Help Desk: Agent Needed

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Found on the AALBC.com discussion board, “Agent Needed.”

Please visit the link for the complete question, but here’s a synopsis:

“The screenplay writer is from the Caribbean and can’t find a literary agent for representation.  The few she’s come across want her to pay a fee….”

Answer:

  • No reputable Literary agent will ask for a fee upfront.
  • Agents get 15-20% of the deals they broker for you.

As a screenplay writer – your best bet is to look for an agent in Los Angeles, CA.  They broker contracts for screenplay writers.  Also, keep in mind that most screenplay writers have to belong to the Writers Guild before getting a deal, but before a writer can gain membership, she must first sell a screenplay.

I know it sucks, but that’s the nature of the game.

Who knows? You could be the one that breaks the mold.

Writer’s Hack – Turn your screenplay into a novel.  Your odds increase exponentially in landing a literary agent (New York/East Coast). Those agents represent fiction and non-fiction writers.  Once you find an agent and get your book placed with a trade book publisher – there’s a chance your book can be optioned to film.

NOTE: Do not sign away all your subsidiary rights!

An easy way to find a fiction/ non-fiction literary agent is to use a search engine and enter the genre of your project and book agent. Ex. ” literary agent, Occult.” This should result in literary agents that represent occult writers.

Once you get to their website, read their terms carefully.  If they ask for money upfront – Bounce!

All this is spelled out in a great book I found

“Get Published! Get Produced!  A Literary Agent’s Tips on How to Sell Your Writing” Much success!

Addendum:

I haven’t reviewed the book yet, but based on what I know firsthand about publishing and screenplay writing, and production, this book is packed with helpful information.  ‘

Even though it was published in 1991, it contains some book marketing tips that even self-published authors can use.  ~MH