Saturday, October 11, 2008

Composers and Agents

As per previous posts I've been pondering if it's time to find an agent. After asking number composers who are working in the field (many who have agents), I have been given some very sage advice by James Guymon. "My best advice is that the right time to have an agent is when they come after you. If you are making money, they will come find you and try to take at least 10% of it. You can then determine whether they will pay for themselves or not. But agents really don't go get work for composers - they negotiate the deals and create a sense of importance on the part of the composer, who can't be contacted directly, that translates into the mindset necessary to ask for and receive higher fees. "But even with an agent, my experience has been that composers are the ones primarily responsible for researching potential gigs, working their own contacts, and then letting the agent now what leads have been qualified and how to proceed with the actual contact. So if getting work is the problem, then getting an agent will only bring a piece of the puzzle. It is possible, and highly likely, that a composer who has trouble getting jobs would continue to have trouble getting jobs with an agent." So, since agents haven't come knocking on my door yet, I guess I need to still do a bit more on my own...


However, all this said, literary agents are important for writers, often before they publish their first book. The difference might be that there are a lot more books published (with a fair amount more money involved).

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