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HOW TO GET AN AGENT
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HOW TO GET AN AGENT
FILMMAKING NOTES

One of the most common questions I get online is "How do I get an agent?"

Best and possibly only way to get a literary agent is to know them personally, ie through a seminar or social event. Sad but true. This is a truly organic business based largely on personality. If people know you and like you, they'll be more open to reading your work.

It's the best reason to shell out money for those workshops and conventions that fill your inbox with invitations after you've signed up for a few screenwriting or filmmaking websites. Yes, they're expensive, but if you understand exactly what you want to get out of them and do your homework, you can turn these experiences into opportunities.

Find out who is going to be speaking, on panels, and attending as special guests. Find out what their track records say about their interests, and be prepared to pitch the right ideas to the right individuals.

Remember that until people are coming to YOU with work offers, you're still in the stage of your career where you have to make things happen for yourself. And you have to be prepared to spend some money to invest in that career.

Another and surer way -- although fraught with an obvious difficulty -- is to be able to walk up to them with a contract in hand! If you have serious interest from a production company in your work, an agent will probably be more than willing to look it over with you and consider you as a client.

If you're a novelist looking for an agent or a publisher, it's maybe even more difficult.

There's no quick or sure answer... It depends a lot on what you want out of the process. Self-publish if you're interested in having good-looking copies for friends to read, and /or if you have enough energy to push its sale yourself.

Otherwise, it's the long and unsure road of submitting to a million publishers in the hopes that you'll find one whose list isn't already set years in advance, and even if they love your book, you'll probably see it in print with a teeny run of 500 copies somewhere around 2020...

Keep in mind that Anne Rice submitted "Interview With the Vampire" a hundred times before someone saw the potential. And JK Rowling had to go to a tiny Canadian publisher to find someone to take on Harry Potter.

Hope the answers don't depress too much, but it's a very hard business. Still, the more active you are in promoting yourself and your work, the greater the chance you'll make a breakthrough.

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HOW TO GET AN AGENT