Writers Agents Australia

Authors Agents Australia

Excerpt from: The Writer's Guide by Irina Dunn. Representatives - Allen & Unwin Are you looking for an operative? The majority of agents live off incumbent authors with a contractual relationship in their hands and an incumbent audience and an incumbent audience. Seldom do they commit themselves to representing first-time authors unless they have written an extraordinary script, are already familiar with it or are endorsed by someone in the industry.

Though agents are hesitant to unasked to read manuscripts, they are all always looking for extraordinary and high-caliber work. In order to avoid your paper being sent back to us without being reread, you should first give an introduction to your suggestion by phone, in writing or by facsimile before you send something by mail.

A number of agents have entry policies and conditions that they will mail to you when you post a prepaid and address pad. Once an agents has agreed to view your work, please submit a cover note (see next page for a sample) and add your CV, a summary of the work and two or three example sections, ideally the first three, to give an impression of the contents and evolution of your work.

It is unlikely that you will be taken over by an agents if they are neither published in books nor in magazines. If you have a story of winning literature awards, you can convince an editor to look at your script, so take part in the many contests that are held every months in the Authoring Centre newsletter.

Please do not overlook to enclose a sufficiently large franked cover for the restitution of your work. To avoid having your paper sent back to you, say so and mail a smaller franked cover for the agent's note. Some agents levy a small surcharge to read unwanted scripts to see if they are public, but do not make discerning comment.

How much does an operative want? The conditions of the agents differ, but generally they take a percentage (between 10 and 20 percent) for any amount of cash you make, be it from a script, a brief history, a lecture or a sale abroad. There is also a small amount for some agents to read your manuscripts and to pay for shipping and handling.

Some agents ask you to subscribe to an agent contract that sets out the provisions of the contract. The Australian Society of Authors and the New Zealand Society of Authors can provide guidance if you are not sure whether to subscribe to such an accord.

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