The Ishmael Community: Questions and Answers
The Question (ID Number 457)...
Could you give me the name of your editor or literary agent? I have a book idea that I think he or she may be interested in.
...and the response:
Having an editor's name at any of the major publishing houses these days really does you no good, because they will not accept submissions from unrepresented authors. In effect, this is one of the ways they've cut overhead. Instead of paying in-house readers to deal with submissions from the general public, as they used to do, they let the literary agents cull their manuscripts. (This is one reason why the number of agents has increased so dramatically in the last couple of decades.)
Believe me, having my agent's name would do you no more good than having any other agent's name, and these names are readily available. My agent doesn't specialize in authors who are trying to save the world, and she has never once taken on an author I've referred to her, even with my personal recommendation. One place to troll for an agent is http://www.authorlink.com/. Writers Digest books publishes an annual directory of literary agents. And of course there are many publishers below the giant level that will still deal with unrepresented authors. Some of these can be seen at http://www.authorlink.com/aguide.html.
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