Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Agent Flood

It seems like there's been a recent flood of new agents in the field of children's literature. I'm sure the large number of publishing layoffs have contributed to this, amongst other things, but whatever the cause, it's made me stop and this a good thing or a bad thing for children's writers and illustrators?

On one hand, there are new, hungry agents out there just looking for terrific stories and art to sell. Their doors are open, as are their minds. They WANT people to send them queries and samples. It might actually become a *little* easier to get an agent now. And all this is good, if you're looking for an agent.

But what if you're not. What would an agent glut do to the market? Assuming there's a limited number of manuscripts to be acquired in a given period of time, wouldn't editors tend to read agented work before even considering diving into the slush pile? Will this make it even harder to get your work read if you don't have an agent? Is this the universe's way of "cleaning up" the submission process so that unagented work must be so outstandingly-sparkly-clean that anything less will be given up on? Will this weed out writers and illustrators who aren't willing to do what it takes to make it in this business? Is this the beginning of the children's market becoming more like the adult market, where agents are a necessity to selling your work?

Those are a lot of questions. I'd love to hear others' thoughts on this! Let me know what you think~ please, leave a comment.