October 24, 2017, 10:40:42 AM

Author Topic: Interview with Anna Stephens' agent  (Read 265 times)

Offline ScarletBea

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Interview with Anna Stephens' agent
« on: September 21, 2017, 06:35:29 PM »
On the main site:
http://fantasy-faction.com/2017/agent-harry-illingworth-interview

He gives some good pointers, and who knows, maybe he'll become the agent of some of you writers :D
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Offline Eclipse

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Re: Interview with Anna Stephens' agent
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2017, 07:36:34 PM »
I wonder if there's any agents out there who have turned down a story and it became a smash hit? Bit Like that guy who turned down the Beatles.


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Offline Lanko

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Re: Interview with Anna Stephens' agent
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2017, 09:27:39 PM »
Plenty.

Harry Potter, Stephen King's Carrie, Chronicles of Narnia, Da Vinci Code, heck, even War of the Worlds were rejected various times.

Agatha Christie was rejected multiple times until finally landing a deal (and I think she sold more than $2 billion), I remember when reading The Diary of Anne Frank way back in school that the teacher said the book was rejected too.

Dune received dozens and dozens of rejections throughout the years. Even the Godfather and The Wizard of Oz had rejections.

Agents and editors do have knowledge and can help a lot of people, sure. But all this stuff always make me say to anyone to take their advice with a pretty big dose of salt. 
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Offline Elfy

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Re: Interview with Anna Stephens' agent
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2017, 10:45:56 PM »
Plenty.

Harry Potter, Stephen King's Carrie, Chronicles of Narnia, Da Vinci Code, heck, even War of the Worlds were rejected various times.

Agatha Christie was rejected multiple times until finally landing a deal (and I think she sold more than $2 billion), I remember when reading The Diary of Anne Frank way back in school that the teacher said the book was rejected too.

Dune received dozens and dozens of rejections throughout the years. Even the Godfather and The Wizard of Oz had rejections.

Agents and editors do have knowledge and can help a lot of people, sure. But all this stuff always make me say to anyone to take their advice with a pretty big dose of salt.
All of this is true, but we don't know in what form they were rejected. The books could have gone through drafts after each rejection before succeeding, in which case the rejections actually helped the work improve.
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Offline Lanko

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Re: Interview with Anna Stephens' agent
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2017, 11:10:49 PM »
That's also true. I don't think I remember many authors who mention how much rewriting, editing and etc they did (or if they didn't and just kept submitting) until they got accepted.

And even after being accepted there can still be major alterations and a publisher buys it because of the potential the work might have.

I remember Brent Weeks talking about the process, that he was accepted by an agent and the work bought by the publisher... only to receive much later like 30 pages of things they thought needed fixing and it baffled him that why they would buy his story if they thought it was that flawed.

After calming down, he went through it, decided that they had a point on some things but not on others and kept them as he intended.

So books can get accepted even if they are far from "perfect". But I don't know how common his situation is.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2017, 11:16:41 PM by Lanko »
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Offline cupiscent

Re: Interview with Anna Stephens' agent
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2017, 11:59:28 PM »
So books can get accepted even if they are far from "perfect". But I don't know how common his situation is.

Pretty common. I did a round of edits with my agent after I signed and before I went out on submission. (I would've expected another round with a publisher.) Another author signed with my agent not only did a huge round of edits with the publisher, including cutting 25k words in length, but had them say, "We think this is actually book 2, can you write us book 1?"

Personally, this is part of what makes me excited about being involved in traditional publishing--having all these experienced and engaged professionals helping me make my book better!

Offline AnnaStephens

Re: Interview with Anna Stephens' agent
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2017, 09:40:30 AM »
I gotta weigh in on this thread!  8)

It's true what Harry said, Godblind was rejected 36 times before I signed with him. We then rewrote the second half of the book and sold it. We then rewrote the first half of the book with the publishers. We then rewrote the ending with the publishers...

It's about seeing potential, rather than seeing the finished product. All authors get rewrites, even 40-year veterans like Stephen King. Anyone who says they don't is fibbing.

But that's the fun part of the process, getting a professional's opinion. You don't have to agree with everything, but they're there to make it a better book, not to sabotage your efforts. That's the most important thing to remember, because it can be hard being told your favourite scene needs to be cut.