Festival of Writing Episode Four: Industry Keynote Address
Saturday Afternoon kicked off after lunch with a discussion between writer, teacher and book doctor Andrew Wille and Agent Euan Thorneycroft. This looked into a typical day for a literary agent and also had some good advice on how to get one.
Much of an agent’s day involves talking to the authors on their lists and various people in the publishing industry so much of the reading is done outside of office hours. When looking through submissions, some agents make a decision based on the first page as to whether to carry on for the rest of the submission or not. If they read the rest and like it then they ask to see the whole thing before making a decision whether to take the author on or not.
It is important to say, though, that if an agent does not take an author on, writers shouldn’t give up. Publishing is a very subjective business and it’s always worth trying again with another agent. It is also worth not trying to follow or second-guess the market as no one knows what the next trend is.
It’s also a very good idea to make sure names are spelt correctly before writing to people.