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Old 08-26-2005, 03:20 AM   #1
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Akin and Randolph

Has anyone heard of :Akin & Randolph Agency for Representation for Authors, Artists & Athletes (Literary Division)

This is how they are listed in the LMP. I can't find any reference to them at Predators and Editors or the Association of Author's Representatives .

I called them on the phone and they seemed very professional. A person representing himself as an "intern" called me back. They require a cover letter (query) and biographical sketch.

They haven't asked for any material or fees.
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Old 08-26-2005, 11:28 PM   #2
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Well, I'm not getting any bad vibes from their website, and they do list notable clients and deals.

There might be a conflict of interest in that they negotiate “business transactions” on behalf of small presses as well as authors. Would Jaws or another Industry Professional comment on that, please?
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Old 08-27-2005, 01:22 AM   #3
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Thanks for the input. I had a similar impression. You might want to call them up too if you're shopping for agents. Can't hurt to have irons in the fire.
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Old 08-27-2005, 02:01 AM   #4
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They have one deal on Publisher's Marketplace. It's also on their website:


Quote:
Rights to Beverley East's FINDING MR. WRITE, offering instruction on finding the perfect mate through graphology/handwriting analysis of potential mates, optioned to Lazell Daley at Black Coral Productions in the UK, for a British television series based on the book, in a nice deal, by Wanda M. Akin at Akin & Randolph Agency. wakin@akinandrandolph.com
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Old 08-27-2005, 08:30 AM   #5
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Oh, hey! Thanks for doing the leg work on that one.

I'll now expand the thread with this question: do you have an agent (anyone) and if so, what has your experience been like?
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Old 08-27-2005, 03:25 PM   #6
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Yes. My co-author and I are with Writer's House, and our experience has been very good. While my background is in law, so that publishing contracts are easy for me to understand, it's important to remember that there's more to it than that.

Quality agents know a great many people in the publishing industry. They cultivate friendships with associate and assistant editors, because those are the acquiring editors of the future. By only repping books that do well on the shelf time and time again, the agent gets a reputation for knowing what the reader will buy. Ultimately, publishing is a business and the publisher expects to make a profit.

Our editor actually told me that when she got a call from our agent saying that our book was perfect for a new imprint they were starting, the editor held open a slot in the line until she could read the book, just in case. The opinion of the agent is just that high. If she was excited, there was a good chance that the editor would be too. That's more than a foot in the door --- that's a doorstop, holding it wide open.

In addition, more experienced agents frequently have negotiated with certain publishing houses so often (since a lot of agents only handle specific genres and the houses that print each genre are limited) that the house actually has a template contract that's different than the one they'd send to someone off the street. A template contract turns the boilerplate that is very "publisher friendly" into a deal that's very close to a level field. Then the agent can step in and make minor tweaks that suit the deal.

In other words, even though I can read a contract, and quite possibly negotiate it, that's not all there is to the agenting business. And, that's why it's so very important that you choose the RIGHT agent. As Uncle Jim has said over and over, a bad agent is worse than no agent at all.

That's what the Bewares section is all about --- finding the RIGHT agent, not just wiping away the slimy deadbeats.

But if this agent has viable sales in the genre you write, then it's worth contacting them. Just be proactive and ask questions. A legitimate agent will be happy to answer them if they're interested in your business. There's a good list over on the AAR website. Since you've already been over there, you've probably seen it.

Good luck!
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"Great chemistry between the leads and a swift pace. - Publishers Weekly

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Last edited by Cathy C; 08-27-2005 at 03:28 PM.
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Old 08-28-2005, 06:14 AM   #7
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Thanks Cathy. That was a very in-depth response.

I've had further success in calling up and talking with people at a few agencies listed on the AAR site. I was surprised that only a few were brisk. Most people took the time to talk when I asked the right questions and everyone was polite and professional.

I gained a lot of good info and have three more agents to send materials to.

One agent has asked for fifty pages of my book OR three chapters. My chapters are very long, so I plan to send the first chapter, which happens to be 50 pages.

Is it safe to assume that an agent wants a double-spaced, left justified sample with non-proportional font?
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Old 08-28-2005, 06:38 AM   #8
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One thing I noticed was, all of their deals on their site were done in 99-2000. Hasn't been updated since then.
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Old 08-28-2005, 06:47 AM   #9
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Websites are very low on many agencies' priority lists.
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Old 08-28-2005, 07:31 PM   #10
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All I want for Christmas is an agent who can sell my Great American Epic Lesbian Amazon Alien Warrior Science Fiction Novel.

I know the world is ready. I'm a visionary, Chuck.
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Old 11-13-2007, 02:52 AM   #11
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Website still not updated, listing is gone from Publisher's Marketplace, and I'm not finding any recent sales info. Judging from Akin's main site, I think her focus is elsewhere.
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