There are some really wonderful tips in here, many of which are featured in the book On Writing. If you get a chance today, you should bounce over there and take a look at the list. It's a great read.
The point which I've been thinking about a lot over the past few days is #11: An agent? Forget it. For now. King has this to say about agents:
Agents get 10% of monies earned by their clients. 10% of nothing is nothing. Agents also have to pay the rent. Beginning writers do not contribute to that or any other necessity of life. Flog your stories around yourself. If you've done a novel, send around query letters to publishers, one by one, and follow up with sample chapters and/or the manuscript complete. And remember Stephen King's First Rule of Writers and Agents, learned by bitter personal experience: You don't need one until you're making enough for someone to steal ... and if you're making that much, you'll be able to take your pick of good agents.I'm very close to finishing the first draft of my WIP novel, and while I haven't started shopping for an agent yet, I've been kicking the idea around in the back of my mind for a couple of months. After all, part of my timeline is going to the South Carolina Writers' Workshop to meet an agent, or possibly a host of them. I guess I thought of agents as advisers who go to bat for writers with publishing companies. But now that I've read this, I see his point. No agent is going to represent someone they can't make money off of.
So how do I handle the next phase of the MS without an agent? Do I shop my book to big publishers and just hope for the best? At this point, I still want to go to the conference and talk to some agents. I know Stephen King had a bad experience with an agent and this happens to a lot of people, but at the same time I am very intimidated by the idea of soliciting my manuscript without representation.
Writers, I need your input here. Do you work with an agent or are you flying solo? Which do you prefer? Which makes more sense? And how did you meet your agent (if you have one)? If you sent an unsolicited MS... did you send it to someone you know, or just send it out blindly?
Any and all comments are appreciated!