Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Literary Agent on a Rampage

Folks, the Internet just isn't enough for me anymore.

Not that interacting with you in an online forum isn't great. I mean, really, it's been smashing. But it's occurred to me recently that the enviable obligations imposed upon me by my job would be even more enjoyable if not performed for ten hours a day in the anemic glow of a computer screen.

So, like rock 'n' roll legends and my Viking ancestors before me, I'm going on tour.

Except it's more of an expedition. Complete with anachronistic hat.*

In my last post I mentioned that my father is a crazy Welshman. What I failed to mention is that my mother is a crazy Swede (who's from Philadelphia--best not to look too deeply into that), and it is from her that I inherited my predilection for daring nighttime raids on English monasteries, adeptness with 9th-century combat techniques, and fondness for smoked fish.

Unlike those other Vikings, though, I am civilized, so instead of spreading chaos and terror I'm spreading...um, tips for how to write commercially viable literature. Oh, and wine. I'm fond of wine. I guess that doesn't sound as terrifying as I intended, but trust me, wine and writing can make for a pretty fearsome combination.


For those of you who might be interested, my upcoming schedule is as follows:

  • May 28 - 31: I might be attending the Book Expo America in New York. This one is still up in the air, but if I can make it work with my schedule it is so happening.
  • June 29: I will definitely be addressing the Northern Virginia Writers' Group in Fairfax, Virginia on this date. If you're in the area, come out and enjoy an incredibly awkward interaction with me. Politely ignore my hunchback.
  • July 25 - 28: I will be attending the Pacific Northwest Writers Association 2013 Conference at the Seattle Airport Hilton. Registration is ongoing.
  • September 19 - 21: I will be attending the Hampton Roads Writers 2013 Conference in Virginia Beach, Virginia 

And in case basking in my literary luminescence (just...just humor me on this one) on only four occasions this year is not enough to satisfy your no doubt insatiable demand, I have decided to make myself available for private editing. You can find details, such as rates, at the Ethan Vaughan Editing page. 

Some of you may recall that in a previous post I said clients would use my services at their peril. This is not because I will add you on Facebook, chat you up, and make embarrassing details of your dating life public. It is not because I suffer from a rare autoimmune disease that is transmissible through e-mailed manuscripts. It is not even because I will do a horrible job on your manuscript (fingers crossed on that last one). It's because of a pesky thing called ethics. 

Kimberley Cameron & Associates is a member of the Association of Authors' Representatives, whose code of conduct states that, among other things, associated agencies will not charge clients for representation or related services. This is a helpful little regulation that stops "agents" from frisking authors and makes it incumbent upon real agents to actually get things published. Convenient, I know. 

Unfortunately, it also means that if you pay me to edit your manuscript and then I like your project enough to represent it, it looks like we are both doing something naughty. 

Which we would obviously never do. 

So, the solution: there are agenting clients and there are editing clients and ne'er the two shall meet. You can send me your manuscript and I will happily whip it into commercial-ready shape for a fee that I probably think is reasonable only because I really like Ramen Noodles. If you have given me a Ramen-destined check, however, I cannot consider you for literary representation. Given my stature within the publishing industry I can understand what a blow this must be, but somehow we'll all have to live with it.

And in the meantime you will, all joking aside, get the editing perspective of someone who evaluates and improves manuscripts for a living. But don't take my word for it! Take...Yvonne Osborne's! She's supposed to do a post. It's probably not there, but it will be. In the meantime, here is her testimonial:

"If you are looking for a manuscript editor, I would highly recommend Ethan Vaughan. His uncanny ability to sift through the superfluous passages to expose your literary gem is nothing short of amazing. From a line of uncharacteristic dialogue, to an unlikely turn of events, Ethan will unearth the mistakes you cannot see for yourself and a less obtuse editor would miss. He points out the strengths of the story at the same time he identifies the encumbrances. He did a 'reader's report' for me that in itself is a pleasure to read. His command of language combined with a nose for fraudulent, redundant details makes for colorful reporting and is a skill not always found in the league of editors. Ethan is professional and perceptive and a pleasure to work with."

Not too shabby, Ms. Osborne. Not too shabby.

 Please see my page for rates, my editing e-mail contact (evaughanmail@gmail.com), and testimonials from clients. Well, that's enough self-promotion on Blogger for one night. Now I'm off to self-promote on Twitter. Peace out, Girl Scouts. 

*I really wish I had an anachronistic hat


  1. You really DO need an anachronistic hat! Good idea to keep the clients in different pools! No dangers that way :)

  2. You aren't the first agent to do this, but it is important to make sure your editing clients know that no way, even if they are the next JK Rowling, will you be able to rep them. :)

  3. Seems reasonable to separate editing and represented clients.

    And that would be an awesome hat.

  4. Looks like you've got some busy times ahead of you. Good luck with your editing services. Let's hope you do not find the next JK Rowling while editing, because then you'd be stuck with not being able to rep them!

    Shannon, Managing Editor at Writing From the Peak

  5. Boy, that's a nice piece of writing, eh?:) And I did do a post but just changed the name of it to better draw attention they way I intended. I would love to go to one of those conferences. If you ever decide to frequent one in the Great Lake State, let me know. There's a good one in the Petoskey area.

  6. How do you contain your energy man??? It's infectious!

    Sooo....if you did like someone's work, would you be able to write a reference letter or a give referrals, or are those totally taboo, too?

    And sorry if this posts twice. I'm not very good at proving I'm not a robot...

    1. Reference letters are perfectly all right! The only stipulation is that I can't profit from the manuscript in any way other than the payment I receive for editing it.