Why a writer needs an agent

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We’ve all heard the stories of magnificent novels initially turned down by multiple publishers before sparking any interest. (How many times did Madeline L’Engle send out “A Wrinkle in Time”?)

In the case of Louise Erdrich’s first novel “Love Medicine,” however, there’s an interesting twist. Apparently Erdrich was turned down everywhere she sent the novel. Then, her husband, the writer Michael Dorris, decided to promote the book himself. He made his own stationary with the words “Michael Dorris Agency” printed at the top.

The novel was then accepted by Holt and was an almost immediate success. (Note to writers eager to try this method: It helps to actually be able to write like Louise Erdrich.) “The Plague of Doves” is her twelfth novel.

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