Trolling, Trees and Blowing the Breeze


I am trolling for an agent for my book, operating under the impression that, unless I can find a representative, I won’t get my foot in the door with a “real” publisher, most of whom say in Writers’ Market that they find their prospects through the recommendations of agents or other contacts.

An agent, the logic goes, would make an end-run around my shot-in-the-dark unsolicited broadcasting of my manuscript to slush piles around the country. An agent would know the best matches between my work and receptive publishers and have networking contacts with those publishers. He or she would stand behind my work (since they operate on commission–15% domestic and 20% foreign seems to be the normal range.) If I succeed, they succeed.

Some agents listed in Writers’ Market even offer to look at queries via email. The response time and expense is a sure improvement over mass mailings of SASEs and response in months. The rejections come back almost immediately, I found out.

And the tree image? It has nothing whatsoever to do with this topic BUT is the first imported from the Nikon just now by way of the card reader I had to buy to replace the one that WOULD NOT work with the Mac. Still some glitches in how Adobe Bridge handles the image files, but MAN does it import a RAW file in a jiffy vs the old reader on the PC!

The tree here does happen to be one of the wife’s favorites, a Fraser Magnolia along the edge of the pasture that has graceful lines in every season.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. So what version of PS are you using? And Bridge?
    I’ve learned beaucoup working at ye old university ’bout Adobe Lightroom, archiving, image work flow, etc… I’ll admit I knew nothing before this job…though I probably would have argued otherwise. Ill gladly share, if’n you want.

  2. My husband absolutely worships Adobe Lightroom. It hung the moon and stars to hear him. He’s got plenty of time to help, too, if you want. P.S. I like the wife’s favorite tree and your photo very much.