What's your advice for aspiring writers?
Robert Muir The biggest single piece of advice I can offer here is that there little point in contacting literary agents unless you have already published or are already well known in the media or to the public in some other way. That's because financial self-interest is the primary consideration when literary agents look at submissions. If you're not known to them your query will become recycled paper.
It's a waste of your time. They warn the prospective author that a reply will take 8 weeks, but that the sender should contact no other agents in the meantime. No reply will be sent if they are not interested, because they always claim to be inundated with submissions. How long does it take to send a standard form rejection email anyway? The hopeful author will typically have to patiently wait out the eight weeks + without response only to repeat the same process repeatedly with others. For the unknown writer it’s a complete waste of time!
I wasted a year playing that game before I smartened up and self-published. I suggest aspiring authors try that route to getting published if they can afford to or even if they need to borrow a few thousand dollars rather than wasting their time!!! And they won’t have to give those bums a piece of the action.
I welcome comments from any disgruntled or overworked Literary Agents and may even answer them directly, although - like themselves - it might take eight weeks if I feel like giving them the time of day.