Friday, 15 February 2008

A Day With The Writer's Market

After spending the last eight hours thumbing through the 'Writer's Market 2008' (forward by Peter Ackroyd), I've condensed over 50 pages of details for the nation's literary agents into one helpful pocket-sized listing. All you ever need to know about searching for representation is summarized in the following. I suggest you send them your manuscripts immediately. I know I have.

The Geoffrey Pinfrock Agency
14 Duntcare Road, London, L1 7RF

Contact: Geoffrey Pinfrock, Harry Grebe (historical and biography), Andrew Tinkle (fiction).

Established: 1952.

Insider Info: We specialise in fiction and non-fiction. We are on the lookout for bright undiscovered writers. Although we are renowned for taking raw talent and helping them to reach the next stage of their publishing career, we would much rather head-hunt a few established writers from other agencies whose percentages we are happy to undercut by a few points.

* Geoffry Pinfrock became a literary agent after a long career as a successful novelist, penning three books set around the Swahili Swamp Fever epidemic of 1873. Our agency is proud of its reputation as a relaxed environment where Geoffrey takes a hands-on approach with all new female clients. Charges of sexual misconduct and serial groping are routinely dismissed before our famously long liquid lunches.

Non-fiction: Considers anything with a celebrity face on the cover. No academic books unless it is accompanied by its own series on the BBC. No nature books unless your surname is Oddie. No books about poetry unless your name is Fry.

Fiction: Considers action/adventure, humour (not satire), mystery, romance (no pornography), thrillers, contemporary fiction (but nothing set in Ireland involving peat). We are actively seeking new novels about the angst of simple middle class London folk who work in a creative field such a publishing and turn to the booze and drugs as a form of escape.

Submission guidelines: Do not send manuscripts. Do not contact us via email, post, or carrier pigeon. Approach us in the first instance through a friend connected with the industry or an established name. We will not reply to you unless you're already known to us. Do not approach us in person. We own a bloody big dog who has a taste for human blood.

Clients: Victor Occram Jnr., Horace Tadpole, the estate of Sir. Henry Sellinger Pfnnar.

Tips: No unsolicited submissions, letters, or emails. To make yourself known to us, you should be either be a published author who we already represent or related to a published author who we already represent. People know to us are welcome to make themselves more known to us. The rest of you can just hop it. And yes: that includes you.

Please note: we are not accepting submissions at this time. All manuscripts will be burned on our open log fire while we sit around cackling as we warm ourselves by the heat of your fading chances of publication.


AxmxZ said...


Richard Madeley said...

I hope that's a *sigh* of 'I've been there, I know where you're coming from' and not just a general *sigh* towards my negativity. I've actually be quite positive today. Really I have...

Bretwalda Edwin-Higham said...

I once hawked a book round London to agencies and actually had it "read into". Never helped though.

Richard Madeley said...

You had a book 'read into'? Does that mean they looked at words written on pages. That's almost like being a real author. You should live in the glory of it.

GoneBackSouth said...

Crikey you are terribly prolific aren't you? 8 posts since Monday, and most of them really long. And I thought I was doing well, posting one short item a day. Anyway thanks for the summary of the book ... I hadn't been planning to buy it, but if I had, please rest assured that you would have put me right off.

AxmxZ said...

It's a *sigh* of "I'll be there soon myself."

bertas said...

Ah here here, think of it as character building... plus even JK Rowling got turned down and look at her now...
Even if you are feeling doubtful what will come of it I have every faith in your talent :) So there...

Lola said...

As ever, when you are feeling sorry for yourself, I feel a 'poem' coming on.

When you're feeling down
Face wearing a frown
Recline on the the bed
Throw back your head
The shutter clicks
Upload the pics
And wait for the comments to pour into your blog.

Obviously this is modern poetry that doesn't need to rhyme or scan. Plus I'm short of time, I've got to get out to the greengrocer.

Richard Madeley said...

Gonebacksouth, I won't be prolific for much longer, I can assure you of that. There was a moment in the last week when I nearly gave it all up. I had my notice written. I'm glad I didn't post it now. I might have missed your visit.

Ax, is there a novel soon to appear under the logo of the two smiled skulls? What's the title? Am I the hero?

Bertas, I could hug you. I really could. So nice of you to say that.

Lola, love the poem. Who needs rhymes when the sentiments are so real. The next time I strip off for a candid photo session, I'll send you the negatives. I hope the greengrocer appreciates the quality of his visitors as much as I do.

AxmxZ said...

>Ax, is there a novel soon to appear under the logo of the two smiled skulls? What's the title? Am I the hero?

Couldn't tell you how long it'll be. I'm still working out some of the plot kinks. Won't be finished for some time, I expect. Of course, when it *is* finished, I already have a foolproof plan for publishing it. I'll mail a manuscript to twelve publishers and include with each copy a note declaring that I await their best offer. When I receive all twelve offers, I will do some very simple arithmetic and authorize the highest bidder to take professional posession of the manuscript.

As to the cover, you might not be far off about the skulls - at least I own the rights to their photo... close friends of mine, those two were. One of them, I'm pretty sure, isn't quite human, though I can't recall which one... or perhaps one is an archaic Homo sapiens and the other a modern one... or was one of them a Neanderthal after all?..

Cute twosome though, aren't they? Kind of remind me of Fry and Laurie.

Selena Dreamy said...

Gosh, Richard, it is only now that I discovered we've been posting on the same subject, at practically the same time!

I'd call that Synchronicity.

And may I congratulate you on the sheer quality of the thing! Fabulous read.


Anonymous said...

Most amusing and bitter, i came to pretty much the same conclusion over the 2 years i spent reading the Grumpy Old Bookman's blog and trying to get my novel published. There's just no point trying. It's not that your chances are slim: they're non-existent, at least if you approach it conventionally.

There will come a time in the future when budding writers kidnap editors and force them to read their novels at gunpoint.