UK agents - who would you say are the top 10?

(17 Posts)
squeezycheeseplease Thu 01-May-14 20:01:10

Just that really . . .

Would you say different ones for fiction and non-fiction (memoir)?

squeezycheeseplease Thu 01-May-14 20:04:14

Actually, I'll start it off or it looks like I'm doing a survey doesn't it?

I'm thinking:

Andrew Lownie
Darley Anderson

Who else?

United?
PFD?

schmalex Thu 01-May-14 20:16:27

I would say it's more about picking someone you gel with rather than there being a definitive top 10.

squeezycheeseplease Thu 01-May-14 20:21:09

But there has to be a hierarchy - and you can't gel with them until you've worked out who to contact. Does that make sense?

squeezycheeseplease Thu 01-May-14 20:21:47

I also think that - even if they deny it - publishers must feel differently about someone from the big guns approaching them than someone who sells a book a year at most.

squeezycheeseplease Thu 01-May-14 20:22:00

Add Curtis Brown to the list I guess.

schmalex Sat 03-May-14 05:57:54

I suppose there is a hierarchy, but I've also heard that agents at some of the big agencies have a lot of authors to represent, and as a new author you don't necessarily get as much attention as their big names. Whereas a smaller agency might do more for you.
My approach is to look for someone who represents authors who write similar stuff to me.
But I agree, you need to be careful that the agent is actually selling books! Presumably anyone can call themselves an agent.

squeezycheeseplease Sat 03-May-14 09:21:28

We're the only ones in here aren't we? grin

I'm not new, but I'm not big either - I'm just on the move . . .

What do you think about the ones I've mentioned schmalex?

MooncupGoddess Sat 03-May-14 09:24:41

Capel and Land

Aitken Alexander

Rogers Coleridge and White

squeezycheeseplease Sat 03-May-14 16:12:21

Thanks Mooncup - who do you rate at each of those agencies?

MooncupGoddess Sat 03-May-14 17:32:06

I'm not really in a position to name individuals, I'm afraid.

From what you say you're already a published author - why don't you send out a few emails to agents who publish similar books to yours and arrange to meet them for coffee? Then you can grill them properly and see if there's a fit.

squeezycheeseplease Sat 03-May-14 18:47:10

Sorry, didn't mean it in that way, just meant in the way that people tend to say Jonny Geller if they think of Curtis Brown - wondered if anyone had the same reactions to agents at the other places.

I haven't 100% decided to move, to be honest, just sort of wondering where I should go if I do. It also seems that everyone wants the same thing just now, so maybe I should wait until that's settled/bubble has burst (which must be soon), and they're all a bit less frantic for samey stuff.

LadySybilLikesCake Sat 03-May-14 18:50:25

It depends. Adult or children's agent?

Look online for an agent who reps writers who write the same genre as you do. I wouldn't go for the 'top 10', if they all rep crime writers and you write historical fiction then it's pretty pointless.

squeezycheeseplease Sat 03-May-14 19:18:21

Adult - fiction and non-fiction.

There are so many big agencies, and within them there's probably always someone who represents what you write, so what I was after was input from other writers really. I've looked at loads of websites - many, many, many websites sad . . .

LadySybilLikesCake Sat 03-May-14 19:23:32

There's loads on twitter. Get to know them first as some are more helpful than others and will let you bypass the usual pile once you've taken the time to get to know them.

squeezycheeseplease Sun 04-May-14 09:11:19

I did think about that LadySybil but the agent I'm with now told me that they all get a bit ticked off with that approach. Said that they see through it pretty quickly as people trying to avoid the slush pile by making a 'friendship' but it makes very little difference (apart from getting them labelled in another way!).

It's interesting that someone also mentioned finding an agent that is a 'fit' - he told me that is the way of dumping people sad in person or by letter, as in 'fabulous work - but I don't think we're the right fit.'

I suppose I've been quite lucky as in I've always had an agent, but one of the consequences of that is that I have very little experience of the publishing world as said agent has always done everything for me.

Flugelpip Wed 21-May-14 13:16:40

You can use Twitter to see who specific agents are talking to at which publishers. Some of them are very close pals, and as long as you follow lots of publishing people you can see their interactions without outing yourself! But it does depend on what you want - a huge deal? A fresh start? Someone to listen to you if your current agent doesn't?

It is the usual thing. A big agency has clout but you are likely to be one of many authors. A small agent might give you more time and personal attention but might not have access to the heavy hitters in publishing. Having said that, everyone in publishing is just looking for talent and potential. Your work is the most important thing, not who represents you s much.

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