Thursday, November 29, 2012

Agency Moves Du Jour Part Deux

It wasn't so long ago that the talk of Andrew Wylie fusing his agency to the likes of ICM was floating through the publishing air.

Now it seems as if ICM couldn't wait on Mr. Wylie.

Rafe Sagalyn, based in Washington D.C., agent to the high-powered who reside there, is forming an alliance with ICM.

It's to the benefit of ICM to be allied with an agency that represents the big names in politics. Once Mr. Sagalyn handles their book deal (and there's always a book coming out of those Washington insiders, isn't there), ICM can move the property along through speaking engagements and movie treatments. There's a vast foreign market to be tapped as well.

For agents employed by Mr. Sagalyn, it opens up those same markets to their clients, which in turn makes the agency more appealing. It also means that the agents can focus on agenting, without worrying about the side jobs that line up TV appearances and get manuscripts in the hands of book scouts.

The two agencies have little choice but to align, considering the pressures these days.

There are only so many publishing dollars to go around, and landing some hot commodity (the likes of a David Maraniss, say, right before an election) is key to making a profit. ICM wants in on that niche, and Sagalyn wants to snag even more of that particular talent pool.

If you are an author with a manuscript, however, don't bother querying unless you've got a platform built of solid credentials, sturdy and popular with the public.

The powerhouse agencies that are forming up to skim the cream of the writing crop have no need to consider debut authors with their little fiction manuscripts.

Get someone else to publish you, become a success in the vein of Stephen King, and Sagalyn/ICM might come calling on you.

Or go have an affair with some four-star general and write a tell-all book. There's nothing that sells like a good scandal.

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