own.(It's the best chapter in the book, y'all.)


So I'm kicking the week with a book on agents. But what if you aren't sure you even want an agent? Then you need this book all the more, especially the chapter "What an Agent Does." Learn what to look for in an agent in "Accessing Credibility." Learn where to find them (and get your foot in the door) in "Avenues to an Agent." Then you get down and dirty and REALLY learn how to draft that elusive query in, what else, "Crafting a Query".

But a cool chapter is "How Not to Start Your Book," with advice from a long list of agents. They draw from what they see each day, and tell you what NOT to do. That's gold-plated advice you can get without spending a fortune for a conference.

Then there's a chapter on "Agents and Self-Publishing." Will they represent your self-pubbed book? What do they consider a "good" self-pubbed book, and what's considered a bomb? Learn whether the stigma of self-publishing applies anymore. Did you know that good sales of your book could be the soul catalyst to opening a door to some agents?"

And then there's a section on the true meaning of copyright--when and how you should protect yourself. Then subsequently in the book, learn how to pitch a screenplay.

Finally, you'll find hundreds of literary agencies to include their addresses, emails, websites, genres they represent, query suggestions, payment terms, recent success stories, and tips on how to get their attention.Didn't I say this was a bible? Well, now I have.

I'm an agent advocate. These folks carry you across the rapids when you didn't even know the river was lapping and tugging at your feet, dying to drag you under. You are learning how to write, how to publish, how to market. Why not let them hold your hand through a large part of it? A very important part of it...finding a publisher?

This is the best resource on agents. To prove it, I'm giving away a copy of 2012 Guide to Literary Agents. Just leave a comment below, telling me the craziest thing/myth/gossip you've ever heard about the world of literary agents. Don't know anything juicy? Then mention why you'd love to have this book, how you expect it to jump start your writing career, or land you a six-figure advance, or find your angel of mercy who'll take on your five-book series and sell all of them in a lump contract. Just let me know why you'd like to win. A winner will be chosen randomly. Deadline is NOON, Friday, September 23. I'll email the winner (assuming you leave an email address when you comment) and ask for his/her address.


UPDATE NOTE:
Cathy C. Hall won the drawing for the 2012 Guide to Literary Agents. Go Cathy!

53 comments:

Cheryl Barker said...

Hope, thanks so much for offering this book in a giveaway! I would love to win it since I'm working on my first book project now and haven't started pitching to agents yet. Just what I need!

(ckbarker at gmail dot com)

Kathleen Basi said...

Count me in! Online is great and I use it all the time in agent research, but there's something nice about having the whole works at your fingertips. (Yet another reason why I don't think hard copy will ever go the way of the dodo.) I'm keeping two lists, actually--one for romance, which is my first project, and one for those who don't want romance but do want women's fiction, which is where I'm headed now. Congrats on having a chapter in the book!

Nikki said...

Great giveaway! I'd like to win this book for two reasons -- one is to give it to my good friend who gets uncontrollable shakes when she even considers querying agents -- even though she's a phenomenal writer! I think she needs it broken down and in one place.
And the other is to help me put together some notes for a talk I'm supposed to do next year -- on how to land an agent! (I know, I did it, but I'm talking to a big group of writers. I don't want to just tell "my story.") Thanks!

Julia Munroe Martin said...

I just finished the first draft of a novel (women's fiction) and have a middle grade fiction I'm about to look for an agent for! So, perfect timing! I'm planning to buy it anyway, but it would be even more wonderful if I won a copy. I have a lot of questions I'm looking for answers to this week and beyond.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I would love to win this book! Publishing has changed so much in the years since I actually had an agent (we parted amicably) that this book would not only provide an excellent refresher course in finding one, but also in learning a lot of the new ways and means of publishing in general.

Congratulations on having a chapter in the book!

madelinemora-summonte (at) hotmail (dot) com

Lisa McManus Lange said...

Would love to have a copy of this book - not only to see your piece - but to help give me the extra 'umpf' to get out there and submit! Thank you always for fantastic posts! Lisa McManus Lange

Kelly-Writer Girl said...

I would love to have a copy of this book for many reasons but I think above all, I need to learn as much as I can about not only agents but what they can do for me as an author!

La Marqueza said...

Hope, I recently met a lady who has just fired her agent because as she claimed "my agent just wasn't hungry enough for my taste" That had me wondering what exactly do agents do all day? Are they hustling for their clients? Or merely sitting in their offices playing solitaire and collecting the rent money? I have many projects in mind and would love to get some advice about the world of agents. Maybe I need to find one who matches me appetite for appetite. Thanks for the oportunity to get this book.

Cathy C. Hall said...

I'm in the midst of agent-querying--I can always use a tip or two from the best chapter in the book! ;-)

Jackson Dunes said...

I once approached a big name New York City agent hoping she'd take me on. Agonizing over not just what to say but how to say it, I spent weeks perfecting my letter. I did everything all the books said writers are supposed to do when querying an agent. Then the day came.

She sent me a very nice and heartfelt rejection letter. Fortunately I didn't need to be deflated. In fact, I was relieved. Her rejection letter was badly written and FILLED with typos! I was so glad she rejected me!

I've been flying solo for a long time all the while developing my "self" and honing my skills. It's time to share with a larger audience. The reviews for my work have been uplifting; especially the Pug At The Beach book series and I now owe it to the universe to take this endeavor to a larger audience. Your book will help me to do that.

Thanks for this opportunity. It's very generous and much appreciated.

Anonymous said...

I would love a copy of the 2012 Guide to Agents. I've just completed my memoir and am in the process of looking for an agent. Sounds like the articles in the book would be of great help -- and of course, the list of agents would be great, too.

Julie said...

Wow, thanks for this opportunity, Hope! I don't know anything juicy, but I would love to have this book as I am working on my first book now, and want to learn all I can about agents and the publishing world. Congratulations on your chapter, I'm sure it's wonderful.

Hope Clark said...

Anonymous

Need a name or email, please. Thanks.

D.G. Hudson said...

I would love to win the 2012 GLA book, as they usually offer many nuggets of advice. I'd like to see your entry as well.

Good promotion, Hope.

I have no juicy tidbits, but I do have an old tip: research, research, research and that includes your agents, and your facts, and keep the 'off the top of the head' answers to a minimum.

Thanks for hosting your contest, Hope.

D.G. Hudson said...

My blog address is:

http://dghudson-rainwriting.blogspot.com/

Is that good enough for contact?
(in the event...)

Karen said...

I would love a copy because I have no "professional" experience, but I truly enjoy writing. I'm not sure how to use my writing more though.

K. Robinson said...

I used to think that there was some magical dead giveaway that would make it glaringly clear to an agent that I'm somehow an idiot and a novice, only I didn't know what it was. I was sure that they would spot the "thing" and send me straight to the trash.

--Kelly

thekellyrobinson (at) gmail.com

David Roth said...

My only Agent Story comes from the learn it the Hard Way Department.

ST Literary Agency. $249 to review my manuscript and determine the best promotion avenue. Caught in an endless if/then/what loop of non-action on their part with the only real conversations being ones I initiated. I finally had to have a lawyer write up a letter threatening legal action for false representation and fraud to break the contract and get my money back.

The lesson to be learned is Agents get their cut when THEY successfully SELL your book. You should never have to pay an agent out of pocket.

David Roth
http://obscurities2010.blogspot.com/

Word Crafter said...

Hi Hope,
Well, I'd sure love to win this book, I've been chasing agents for a while now and can't seem to find the right fit--I think this is a perfect match = ) Please include my name and thank you in advance for always good content and a chance to win the book. billie@billiewilliams.com
Billie A Williams

Marylane Wade Koch said...

Hope, I would love to win this book. We have a sharing library at our writers group and this would be a WELCOME addition for our members. Several members have recently secured agents but many need are still seeking. Thanks for offering this!

Marylane Koch
marylanekoch@gmail.com
http://www.writelifeworkshops.com/

katieleigh said...

Sounds like a great resource - I'm not yet ready to pitch to agents, but I want to learn all I can before I do. (My email address is katieleigh83 at gmail dot com.)

Karen O. said...

I'm nearly at the point where I need to find an agent. This book would be incredibly helpful to me.

Angela Thomas said...

As one who values writing resources, I would love to win this book. Winning a book with so many resources and advice on literary agents would be something to help in my publishing endeavors. The world of publishing is changing so rapidly now that self-publishing is available, and consistent information from publishing experts would help me to know the standards a writer is expected to follow.

I am currently enrolled as a MFA in Writing student at Lindenwood University with a serious intent on publishing my works through the help of an agent.

Thank you,

Angela Thomas

Anonymous said...

I would love to win this book!! I'm a freelance writer, screenwriter, ghostwriter and novelist. The more knowledge, the stronger we become as writers. Many blessings to all.

Mar Malon
MsMMalon@aol.com

Anonymous said...

Hi Hope, as someone earlier said, count me in too. After a first round of query letters with no takers, I can use some of those articles you mentioned that were in this year's edition. my email is hawkinsa2011@yahoo.com

Joni D. Brown said...

Hope,

I remember the days in the 1980’s of using the huge Writer’s Market. I never bought the Agent’s Guide as I could only afford one book. I figured I would start with small, regional magazines and build up to my book and then I would get the Agent’s Guide.

Fast forward twenty-five years and I am slowly but surely making progress in my life. I have two abusive marriages behind me, several failed careers and I am determined to make a success of my life even with several mental disorders.

Funds for Writers was one of the first sites I found when coming back to my dream of writing in 2009. I have had some success with content site writing. However, I find myself being continually drawn back to the “old days” when I used a used electronic typewriter with whiteout, a Writer’s Market and aimed for magazine articles before the internet came into being. I gave up too soon back then. When you are continually being put down emotionally and physically you have no self-esteem.

I am returning to querying for articles and eventually a first book. I am already working on the book but I also need to support myself. I believe the Agent’s Guide would be perfect for me at this time in my life. The fact that Hope Clark has a message in the new book is icing on the cake.

Please put my name in the hat.

brown dot joni @ g mail dot com

Joni

Kathleen Ewing said...

I always said I would write a novel when pigs fly. Now I have these characters from my novel chattering at me incessantly about what they want to do. A top-notch book on agents would give me the shove I need to get those pigs airborne.

Janet, said...

this is perfect timing! I would love to win a copy of this book, because I just started sending inquiries to agents. I'm tired of looking for publishers for my manuscripts only to find out they only accept agented submissions.
wvsmarties@yahoo.com

widdershins said...

I love typos - 'soul catalyst'?

... also had a wonderful time at the chat on Sunday

... so I managed to score a publisher all by my Self for my first book. I sweated through the contract, thankfully it was a very basic one, and I'm now hustling my bustle in the 'selling it' department. I didn't plan it this way, but the publisher got back to me before the agents did! Go figure.

... I always want to know more though ... and I will certainly consider shoe-horning this book into the budget, if I don't win it here that is.

widdershinsfirst @ gmail dot com

Kevin R. Tipple said...

Great giveaway. Simply put, I need the help.


Kevin
kevinrtipple@verizon.net

Margay said...

I'd like to win this book so I can find someone to handle the business end of things while I concentrate on writing. Plus, I'd love to read your article! Congratulations on that!

Margay1122ATaolDOTcom

annlouisetruschel@yahoo.com said...

You are the answer to a prayer. Writing a book, but have no idea how to find or approach an agent. I could really use the help.

Hope Clark said...

Margay

Keep in mind that agents do NOT handle the whole business side of things so you can write. They negotiate, they bridge the gap between you and the publisher, they make the contacts to sell your various rights, but they do not get in on the marketing or promotional side of things.

stephanieallencrist said...

Hope,

I would like to win the 2012 Guide to Literary Agents, because I'm just getting started with my first novel and I would like to pursue the traditional route to publication. I've been researching agents, but I still haven't found the right one. I think this would be a great resource to not only find the right agent, but to learn how to contact that agent right.

Lorne Daniel said...

OK, Hope. First, great sales pitch! Seriously, very intriguing pitch for the book. Yet... I need the book because I remain a skeptic. I write what agents typically don't want to touch: poetry and literary non-fiction. I'm curious if there is anything in the book that would convince me that searching out an agent is a smart investment of my time.

karen97 said...

I'm in a "close my eyes and point to a place on the page" kind of mood. I think this book would like to play the game with me.

Hope Clark said...

Lorne

Well, tell me this. Are your chances better in selling your hard-to-sell genres by yourself, or with an agent? Maybe you need to try agents and see.

Margaret Telsch-Williams said...

Great giveway, Hope!
The myth I've always heard about agents is that they are all failed writers with an axe to grind. (Like waiters in Hollywood are all actors.)
We, of course, see them differently, but a forming writer might believe this and try to do it on their own, which is even scarier to me.
Margaret
[ mtelsch (at) gmail dot com ]

Anne Schroeder said...

My last GUIDE was published in 2008, the year I lost faith in the process. Instead of chasing agents I concentrated on improving my writing. In the past three months I entered a few contests, won two of them, heard Jonathan Maberry speak at a writer's conference and I'm ready to rock and roll again. I'll sit down with a yellow market and make that 2011 GUIDE my own.

TJ Benham said...

Because you left the best story on my Facebook page! I tell EVERYONE about the Twizzler incident! Also because I have many more stories about the crazy things that kids do and would love to find an agent to help me along!

Beth said...

I would like to won this book, because:
1. I love to win. Anything.
2. My writing itch is starting to return and this book just might be useful. :-)

Thanks!!

LuAnn Schindler said...

Hope,

I could use this book right now. I'm finishing a YA project and have a non-fiction work in progress. What I haven't found is an agent who is comfortable pitching both books.

Honestly, where do you start? There's so much information out there!!

Judy said...

I'm sure incompetent agents exist, but the few I've encountered have won rave reviews from their clients, which carries a lot of weight with me. I'd love to win a copy of this, Hope ... and thanks for all you do!

Joan said...

Wow! This could be just what I need to overcome my fear of submitting to an agent--somehow rejection from a person seems worse than rejection from a publishing firm. I want to study the chapter on what NOT to write. Thanks, Hope, for all that you do in concrete ways to help writers and through the inspiration you provide.

Tamara Epps said...

Hope, I would love to win this book. I don't know any gossip about agents - mostly because I know hardly anything about agents. I'm at a complete loss when it comes to agents so it sounds like I really need this book!

JG319 said...

Hope,

The one misconception I have about agents is that they are only in it for the money. I would love for this book to turn my thoughts around on that point. Maybe it will help me get my motivation back…

Thanks for such an awesome giveaway!

Jackie DiGiovanni said...

As the publishing business becomes more complex, there is always something new to learn. Having an agent is an advantage and an achievement.

Hope, you are great for coming up with this give-away.

EnviMe4Ever said...

Just selfpublished my first book of poetry and as a mother of two and a fulltime student it is extremely hard to promote my book. Now I am currently working on my first book to my fictional series and feel like an agent would help greatly. Also, any extra knowledge would be highly helpful.

story takes time said...

I was at a SciFi Con for writers when I heard this story from the agent's spouse. She was in the public toilet when a manuscript was thrust under the door. Not surprisingly the writer was immediately rejected by the agent and, as the word spread, by many more. For me the moral of the story is first contact is crucial and it shouldn't happen in the toilet.

Hope Clark said...

Oh wow - the toilet?

Kevin R. Tipple said...

The same sort of thing happened here at HHCC a few years ago. I saw it happen and was horrified as the deal went down in the men's room. The agent involved was not pleased. From what I heard those who had the pitch deal with him later in the day basically had a bad time of it because he was so annoyed and took it out on them instead of the offender.

Kevin R. Tipple said...

Congrats to you, Cathy Hall!

And thank you Hope for offering us all the opportunity. Much appreciated.

KJ Bain said...

Hope,

I haven't heard much gossip about agents, good or bad so I'll tell you about an experience I had while pitching to one at a local workshop.

The agent had just done the speech during our luncheon and announced she was taking one of our writers as a client. When we met, directly after the luncheon, she told me the only reason she signed the writer was because the woman had a publisher ask for a rewrite and that was a sure sale. I couldn't help but think how unprofessional it was for her to tell me that. I guess she realized her error from the shocked look on my face. Needless to say, she never became my agent.