Sunday, October 7, 2007

LiteraryAgent.com – Literary Agent—NOT MINE!


DN Journal has revealed the sales for last week (September 24-30, 2007), so now I can reveal the domain I did not win: LiteraryAgent.com, which sold for $6,758--well, I already blabbed in last post.

I suspect that the buyer will not be reselling it to a literary agent. Agents, by and large, are notorious for avoiding potential customers (in other words, it's a buyer's market when it comes to representing and pitching books). If the new domain owner wishes to flip it, a likely buyer will probably use the domain to develop a comprehensive directory of honest literary agents, which was my original intention.

Unfortunately, the literary and book publishing fields are filled with crooks and scammers.

A probable scenario: the domain might be sold to a current literary agent directory owner (such as Writer's Digest or AgentQuery) who might realize that having the generic would position their company in the number 1 spot. This domain represents a very niche market, BUT it's a competitive and active one.

Now here's where it gets interesting for me: when it became obvious that I wasn't going to snag the dot-com, I took some risk and reg'd LiteraryAgent.tv, LiteraryAgent.de, and LiteraryAgent.cc. Today, I reg'd LiteraryAgents.mobi (singular gone, too bad). I realize that these might not be worth much right now, but I believe that they will be soon enough.

The singular version of .mobi MIGHT interest a literary agent who would be interested in having an easy way for his or her clients to get in touch via a mobile phone. If an agent were wildly popular, he or she might even transfer all literaryagent.mobi calls to an answering service that might field the calls and transfer the desirable calls directly to the agent who owns the domain.

My plural version could interest someone who might want to develop a filtering answering system for the industry itself. Busy agents would subscribe to this answering service, which would field calls for agent subscribers, acting pretty much as a buffer. In addition, the service itself could have on file some basic information about each subscribing agency. Writers have long complained about not being able to call agents for basic questions, and this would provide easy access, with an easily memorable .mobi code.

Here's one reason why I don't think the dot-com domain is worth the price it commanded:

The word "Literary" is probably one of the most misspelled words in the English language, even by writers who you would think would know better: LiterayAgent.com, LiterearyAgent.com, LitearyAgent.com, which at first glance, look correct, and the only way the new domain owner would get around this problem would be to own them and redirect them to the correct site.

But if the domain owner wants to do this, she or he will have to come to me and make an offer; the first typo (Liteary) was an accident, but it then occurred to me that if I, an English teacher, could make such a ridiculous mistake, then others would too.

;=)

In yet another way, losing LiteraryAgent.com has forced me think around the box, so to speak.

The average domainer might not know this, but when writers look for literary agents, they tend to seek agents who belong to The AAR (The Association of Artists' Representatives), which assures that the agent will adhere to a specific and strict Canon of Ethics. Not belonging to the AAR does not necessarily mean that the agent is a scammer (a new agent might not be eligible to join yet), but it does raise a red flag.

So I reg'd (at regular price):

AARagent.com
AARagents.com
AARliteraryagent.com
AARliteraryagents.com

There's a caveat here: if I sell these domains, I would have to be careful not to sell them to a scammer who could then misrepresent him or herself. In any case, a real agent is not likely to want any of these domains (and if one queried me about them, I would definitely do a check of credentials first). Most domain sales are brokered, but for these I would have to insist on transparency. I'm not a scammer or spammer--these must stay out of such hands--and I wouldn't want to tarnish the AAR reputation by selling these domains to a crook.

More likely, an agent directory developer working on a comprehensive listing of AAR agents would be interested. I may very well end up being that person.

I also reg'd some related domains that will help me pitch my memoir to an agent, but I'll discuss those later, once I have launched the site.

Ms Domainer

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Word verification has been enabled to circumvent spammers, not to censor bona fide posts. ;=)

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Ms Domainer

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