I’m on the hunt for a new job, though not because I’ve lost the one the I have. Let’s just say middle management left a bad taste in the mouths of everyone who works in our office. As a result, four people have quit in the last three weeks. Not a good sign at all.
But despite the suckiness of the situation, I’ve somehow manage to weave a blog topic out of it. Here it goes. 🙂
Every now and then, I try to explain to my mother how the publishing thing works. Trying to tell her how agenting works is no exception. This time she asked why using an agent isn’t the same as using a head hunter? After all, both are careers.
I can see where she’s coming from, if you’re into the contractor thing instead of applying directly to the employer. The way the process works is that you can send your resume to a head hunter (similar to an agent) and they can scout out jobs for you (similar to submitting your work). If they find something that matches your qualifications (this editor is looking for a story like this), then they set you up with an interview (submit the manuscript). It’s up to you and your resume at that point to stand on their own merits (does the editor fall in love with it).
My answer to my mom, “If only the writing life was that easy.” Given the choice, I’d LOVE for agenting to be like the head hunting one. After all, it’s pretty much the same deal. They don’t make money until they find their contractor a job. So, they’re working hard to make that happen. They’re also willing to take you on with the only requirement being that you have a resume. I’ve even had head hunters look over my resume and ask me if I knew this type of software or how to write in a certain programming language. If so, then could I tweak my resume to show that and my experience with it. Sound familiar? Think about it. There wouldn’t be any rejections. Only submissions to publishers who were looking for your genre. Sweet world, huh?
I could go on and on about this, but I prefer Dean Wesley Smith‘s take on it. If you haven’t read his series called Killing the Sacred Cow of Publishing, you should. It’s very enlightening and empowering for aspiring authors. My takeaway was this. There are many ways to get published by NY and not all paths require an agent to make that happen. It’s up to you to decide how you want to run your business and steer your career. Sure, an agent makes it easier to land NY, but it’s not impossible to do the same without one. 😉
Your thoughts? Do you think the contractor model would work for agenting, too? Why or why not?