Carole Blake, joint managing director of leading literary agency, Blake Friedmann, states that the main advantage of having an agent is that the author has someone on their side who will give them honest criticism that will improve their career prospects.
Blake Friedmann receives approximately 400 unsolicited manuscripts per month but, on average, takes on only three to six new authors a year. Like publishers, literary agencies specialise in specific publishing areas and once again, market research is imperative before making an initial approach. As a general rule, agents do not handle short story and article writers, who may be better served by a syndication agency. Please note, however, that in the currently shrinking magazine fiction market, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find syndication agencies that represent short story writers.
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