I Need a Literary Agent

I want to write a popular science sort of a book.

I’m in the market for a literary agent with some social science background.

I have this idea, but it’s sort of between genres and I think I need help developing it before I could even know who to try to sell it to. It’ll be along the lines of the Nurture Assumption, that sort of subject matter, if you’re familiar with that . . . any thoughts?

A perusal of the last several entries in this blog will also give you the subject matter, but the groping in those blogs has produced an unexpected, full blown socialization theory and maybe more. You’d never guess from all my previous writing where it’s brought me.

Anything would help . . .


thank you all in advance



23 thoughts on “I Need a Literary Agent

  1. Patrick Clarkin February 15, 2016 / 11:19 am

    Hi Jeff, I’ve never published a book, and so I don’t know that process very well at all. However, maybe a year ago a woman named Tisse Takagi asked me if I’d ever considered writing a book. Her Twitter account is here: https://twitter.com/tissetakagi

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jeff/neighsayer February 15, 2016 / 11:27 am

      tweeted and followed her! Thanks again.

      I know, right, the Nurture Assumption doesn’t really need a serious answer? It’s not about it, just sort of all around it. Human social groups.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Benjamin David Steele February 15, 2016 / 3:15 pm

    I’ve interacted with some authors online over the years. I even have known some authors around the town I live. It’s a literary town. But I’ve never personally been involved in publishing a book.

    I did have one guy, A.J. Drenth, recently ask if I might be interested in co-writing a book about INFPs. He is a professor and has written a few books already about typology. He asked me because I’m an INFP and have written about the topic before. I gave him some feedback for a test he was developing a while back and I guess he found my comments helpful.


    Here are some other published writers I’ve interacted with over the years. Both are nice guys. I don’t know if either could give you any helpful advice.


    I know some people like E.C. Fish. He is an old friend of my oldest brother. He used to write for a local magazine, but now publishes his own magazine living up in Minnesota.


    Here is another local guy, a friend of a friend. He writes a lot of articles, but a while back he had a book published.


    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jeff/neighsayer February 29, 2016 / 3:34 pm

    caught myself in a lie here, folks – I’ve deleted all the blogs that led me to the new project, didn’t want to let the idea escape just yet . . .


      • Jeff/neighsayer February 29, 2016 / 8:26 pm

        I took about the last 10 or so down, all the stuff since I saw that Quillette article and read Judith Harris, because all of that led me to this new project and I don’t A) want to give it away, or B) not be able to publish because it’s all already out there in the public domain. The clues were all in there about this current idea and I’m kidding myself that I have a popular psych book maybe.


        • theeditorsjournal March 9, 2016 / 4:51 am

          Don’t be silly. Why do people talk this way? If you have a popular pysche book in you you have a popluar pysche book in you, (or on the computer!), end of. It’s just about finding the right partner / information / tweaking to take it where you need it to go and find your audience for it. That of course is generally the hard bit.


          • Jeff/neighsayer March 9, 2016 / 10:16 am

            sure is gonna be in this case – you know how popular my ideas are, LOL. This one is a little different, but it’s not a reversal . . . more later, gotta run. Thanks for the encouragement.


            • theeditorsjournal March 9, 2016 / 11:01 am

              This is for when you get back… (lol …durr obviously Ed! – Gosh I’m being a thicko today) I don’t think your ideas are actually unpopular. I think quite a few people would agree with your basic stance from what I read on comment boards. However, even if it were not popular, that is also a strength because it allows you to argue your point in interviews and on your blog. There’s probably more mileage in an unpopular idea.

              Liked by 1 person

              • Jeff/neighsayer March 10, 2016 / 8:49 am

                Yeah, well, I don’t know if you know, but as far as parenting or pop science parenting books go, they want fluff from PhDs, not serious stuff from tradesmen. I haven’t given up. I’m still writing and sending a proposal to a lit agent every week or two . . . so?

                Do you know any?



  4. Anonymous March 8, 2016 / 11:30 pm

    Don’t give up on your dreams Jeff.


  5. tabbyrenelle April 25, 2016 / 12:41 am

    You have to submit to real literary agents. They don’t comb like you’re hoping. It’s a pretty hard industry. You need a good editor/agent actually to break into the literary agent network and then it’s a lot of back and forth editing. and maybe a sale. The self published and on line literary magazines are a whole ‘nother kettle of fish. I know this not because of personal experience but because I know people who do have the personal experience. You have to do the seeking and networking. They won’t “discover” you regardless of some of the online success stories. And everyone wants to be published in a changing industry. I say go for the published and not “self published” gold standard because anyone and everyone is self publish sub standard books.

    There’s my two cents! 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

  6. tabbyrenelle April 25, 2016 / 12:45 am

    sorry… I forgot to say, and it costs good money. You will have to pay a real editor at least $1,000.00 to read you whole book and actually go line by line with you and they might bomb you. They will give real feed back. It is harsh but it will reveal where they believe you stand.

    They are not always right. The woman who did Harry Potter (which I don’t actually admire or read) got rejected like 9 times, so it’s also about trying many many editors and they will get you your agent.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jeff/neighsayer April 25, 2016 / 8:03 am

      Absolutely, self publishing isn’t an option, because the point is not to see a few of my books in print, but to get the thing read, and widely. I’m trying to change the world here.

      . . . sat what? A cheque with every proposal?

      or just getting a bite means some one says “OK. Gimme $1.000 and I’ll read it?” So that I’m sending proposals to agents and publishers and if they like the pitch – only the pitch, they won’t glance at the book? – then they’ll offer to read it for a price? Is that right?


      • tabbyrenelle April 25, 2016 / 10:09 am

        Yeah, it actually takes dough unless you have an “in” and those “ins” are always being hounded by those they know and have to work with that! It’s a real investment and then it pays off. Talent is abundant that will never be published and still hacks get published. It takes real tenacity. Publish as many short stories and poems and essays in literary magazines, etc. Do the writer workshops too. It all costs money, but believe in your writing and get those published writers at the workshops etc. to read a few pages and comment. Those connections put you on track. It may seem tedious, but it can be fun. It may seem expensive, but you’re worth the money. That’s what I’ve been told and seen with others. Some who made it and some who are still small potatoes and some just hopeful.


        • Jeff/neighsayer April 25, 2016 / 11:12 am

          I hear you, but I’m not some young person trying to make a life or a living as a writer. I’m almost retired here. I’ll probably only ever have one book to try to sell. (He says, because the first one was so bad he’d rather forget and the next one sounds too difficult!) Point is, it’s a hobby, sort of, except I think I’ve found a message that the world needs to hear. So now I’m a crusader, I guess.

          Thanks for the info, and please, keep it coming! And now I’ll be ready for the invoice. I might have rejected it as a scam or something!


          • tabbyrenelle April 25, 2016 / 11:23 am

            Sometimes they are scams and you’ll need a good recommendation to a real editor! I don’t believe you it’s a hobby. I think your heart is in it. Don’t confirm or deny. Have your deep down wish. Creatively visualize it. Do real steps to make it happen. One bite at a time of the elephant so to speak, and go for the first book expecting a “series” deal because they want you for more than one. Maybe Ralph Ellison only published the one tremendous perfect book that satisfied him but he had the saxophone as his real love. so… anyhow, stop saying HOBBY. That’s the no no. You’re a writer. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

      • tabbyrenelle April 25, 2016 / 10:58 am

        One more thing I thought of. . . is Martin Espada the poet who wrote trouble ball and imagine the angles and he has a new book out I haven’t read about his father passing away, but anyhow, my point is, as a “real” writer you will neglect your children at some point. You will have to take opportunities as a writer that cause you to miss out on your kids and also write about your children candidly… and sacrifice in so many ways… to be a real writer. You babies are your books. You’re creative. Men birth in this way. Not to be all in a box or too forward, but I really like this man’s work and he’s real about his life. So It sorta applies to what you’re doing too. Martin Espada talks about this stuff in his work and interviews I’ve seen. So, maybe it will be a strange call for you to do what you do while understanding parenting and artists/writers are truly separate things that need as much devotion and loyalty to succeed and maybe someone suffers. It’s rare a child of a famous anybody feels they got what they deserved. Fathers are usually excused from considering this. They are supposed to go make a hero of themselves in some manner. Know what I mean? Okay… hope this made some sense I I didn’t ramble too long. Thanks for taking some time with me. My batting average ain’t so good lately. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Jeff/neighsayer April 25, 2016 / 11:16 am

          making sense, but my other reply applies. My younger daughter turns 18 this week!


          • tabbyrenelle April 25, 2016 / 11:26 am

            I never had a dad or ma, so just happy birthday to your awesome daughter and have fun!
            There was a painter named Kandinsky who didn’t start until he was 40. Now he’s in the Met and the Moma in NY and famous around the world forever. What’s retired when you can start now? 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s