Monday, January 11, 2010

Agent Popularity

Below are four name. As you read each one, if you recognize the name and know something about them, clap your hands.

  • Chip MacGregor
  • Rachelle Gardner
  • Steve Laube
  • Terry Burns

Okay, so now that you feel silly for clapping while reading a blog, raise your hand if you can answer this question: who are their clients?

Yeah, that’s what I thought. And you back there, get your hand down. It’s no fair looking it up on their websites. But while you’re there, take a look at how many followers the four literary agents I mentioned have and compare that to how many their clients have. Or forget their clients and compare their blog readership to that of the well known authors. Some best selling authors have less than 200 people following their blogs. Some literary agents have over 1,500 people following their blogs.

Perhaps this isn’t the problem that it appears to be, but it doesn’t seem like a good thing when the literary agent is better known than the authors he represents. To be successful writers, we authors have got to build a name for ourselves. Ideally, we would like to have a name built before we query an agent. When the literary agent sees our e-mail in his inbox, we would like for him to skip over everyone else, excited to see something from a name he recognizes. The ideal situation rarely occurs, but it still seems odd to me that even after getting a literary agent, the agent is more popular than the writer. I’m not sure if there’s a way to fix it, but there you have it.