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Saturday, December 1, 2007

Have You Considered An Agent?

One day, I did something for kicks. I looked through an online database of literary agents and searched for those who represented graphic novels. I was pleasantly surprised that there were quite a few of them in there.

So I chose one and, with zero expectations, made a call.

The agency was based in New York, and the receptionist put me through to the agent himself. He spoke in a low, apathetic voice and had that "get down to business I've got lots to do" tone.

I told him that I found his contact info through a website and that his profile indicated that he was willing to represent graphic novels. He said that, indeed, he was. So I asked him how I should go about submitting a query when his online profile didn't give submission specs for graphic novels.

He said that he could receive low resolution jpegs, but it would be better if I uploaded my stuff to a website so he could conveniently go over what I have to offer. I thanked him for his time before closing the call. Our conversation may have lasted less than a minute, but at least I was able to dip my toes into the prospect.

The good news is that you can attempt at getting an agent, granting of course that your work is good enough. There's a lot more to be discussed about dealing with agents, but the point is that this is another avenue comics creators can take.

There are plusses and minuses to getting an agent, but any publishing avenue will have plusses and minuses. But the biggest plus to me is the possibility of seeing my work in bookstores, on Amazon, in library catalogs--with no major expense on my part. The biggest minus, however, is that the book publishing world is a whole new creature altogether, and its innards can be a frustrating mess to the uninitiated.

In this case, you owe it to yourself to do research.

You can start with an introduction on eBookCrossroads and a few articles on Publishing Central. Maybe you'd want to consult a book on the subject.

Then go to AgentQuery, an online database of literary agents. On the left side of the home page, choose "graphic novels" from the dropdown menu labeled "Select a Fiction Genre" and click the "Quick Search" button. You'll find over 40 agencies in the results.

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