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Many professional writers and some how-to-get-published books will tell you that you should make your first sale yourself, and only then, contract in hand, go looking for an agent to close the deal.
But things have changed. Many of those older publishers survive only as imprints of huge conglomerates.
The staff downsizing that has accompanied the mergers has resulted in fewer editors, even as publishers churn out an ever-increasing number of books. There are many successful literary agents who provide excellent service to their clients.
Unfortunately, there are also many dishonest or incompetent agents who relieve writers of money, waste their time, and sometimes damage their careers. This page is mostly devoted to information and warnings about the latter. Dishonest Agents Dishonest agents prey on writers by charging fees, promoting their own paid services, engaging in kickback schemes, shilling for vanity publishers, and misrepresenting their knowledge and expertise.
They may refer writers to crooked critique services or pay-to-play publishers, receiving a kickback for their trouble. Requiring a reading fee with a submission.
Reading fees are relatively uncommon these days. This is the most common kind of upfront fee. Reputable agents do not charge anything upfront. Requiring writers to buy a critique or manuscript assessment.
Referrals to an editing service owned by the agency, without disclosing the connection. Again, a conflict of interest.
Some dishonest agencies are no more than fronts for editing schemes.
The more money an agent makes this way, the less he or she is going to care about earning a commission by selling your book.
Placing clients with fee-charging publishers. Good agents only deal with publishers that pay their writers. Authors no longer see agents as the be-all and end-all of a writing career, and that has diminished the potential client pool and made it harder for a scammer to make a killing.
But scam agents are still out there, ready to entrap the unwary writer—as are their close cousins, amateur and marginal agents. Amateur, Marginal, and Incompetent Agents There are no licensing requirements or competency standards for literary agents. In fact, the number of amateur, incompetent, and marginal agents far exceeds the number of outright scammers.Writing staffing Writing Staffing Services, Recruiting and Temp Agency.
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The Writers Guild of America (WGA), which represents writers in the motion picture and TV business, maintains a list of signatory agents.
The professional association for literary agents in the UK is the Association of Authors’ Agents (AAA). Best Companies for Flexible Writing Jobs Welcome to the Best List for Best Companies for Remote, Part-Time, and Flexible Writing Jobs!
Based on years of researching companies that hire for telecommuting, part-time, flextime, or freelance jobs, FlexJobs has compiled and made public a list of of companies that specifically have hired.