If you don’t yet have an agent or manager, here’s a quick list of some things you need to know.
1. Many writers get their first breaks without an agent or manager, but having the right agent and/or manager sure helps.
2. The best and only way to find the right agent and/or manager is to write very well. Good writing always attracts attention. Attention gets you to a good agent and/or manager. If you don’t know how that works, you probably haven’t been writing enough yet.
3. The best way to submit material to an agent or manager is through a referral. The best way to get a referral is to write well. (See previous item.)
4. Real agents don’t charge to read your material. Run away from the ones who do.
5. In Hollywood, agents are regulated by law and union agreement. They charge a 10% commission to shop your scripts. You only pay if the script sells.
6. Managers are different than agents. Managers are not regulated by law or union contract. Their fees vary, but real managers also only get paid if the script sells.
7. Technically, managers are not allowed to solicit employment for you, but they manage your career. In practice, managers always solicit employment for you.
8. Like a good agent, a good manager is a great ally, but anyone can call him or herself a manager. Make sure the manager has clients who sell scripts or get writing assignments on a regular basis.
9. Real managers also do not charge fees to read your material. Run away from ones who do.
Don’t freak on the agent/manager thing. Just work on the writing. The agent/manager will come.