Should You Avoid New Agents Because They May Not Have Good Contacts?

Q: I’ve often been told that it’s easier to land a new agent than a veteran one. But why would I go after a new agent if he lacks contacts that long-time agents do?

A: Most new agents don’t just fall from the sky and jump into representing authors. The majority of new agents comes from one of two backgrounds: They are either editors who have left publishing houses to become agents or are people who have apprenticed at literary agencies for one or more years. So, typically, when someone becomes an agent, he’s had years of training in the publishing industry and has plenty of contacts. That doesn’t mean a new agent is a fit for you and your work, but it also doesn’t mean you should rule an agent out just because he’s “new” to the game.

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About Jane Friedman

Jane Friedman is a full-time entrepreneur (since 2014) and has 20 years of experience in the publishing industry. She is the co-founder of The Hot Sheet, the essential publishing industry newsletter for authors, and is the former publisher of Writer’s Digest. In addition to being a columnist with Publishers Weekly and a professor with The Great Courses, Jane maintains an award-winning blog for writers at Jane’s newest book is The Business of Being a Writer (University of Chicago Press, 2018).


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