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So You Want To Be A Talent Agent?: Everything You Need To Know To Start Your Own Local Talent Booking Agency [Paperback]

Tom Wolf Elliott
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 18, 2010 1450227228 978-1450227223

A down-to-earth, detailed guide to every aspect of establishing and running a small, local talent booking agency, written by someone who has done so successfully for over 30 years. You don't need any particular background or a fancy college degree or even much money, just a desire to own and operate one of the most fun businesses you could ever imagine.

It's all here-how to find the talent, how to build up a clientele, how to promote yourself, the contracts you'll need, and a fascinating insight to where you can go from here, including becoming a modeling agent, a TV producer, a writer, a record album producer, and much more.


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So You Want To Be A Talent Agent?: Everything You Need To Know To Start Your Own Local Talent Booking Agency + Hollywood Dealmaking: Negotiating Talent Agreements for Film, TV and New Media
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Talent booking has been Tom's second career for over 30 years, so he's been in the trenches and knows it all from the ground up. Starting back in 1975, he managed and booked a popular street singe from Boston, and from that built up an agency that represented over 100 different acts primarily in the street entertainer and vaudefille venues. But he'sworked with some legends too, like the Gene Autry Family. Drawing from his main career as a marketer and sales specialist, he's supplied talent to hundreds for hundreds of events, ranging from private birthday parties and weddings to municipal events and commercial grand openings. Running a talent booking agency is a fun occupation that he'd like to share with others. What he's accomplished can be duplicated by anyone, with just about any background, in any city or town in the world. For some it can provide a nice part-time second income, for others it can mean a brand new full-time career. And it can lead to even more exciting possibilities such as talent management, record, television, and radio production, and movie scout. Tom was born in Malden MA, graduated high school there, took some evening college courses, and joined the computer revolution in its early days as an operator and programmer. Eventually he switched over to marketing and was a marketing and communications director for several software companies. He owned a bookstore, was a Sunday school teacher, youth leader, and lay preacher, as well as assistant sales supervisor for the Shaklee Corporation. He is now semi-retired, but writes a monthly book review column for MENSA's national and international magazines, runs Interim Marketing Services, and is founder and director of Boston Paranormal Investigators, a group similar to SyFy Channel's Ghost Hunters. He's divorced, with three children - Tom, Lisa, and Dawn, all now grown and pursuing their own careers, and he's a surrogate father to a little girl named Angel. His interests, besides ghosts, include UFOs, megavitamin therapy, polyamorism, and new age and folk music, and he's an omnivorous reader.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 164 pages
  • Publisher: iUniverse (May 18, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1450227228
  • ISBN-13: 978-1450227223
  • Product Dimensions: 0.3 x 8.5 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #544,708 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars This would have been a good book in the 1970's July 6, 2011
Format:Paperback
I am interested in starting my own Talent Agency and came across this book. I was super excited to get it, but was disappointed right away when I opened the box from Amazon. First off, I paid $28.00 for the book, and its less than 100 pages long. Second off, this book is extremely outdated! It was first written in the 70's and has been barely updated. This isn't for someone who is interested in opening an Acting/Modeling Talent Agency. This book is more for those who want to book clowns, impersonators, mimes, etc. Most of the info was NOT helpful to me at all. I thought it was a little misleading. So beware, if you want to open an agency that focuses on Acting & Modeling, this is not the book for you. If you want to book contortionists for street fairs, then this book is for you.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Valuable Information on an Interesting Occupation December 18, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
My boyfriend has been in a classic rock band for longer than the 16 years I've been with him. I've always been interested in how agents find gigs for their clients and how they build their network. Tom's book, "So You Want to Be a Talent Agent?" goes through this process step by step. In fact, he started for the very same reason - he was fond of a particular singer, and he wanted to help her out. The rest grew naturally.

I was absolutely thrilled that this book maintained a focus on doing this task ETHICALLY. Tom repeatedly says to be scrupulously honest, to believe in your acts, and to treat even complaining clients with patience. His point is that in the long run your reputation is your most valuable asset, If people believe in you, they will use you over other options. If you honestly believe in your acts, your enthusiasm will shine through and get you that sale. If there's an act you just don't believe in - because you feel they're overcharging or because they're extremely unreliable - he recommends you drop them. It's just not worth the angst.

Tom is sure to give you the hurdles and issues to watch out for. Being a talent agent isn't for everyone. You have to be nurturing with your acts, supportive of those who are unsure, and patient with clients. You have to honestly enjoy people interactions. You have to pay attention to detail - getting the spelling of an act's name wrong, or the date on a contract wrong could cause a lot of trouble. You have to follow up after each gig to keep the line of communication open.

There are a wealth of great details in here. So many other books will say "OK now you have to do step X - but I won't tell you how to do that.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Kind of useless May 10, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It's not reaaaally for people who want to be a real talent agent, because it's limited to autonomous experiences, and not in agencies, which is more common. It does have a few valuable business administration tips, though, but you'd probably do better with a book just for that.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars awesome! June 5, 2011
By intoroq
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Great book, I was very excited when I received the book and always use it for guidance. I do recommend this book to everyone that is starting to get into the business.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Book!!! July 25, 2010
Format:Paperback
If you want to start a talent agent business or any business this is the book to buy. Very informative from someone who seems to know about running a business and making part or full time work for himself. I really liked the stories in it too. And Tom goes all the way by not only giving you the handbook to make this type of business work for you but gives you his details so you can get in touch with him should you have any further questions.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars great book!!!! July 13, 2010
Format:Paperback
This book was fantastic. Very informative. If you are looking to become a talent agent, than this is the book to buy. Everything you need to know about becoming a talent agent is in this book. Tom Elliott did a very good job making sure nothing was left out. I liked the stories from some of his past acts, very funny.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Truly, a Step-by-Step Guide!
Tom Elliott really over-delivers with this guide. Every time I got to the end of a chapter, I was amazed to find that there was still a lot more content to go! Read more
Published 8 months ago by April Mae
5.0 out of 5 stars Still useful
One review I read spoke of this book being outdated. True, you can tell it was written a while back, but it has been updated somewhat. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Sherry J Shikles
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple but effective
This book covers nearly every detail of the business. A great step by step guide, a bit dated but still a great read.
Published 9 months ago by E
4.0 out of 5 stars Establishing Order From Chaos - Everything You Didn't Know To Ask.
Sometimes the critic who is also a "chip off the old block" can be a little harsh. This book is the culmination of years of experience, so there is something in here for everyone... Read more
Published on July 11, 2010 by Thomas C. Elliott
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is great! :)
If you're looking to get into the exciting career of being a talent agent, then this is the book for you, I highly recommend it. Read more
Published on July 9, 2010 by Lisa B
5.0 out of 5 stars So You Want to be a Talent Agent by Tom Elliott is the best book on...
So You Want to be a Talent Agent by Tom Elliott is definitely the best book on this subject. It really does cover everything you need to know to start your own local talent... Read more
Published on July 1, 2010 by Jeanne
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