A day in the life of Agent X

Wow! This very well written piece brings home the pressures that are on an agent. It must be quite overwhelming at times.

I really want to find an agent, and subsequently a publisher, for my next novel. As this article points out, pushing sales is very difficult for the self-published, and I am quite proud that I’ve made it to over 600 copies sold of my first novel, “Eleven Miles.” Even though I get great reviews for this book, it takes a lot of effort to sell each copy. If I can get myself a good agent for the next one, life should be easier; in theory.

I’ve got a copy of the Writers and Artists Yearbook 2017 sitting on my shelves, but even when one is so well equipped, it is difficult to get the hunt started.

Reading Jessica’s article has worried me even more. I can see another perspective on this and I am beginning to wonder if I should add to the obvious burdens that these agent carry by pushing my writing their way. But I suppose that’s what they are there for.

By the way, I love the title of this blog post! Thank you Jessica.


Agent X stretched after a poor night’s sleep. She really ought to get more exercise…spend less time staring at screens…eat more sensibly.

But a new day beckoned. She had a fascinating submission to read – she’d requested the full ms after tearing through the first three chapters and was looking forward to finding out what happened next. She wasn’t entirely sure how to place it, but the writing was so good and the premise so original, she was expecting competitive bids from several publishers. If, of course, another agent didn’t snap it up first, like the author she’d been slightly too slow to respond to last year who ended up with a six figure advance.

Agent 4Her existing authors were clamouring too. There might be answers to their questions among the 112 new emails in her inbox. She made coffee, cut a crisp pear into safely unsticky wedges and took them…

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About Lance Greenfield

Blog: lancegreenfield.wordpress.com email: lancegmitchell@outlook.com I published my debut novel in December 2014: Eleven Miles. My second novel went live in February 2016: Knitting Can Walk!
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6 Responses to A day in the life of Agent X

  1. Osyth says:

    I was a literary agent in a previous life. I worked for one of the world’s biggest talent agencies and represented writers and directors in Film and US TV. I retired in the 90s and before the rise of email and Social Media but the same rules apply according to my colleagues from then who are still in the now. There are no shortcuts. You either cut it or you don’t and the industry is extremely fickle. In my honest opinion, if you are not approached you are unlikely to find an agent. I would urge you to stop publishing anything other than your own work. It is by building a following that you will attract attention. Well done on the 600 by the way … I feel a bit of Tennyson coming on!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s a much better literary connection [Tennyson] than I had in my tiny mind. Thanks!

      I was thinking along the lines of The Pretenders: But I would write 500 books, and I would writes 500 more…..
      ….. until I get an acceptance or an offer!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Osyth says:

        The Proclaimers song is one of my all time favourites and guaranteed to get me on my feet and singing along appallingly and hang the neighbors! Tennyson though does have the edge with his 600 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m with you there Osyth. When I go to a dance wearing my kilt, the band always seem to play that song and I am soon leading the way, marching through the venue with a strong following of revelers.
    However, leading a charge into the valley of death is even more stirring, yet tragic!


  3. scskillman says:

    Thank you for reblogging this, Lance. I found it very interesting and funny. Have heard several other similar stories about the life of a literary agent in the past. Every so often I imagine what it must be like to work in a literary agent’s office, and I feel empathy for them. I really don’t think there are any rules at all to succeeding in placing your work with an agent. It is all a matter of serendipity and luck, and the key seems to be personal relationships. The likelihood of being taken on by an agent / commercial publisher is akin to the likelihood of winning the lottery. This doesn’t mean I feel cynical about it. I think it’s almost not worth desiring it, or trying for it any more; but just to carry on doing what you believe in, being true to yourself, and writing because you cannot do otherwise… to be a writer is a compulsion. The same applies to people struggling in the acting world, as I have discovered from several interviews I’ve carried out for my WIP. If we are creative, and we yearn to succeed, in any area of the arts, then we have a tough and long journey to travel.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jessica’s post made me think my way into the agent’s chair and compare it to my own working life. As I sift through the daily mountain of emails, how many do I park in my pending tray? Perhaps agents do this with submissions that they receive from new authors and, consequently, miss the occasional gem. And we authors must understand that we are only a portion of the poor agent’s stack. They are having to deal with invitations, reminders for fees, publishers, editors, printers, marketing companies and so on. Do they have any time to look at any new authors?


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