I've just started looking for professional representation for my new novel, Some Day. The story began as an outline for a novel about five years ago, which I turned into a screenplay two years ago, which I then novelized in April, May and June of this year. Funny way to go about it.
So I'm looking for an agent when I come across this bit on a website for a New York agency:
... our advice to writers seeking representation is to search out writing groups or writing teachers that can give support to your work and can provide recommendations to agents when they feel your work is ready for submission to a professional publishing person.
First it was publishers who stopped reading unsolicited manuscripts. Get an agent, they all said. Now the agents are starting to not read unsolicited manuscripts. Not all of them. But things seem to be trending that direction. You have to sell a novel and have it sell well to get an agent, but to sell a novel that will sell well, you have to have an agent present it to a publisher capable of promoting it well enough that it sells enough copies so you can get an agent who will read your work and sell it to publishers capable of promoting it well enough that it sells enough copies so you can get an agent who will read your work and...!
Yes, the publishing world has finally evolved into Escher's "Relativity."